Santiago, Chile

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February 26, 2009

Santiago may be a tamer city than its South American brethren, but as architect Sebastián Irarrázaval tells us, there's change afoot where colonial legacy meets modern urban design.

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  The city’s second highest point, Cerro San Cristobal, with its Swiss-style gondolas, 
rises some 1,000 feet above the rest of the city and is where Santiaguinos escape the urban bustle to picnic, swim, hike, and wander through gardens. Metropolitan Zoo 
is at the base of the towering hill.  Photo by: Cristóbal Palma
    The city’s second highest point, Cerro San Cristobal, with its Swiss-style gondolas, rises some 1,000 feet above the rest of the city and is where Santiaguinos escape the urban bustle to picnic, swim, hike, and wander through gardens. Metropolitan Zoo is at the base of the towering hill.

    Photo by: Cristóbal Palma

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  Palacio de la Moneda, a late-18th-century colonial presidential palace, is now the government seat. A stroll through the inner patios is particularly serene.  Photo by: Cristóbal Palma
    Palacio de la Moneda, a late-18th-century colonial presidential palace, is now the government seat. A stroll through the inner patios is particularly serene.

    Photo by: Cristóbal Palma

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  Architect Sebastián Irarrázaval relaxes in a Marcel Breuer–designed Wassily Chair in his 50-year-old house that he has renovated to include walls of windows and flexible, open interior spaces.  Photo by: Cristóbal Palma
    Architect Sebastián Irarrázaval relaxes in a Marcel Breuer–designed Wassily Chair in his 50-year-old house that he has renovated to include walls of windows and flexible, open interior spaces.

    Photo by: Cristóbal Palma

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  The city’s heart beats in the palm-dotted Plaza de Armas, where even a brief visit reveals a slice of Santiago culture, from painters to musicians to chess players.  Photo by: Cristóbal Palma
    The city’s heart beats in the palm-dotted Plaza de Armas, where even a brief visit reveals a slice of Santiago culture, from painters to musicians to chess players.

    Photo by: Cristóbal Palma

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  The west side of Plaza de Armas reveals Santiago’s juxtaposition of old and new. The Plaza de Armas building, a mirrored glass edifice by Echenique Cruz Boisier Arquitectos, rises above the grand Catedral Metropolitana. The cathedral’s main altar was recently renovated, and many Santiago luminaries are buried on the church’s site.  Photo by: Cristóbal Palma
    The west side of Plaza de Armas reveals Santiago’s juxtaposition of old and new. The Plaza de Armas building, a mirrored glass edifice by Echenique Cruz Boisier Arquitectos, rises above the grand Catedral Metropolitana. The cathedral’s main altar was recently renovated, and many Santiago luminaries are buried on the church’s site.

    Photo by: Cristóbal Palma

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  The subterranean Centro Cultural Palacio La Moneda lies beneath an esplanade but is awash with natural light. The galleries display an array of Latin American art.  Photo by: Cristóbal Palma
    The subterranean Centro Cultural Palacio La Moneda lies beneath an esplanade but is awash with natural light. The galleries display an array of Latin American art.

    Photo by: Cristóbal Palma

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  Leave it to a pair of monk architects to create perhaps one of the most unique chapels in South America: Los Benedictinos, with its ubiquitous white-on-white motif, cubelike forms, and light rays penetrating the interior from all angles, is one of Santiago’s most numinous locales.  Photo by: Cristóbal Palma
    Leave it to a pair of monk architects to create perhaps one of the most unique chapels in South America: Los Benedictinos, with its ubiquitous white-on-white motif, cubelike forms, and light rays penetrating the interior from all angles, is one of Santiago’s most numinous locales.

    Photo by: Cristóbal Palma

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