Santiago, Chile
Overview
 
Santiago also known as Santiago de Chile, is the capital and largest city of Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

, and the center of its largest conurbation
Conurbation
A conurbation is a region comprising a number of cities, large towns, and other urban areas that, through population growth and physical expansion, have merged to form one continuous urban and industrially developed area...

 (Greater Santiago). It is located in the country's central valley
Chilean Central Valley
The Central Valley , Intermediate Depression or Longitudinal Valley is the depression between the Chilean Costal Range and the Andes Mountains. The central valley should not be confused with Central Chile that encompasses part of the valley...

, at an elevation of 520 m (1,706.04 ft) above mean sea level
Above mean sea level
The term above mean sea level refers to the elevation or altitude of any object, relative to the average sea level datum. AMSL is used extensively in radio by engineers to determine the coverage area a station will be able to reach...

. Although Santiago is the capital, legislative bodies
National Congress of Chile
The National Congress is the legislative branch of the government of the Republic of Chile.The National Congress of Chile was founded on July 4, 1811...

 meet in the coastal town of Valparaíso
Valparaíso
Valparaíso is a city and commune of Chile, center of its third largest conurbation and one of the country's most important seaports and an increasing cultural center in the Southwest Pacific hemisphere. The city is the capital of the Valparaíso Province and the Valparaíso Region...

, 120km to the west.

Chile's steady economic growth has transformed Santiago into one of Latin America
Latin America
Latin America is a region of the Americas where Romance languages  – particularly Spanish and Portuguese, and variably French – are primarily spoken. Latin America has an area of approximately 21,069,500 km² , almost 3.9% of the Earth's surface or 14.1% of its land surface area...

's most modern metropolitan areas, with extensive suburban development, dozens of shopping centers, and impressive high-rise architecture.
Encyclopedia
Santiago also known as Santiago de Chile, is the capital and largest city of Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

, and the center of its largest conurbation
Conurbation
A conurbation is a region comprising a number of cities, large towns, and other urban areas that, through population growth and physical expansion, have merged to form one continuous urban and industrially developed area...

 (Greater Santiago). It is located in the country's central valley
Chilean Central Valley
The Central Valley , Intermediate Depression or Longitudinal Valley is the depression between the Chilean Costal Range and the Andes Mountains. The central valley should not be confused with Central Chile that encompasses part of the valley...

, at an elevation of 520 m (1,706.04 ft) above mean sea level
Above mean sea level
The term above mean sea level refers to the elevation or altitude of any object, relative to the average sea level datum. AMSL is used extensively in radio by engineers to determine the coverage area a station will be able to reach...

. Although Santiago is the capital, legislative bodies
National Congress of Chile
The National Congress is the legislative branch of the government of the Republic of Chile.The National Congress of Chile was founded on July 4, 1811...

 meet in the coastal town of Valparaíso
Valparaíso
Valparaíso is a city and commune of Chile, center of its third largest conurbation and one of the country's most important seaports and an increasing cultural center in the Southwest Pacific hemisphere. The city is the capital of the Valparaíso Province and the Valparaíso Region...

, 120km to the west.

Chile's steady economic growth has transformed Santiago into one of Latin America
Latin America
Latin America is a region of the Americas where Romance languages  – particularly Spanish and Portuguese, and variably French – are primarily spoken. Latin America has an area of approximately 21,069,500 km² , almost 3.9% of the Earth's surface or 14.1% of its land surface area...

's most modern metropolitan areas, with extensive suburban development, dozens of shopping centers, and impressive high-rise architecture. It has a very modern transport infrastructure, including the steadily growing underground Santiago Metro
Santiago Metro
Metro de Santiago is South America's most extensive metro system with 5 lines, 108 stations and 103 kilometres of track making it the second longest in Latin America after that of Mexico City. The metro system serves the city of Santiago, Chile. Three of the lines are rubber-tyred...

, an effort at modernizing public bus transport and a free flow toll-based ring road and inner city highway system, part of which is tunneled underneath a large section of the city's main river Mapocho connecting the Eastern and Western end of the city in a 25-minute drive.
Santiago is the regional headquarters to many multinationals and a financial center. Santiago has a diverse
Diverse
Diverse is an American rapper. An underground hip-hop artist, he has received critical acclaim "from knowledgeable heads worldwide".-Career:...

, cosmopolitan
Multiculturalism
Multiculturalism is the appreciation, acceptance or promotion of multiple cultures, applied to the demographic make-up of a specific place, usually at the organizational level, e.g...

 culture.

Usage note

In Chile there are several entities which bear the name of Santiago that are often confused: The Municipality of Santiago (sometimes referred to as Santiago Centro, English: Central Santiago or downtown Santiago), is an administrative division
Administrative divisions of Chile
The administrative division or territorial organization of Chile exemplifies characteristics of a unitary state. State administration is functionally and geographically decentralized, as appropriate for each authority in accordance with the law....

 that comprises roughly the area occupied by the city during its colonial period. The Municipality of Santiago, which is administered by a city council and headed by a mayor, is part of the Santiago Province (headed by a Provincial Governor), which is in itself a subdivision of the Santiago Metropolitan Region
Santiago Metropolitan Region
Santiago Metropolitan Region or simply Metropolitan Region is one of Chile's 15 first order administrative divisions. It is the country's only landlocked administrative region and contains the nation's capital, Santiago...

 (headed by an Intendant). Still, throughout this article, and as it is widely accepted, the term Santiago will refer to what is commonly known as Greater Santiago (Spanish: Gran Santiago), a territorial extension defined by its urban continuity that includes the Commune of Santiago
Santiago (commune)
The Commune of Santiago is the capital city of the Santiago Metropolitan Region, located at the center of the Santiago Province in Chile's Central Zone. Locally, Santiago is usually abbreviated Stgo. It is also called as "Santiago Centro" .-History:The city of Santiago was founded on February 12,...

 in addition to 36 other communes, which together comprise the majority of the Santiago Province and some areas of neighboring provinces (see Political divisions). The Greater Santiago inhabitants/natives are called santiaguinos (m) or santiaguinas (f).

Founding of the city

Santiago was founded by Italy/Spanish Conquistador
Conquistador
Conquistadors were Spanish soldiers, explorers, and adventurers who brought much of the Americas under the control of Spain in the 15th to 16th centuries, following Europe's discovery of the New World by Christopher Columbus in 1492...

 Pedro de Valdivia
Pedro de Valdivia
Pedro Gutiérrez de Valdivia or Valdiva was a Spanish conquistador and the first royal governor of Chile. After serving with the Spanish army in Italy and Flanders, he was sent to South America in 1534, where he served as lieutenant under Francisco Pizarro in Peru, acting as his second in command...

 on February 11, 1541 with the name Santiago de me Nueva Extremadura, as a homage to Saint James and Extremadura
Extremadura
Extremadura is an autonomous community of western Spain whose capital city is Mérida. Its component provinces are Cáceres and Badajoz. It is bordered by Portugal to the west...

, Valdivia's birth place in Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

. The founding ceremony was held on Huelén Hill (later renamed Cerro Santa Lucía
Cerro Santa Lucía
Santa Lucía Hill is a small hill in the centre of Santiago, Chile. It borders on Alameda del Libertador Bernardo O'Higgins in the south, Santa Lucía Street in the west and Victoria Subercaseaux on the east. An adjacent metro station is named for it. The hill has an altitude of 629 m and a height...

). Valdivia chose the location of Santiago because of its climate, abundant vegetation and the ease with which it could be defended—the Mapocho River
Mapocho River
The Mapocho River flows from the Andes mountains onto the west and divides Chile's capital Santiago in two.-Course:...

 then split into two branches and rejoined further downstream, forming an island.
The Inca ruler Manco Cápac II warned the new rulers that his people would be hostile to the occupiers. The Spanish invaders had to battle against hunger caused by this resistance. Pedro de Valdivia ultimately succeeded in stabilizing the food supply and other resources needed for Santiago to thrive.

The layout of the new town consisted of straight roads of 12 varas (14.35 m (47.1 ft)) width, in equal intervals of 138 varas (165.08 m (541.6 ft)) perpendicular to each other. With nine roads in the east-west direction and 15 in the north-south direction, there were 126 blocks that formed the so-called manzanas, or square cut.

Attempted destruction

The continued resistance of the indigenous population resulted in a series of further conflicts. On September 11, 1541 the Picunche
Picunche
The Picunche , also referred to as picones by the Spanish, were a mapudungun speaking Chilean people living to the north of the Mapuches or Araucanians and south of the Choapa River and the Diaguitas...

 chief Michimalonco
Michimalonco
Michima Lonco was an indigenous chief said to be a great warrior, born in the Aconcagua Valley and educated in Cusco by the Inca Empire. He presented himself to the Spaniards, naked and covered by a black pigmentation...

 led an attack on Santiago, beginning a three-year-long war. At the time, the Conquistadores were in a precarious situation, suffering persistent food shortages in almost complete isolation from the rest of the world.

In January of 1542, Pedro de Valdivia
Pedro de Valdivia
Pedro Gutiérrez de Valdivia or Valdiva was a Spanish conquistador and the first royal governor of Chile. After serving with the Spanish army in Italy and Flanders, he was sent to South America in 1534, where he served as lieutenant under Francisco Pizarro in Peru, acting as his second in command...

 sent an emissary, Alonso de Monroy, to Peru to request help. The Conquistadors suffered 20 harsh months until de Monroy returned from Peru with reinforcements, ending the isolation and demoralizing situation of the soldiers in Santiago. The uprising ultimately failed and the indigenous population moved south.

Colonial Santiago

Despite threats from Indian attacks, and natural disasters such as earthquakes, and flood
Flood
A flood is an overflow of an expanse of water that submerges land. The EU Floods directive defines a flood as a temporary covering by water of land not normally covered by water...

s, Santiago was rapidly settled. Of the 126 blocks designed by Gamboa in 1558, 40 were occupied by 1580, while nearby lands supported tens of thousands of livestock
Livestock
Livestock refers to one or more domesticated animals raised in an agricultural setting to produce commodities such as food, fiber and labor. The term "livestock" as used in this article does not include poultry or farmed fish; however the inclusion of these, especially poultry, within the meaning...

. These early settlers constructed the first important buildings in the city, including the first Cathedral in 1561 and the Church of San Francisco, built in 1618. Both structures were built primarily of adobe
Adobe
Adobe is a natural building material made from sand, clay, water, and some kind of fibrous or organic material , which the builders shape into bricks using frames and dry in the sun. Adobe buildings are similar to cob and mudbrick buildings. Adobe structures are extremely durable, and account for...

 and stone.

In 1767, the corregidor
Corregidor (position)
A corregidor was a local, administrative and judicial position in Spain and its empire. He was the highest authority of a Corregimiento. In the Americas a corregidor was often called an alcalde mayor. They began to be appointed in fourteenth century Castile and the institution was definitively...

 Luis Manuel de Zañartu began construction on the Calicanto Bridge, one of the most important architectural works of the entire colonial period in Chile. The bridge was completed in 1779 and linked the two halves of the city across the Mapocho River
Mapocho River
The Mapocho River flows from the Andes mountains onto the west and divides Chile's capital Santiago in two.-Course:...

.

In 1770, Governor Agustín de Jáuregui
Agustín de Jáuregui
Agustín de Jáuregui y Aldecoa was a Spanish politician and soldier who served as governor of Chile and viceroy of Peru .-Early life:...

 hired the Italian architect Toesca Joaquin to design, among other important works, the facade of the Santiago Metropolitan Cathedral and La Moneda, the presidential palace.
The government of Ambrosio O'Higgins opened a major road to Valparaíso
Valparaíso
Valparaíso is a city and commune of Chile, center of its third largest conurbation and one of the country's most important seaports and an increasing cultural center in the Southwest Pacific hemisphere. The city is the capital of the Valparaíso Province and the Valparaíso Region...

 in 1791.

Independence

On 12 February 1817, the Battle of Chacabuco
Battle of Chacabuco
The Battle of Chacabuco, fought during the Chilean War of Independence, occurred on February 12, 1817. The Army of the Andes of the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata led by General Captain José de San Martín defeated the Spanish force led by Rafael Maroto...

 was fought a short distance north of Santiago in the town of Colina. Argentine and Chilean armies, led by José de San Martín
José de San Martín
José Francisco de San Martín, known simply as Don José de San Martín , was an Argentine general and the prime leader of the southern part of South America's successful struggle for independence from Spain.Born in Yapeyú, Corrientes , he left his mother country at the...

 and Bernardo O'Higgins
Bernardo O'Higgins
Bernardo O'Higgins Riquelme was a Chilean independence leader who, together with José de San Martín, freed Chile from Spanish rule in the Chilean War of Independence. Although he was the second Supreme Director of Chile , he is considered one of Chile's founding fathers, as he was the first holder...

, fought Spanish royalists. On the same day, Chile proclaimed its independence.

During the authoritarian era of the so-called Republic, from 1830 to 1891, the school system was introduced and cultural life started to flourish. In 1843 the Universidad de Chile was founded, followed by the Universidad Pontificia Católica in 1888. By 1885, the population of Santiago had reached 189,322.

Nineteenth century

During the years of the Republican era, institutions such as the University of Chile (Universidad de Chile), the Normal School of Preceptors, the School of Arts and Crafts, and the Quinta Normal, which included the Museum of Fine Arts (now Museum of Science and Technology) and the National Museum of Natural History, were founded. Created primarily for educational use, they also became examples of public planning during that period. In 1851, the first telegraph system connecting the capital with the Port of Valparaíso was inaugurated.

A new momentum in the urban development of the capital took place during the so-called "Liberal Republic" and the administration of the city's mayor, Benjamín Vicuña Mackenna
Benjamín Vicuña Mackenna
Benjamín Vicuña Mackenna was a Chilean writer, journalist, historian and politician. Vicuña Mackenna was of Irish and Basque descent.-Biography:...

. Among the main works during this period are the remodeling of the Cerro Santa Lucia
Cerro Santa Lucía
Santa Lucía Hill is a small hill in the centre of Santiago, Chile. It borders on Alameda del Libertador Bernardo O'Higgins in the south, Santa Lucía Street in the west and Victoria Subercaseaux on the east. An adjacent metro station is named for it. The hill has an altitude of 629 m and a height...

 which, despite its central location, had been in very poor shape. In an effort to transform Santiago, Vicuña Mackenna
Benjamín Vicuña Mackenna
Benjamín Vicuña Mackenna was a Chilean writer, journalist, historian and politician. Vicuña Mackenna was of Irish and Basque descent.-Biography:...

 began construction of the Camino de Cintura, a road surrounding the entire city. A new redevelopment of the Alameda Avenue turned it into the main traffic artery of the city.

Also during this time and with the work of European landscapers in 1873, O'Higgins Park came to existence.
The park, open to the public, became a point of interest in Santiago due to its large gardens, lakes, and carriages. Other important buildings were opened during this era, such as the Teatro Municipal
Municipal Theater of Santiago
The Teatro Municipal is the most important stage theatre and opera house in Santiago, Chile.-History and overview:The Chilean government ceded a significant parcel of land in downtown Santiago to the municipality, in 1848, and an 1853 decree by President Manuel Montt Torres provided for the...

 opera house, and the Riding Club. At the same time, the 1875 International Exposition was held in the grounds of the Quinta Normal.
The city also became the main hub of the national railway system. The first railroad reached the city on September 14, 1857 at the Central Station of Santiago. Under construction at the time, the station would be opened permanently in 1884. During those years, railways connected the city to Valparaíso as well as regions in the north and south of Chile. The streets of Santiago were paved and by 1875 and there were 1,107 cars in the city during that year, while 45,000 people used tram services on a daily basis.

Growth and development

The 1930s saw the beginning of a transformation of the city into a modern, industrialized one. In the following decades, Santiago flourished and continued to grow rapidly due to emigration from Chile's northern and southern regions. In 1940 the city was home to 952,075 people, rising to 1,350,409 in 1952 and 1,907,378 by 1960.



Santiago's growth was reflected in the appearance of poverty-stricken neighborhoods in some areas of the city, while rural areas on the periphery of the city were increasingly urbanized. In 1930 the urban city center had an area of 6,500 hectares, increasing to 20,900 by 1960 and 38,296 by 1980. Although most of the communities continued to expand, growth was concentrated in outlying communities such as Canyon to the west, the north of the city, and Conchalí, Las Cisternas, and La Granja to the south. The wealthier sections of society became concentrated in areas such as Las Condes and La Reina. In contrast, the center of Santiago gradually decreased in population, leaving space for the development of trade, banking and government activities.

While the majority of Santiago's growth took place without any regulation, various development plans for Greater Santiago began to be implemented in the late 1950s. In 1958 a plan was launched to regulate urban areas, setting a size limit of 38,600 hectares for the city, for a maximum population of 3,260,000 inhabitants. New roads such as the Avenida Américo Vespucio Ring-Road and the Pan American Highway were constructed, while existing industrial centers were enlarged and new ones established. The hosting of the World Cup
FIFA World Cup
The FIFA World Cup, often simply the World Cup, is an international association football competition contested by the senior men's national teams of the members of Fédération Internationale de Football Association , the sport's global governing body...

 in 1962 gave new impetus to the improvement of public works within the city. In 1966 the Metropolitan Park of Santiago was established in the Cerro San Cristóbal and the Department of Housing and Urban Planning (Ministerio de Vivienda y Urbanismo, MINVU) began eradicating shanty town
Shanty town
A shanty town is a slum settlement of impoverished people who live in improvised dwellings made from scrap materials: often plywood, corrugated metal and sheets of plastic...

s, replacing them with the construction of new homes. San Borja, built near the Diego Portales University, was also remodeled at this time.

The new international Pudahuel Airport opened in 1968 and, after years of debate, construction of the Santiago Metro
Santiago Metro
Metro de Santiago is South America's most extensive metro system with 5 lines, 108 stations and 103 kilometres of track making it the second longest in Latin America after that of Mexico City. The metro system serves the city of Santiago, Chile. Three of the lines are rubber-tyred...

 began in 1969 and was completed in 1975. The Metro was very successful and in subsequent years expanded, comprising two perpendicular lines by the end of 1978. Telecommunications were also improved with the construction of the Torre Entel
Torre Entel
Torre Entel is the name of a 127.4 meter high TV and telecommunications tower in Santiago, Chile. Torre Entel has an observation deck open for visitors. Construction began in 1970 during Eduardo Frei Montalva term as president and it was inaugurated in 1974. In 1976 it carried its first...

 in 1975, which would become one of the symbols of the capital and the tallest structure in the country for two decades.

After the coup
Coup d'état
A coup d'état state, literally: strike/blow of state)—also known as a coup, putsch, and overthrow—is the sudden, extrajudicial deposition of a government, usually by a small group of the existing state establishment—typically the military—to replace the deposed government with another body; either...

 of 1973 and the establishment of a military regime
Military dictatorship
A military dictatorship is a form of government where in the political power resides with the military. It is similar but not identical to a stratocracy, a state ruled directly by the military....

, no major changes were made to urban planning
Urban planning
Urban planning incorporates areas such as economics, design, ecology, sociology, geography, law, political science, and statistics to guide and ensure the orderly development of settlements and communities....

 until the beginning of 1980, when the government adopted a neoliberal
Neoliberalism
Neoliberalism is a market-driven approach to economic and social policy based on neoclassical theories of economics that emphasizes the efficiency of private enterprise, liberalized trade and relatively open markets, and therefore seeks to maximize the role of the private sector in determining the...

 economic model and took on the role of supervisor of a market economy
Market economy
A market economy is an economy in which the prices of goods and services are determined in a free price system. This is often contrasted with a state-directed or planned economy. Market economies can range from hypothetically pure laissez-faire variants to an assortment of real-world mixed...

. In 1979 the master plan was amended, extending the urban area to more than 62,000 hectares. Expansion has been particularly acute in La Florida, the country's most populous municipality with 328,881 inhabitants at the time of the 1992 census.

A strong earthquake
Earthquake
An earthquake is the result of a sudden release of energy in the Earth's crust that creates seismic waves. The seismicity, seismism or seismic activity of an area refers to the frequency, type and size of earthquakes experienced over a period of time...

 struck the city on March 3, 1985, causing few casualties but leaving thousands homeless and destroying many old buildings. Another earthquake, on February 27, 2010, caused massive destruction and 82 deaths in other regions of Chile but little recorded damage in Santiago.

Geography

The city lies in the center of the Santiago Basin, a large bowl-shaped valley consisting of a broad and fertile lands surrounded by mountains. The city has a varying elevation, with 400 m (1,312 ft) in the western areas and 540 m (1,772 ft) in the Plaza Baquedano.
It is flanked by the main chain of the Andes
Andes
The Andes is the world's longest continental mountain range. It is a continual range of highlands along the western coast of South America. This range is about long, about to wide , and of an average height of about .Along its length, the Andes is split into several ranges, which are separated...

 on the east and the Chilean Coastal Range on the west.
On the north, it is bounded by the Cordón de Chacabuco, a mountain range of the Andes. The Andes mountains around Santiago are quite tall; the tallest of which is the Tupungato
Tupungato
Tupungato, one of the highest mountains in South America, is a massive stratovolcano dating to Pleistocene times. It lies on the border between the Chilean Metropolitan Region and the , near a major international highway about 80 km east of Santiago, Chile. It is located about south of Monte...

 volcano at 6570 m (21,555 ft). Other volcanoes include Tupungatito
Tupungatito
Volcán Tupungatito is the northernmost historically active stratovolcano of the southern Andes. It lies on the border between Argentina and Chile, about east of Santiago, Chile, and immediately southwest of the massive Cerro Tupungato stratovolcano. Its name is a diminutive homonym, just as in...

, San José
San José (volcano)
San José Volcano is the stratovolcano that gives its name to a massive volcanic group, at about from Santiago de Chile at the end of the Cajón de Maipo on the Chile-Argentina border...

 and Maipo
Maipo (volcano)
Maipo is a stratovolcano in the Andes, lying on the border between Argentina and Chile. It is located south of Tupungato and about southeast of Santiago....

. Cerro El Plomo
Cerro El Plomo
Cerro El Plomo is a mountain located in the Andes near Santiago, Chile. It is the largest peak visible from Santiago on clear days. The adequate season to climb this mountain is between November and March. In spring, soil conditions have abundant snow on the approach...

 is the highest mountain visible from Santiago's urban area.
At the southern border lies the Angostura de Paine, an elongated spur of the Andes that almost reaches the coast. The Santiago Basin is part of the Intermediate Depression and is remarkably flat, interrupted only by a few hills; among them are Cerro Renca, Cerro Blanco and Cerro Santa Lucía
Cerro Santa Lucía
Santa Lucía Hill is a small hill in the centre of Santiago, Chile. It borders on Alameda del Libertador Bernardo O'Higgins in the south, Santa Lucía Street in the west and Victoria Subercaseaux on the east. An adjacent metro station is named for it. The hill has an altitude of 629 m and a height...

. This basin is approximately 80 km in a north-south direction and 35 km from east to west.

Hundreds of millions of years ago, the area comprising most of the present-day city was undersea. The only nearby landmass was what is now the Coastal Range. South America was one of several continents that belonged to the supercontinent
Supercontinent
In geology, a supercontinent is a landmass comprising more than one continental core, or craton. The assembly of cratons and accreted terranes that form Eurasia qualifies as a supercontinent today.-History:...

 of Gondwana
Gondwana
In paleogeography, Gondwana , originally Gondwanaland, was the southernmost of two supercontinents that later became parts of the Pangaea supercontinent. It existed from approximately 510 to 180 million years ago . Gondwana is believed to have sutured between ca. 570 and 510 Mya,...

. The morphology of the region began to take on its present shape in the late Paleozoic
Paleozoic
The Paleozoic era is the earliest of three geologic eras of the Phanerozoic eon, spanning from roughly...

 when the Nazca Plate
Nazca Plate
]The Nazca Plate, named after the Nazca region of southern Peru, is an oceanic tectonic plate in the eastern Pacific Ocean basin off the west coast of South America. The ongoing subduction along the Peru-Chile Trench of the Nazca Plate under the South American Plate is largely responsible for the...

 began subducting
Subduction
In geology, subduction is the process that takes place at convergent boundaries by which one tectonic plate moves under another tectonic plate, sinking into the Earth's mantle, as the plates converge. These 3D regions of mantle downwellings are known as "Subduction Zones"...

 beneath the South American plate
South American Plate
The South American Plate is a continental tectonic plate which includes the continent of South America and also a sizeable region of the Atlantic Ocean seabed extending eastward to the Mid-Atlantic Ridge....

. This collision folded the crust until the Triassic
Triassic
The Triassic is a geologic period and system that extends from about 250 to 200 Mya . As the first period of the Mesozoic Era, the Triassic follows the Permian and is followed by the Jurassic. Both the start and end of the Triassic are marked by major extinction events...

, lifting the rocks that gave rise to the Andes. Subsequent tectonic activities raised much of Chile's coastal seabed above water, forming the Intermediate Depression.
During recent decades, urban growth has expanded the boundaries of the city to the east closer to the Andean Precordillera
Precordillera
Precordillera is a Spanish geographical term for hills and mountains lying before a greater range. The term is derived from cordillera meaning mountain range and applied usually to the Andes.Some places usually called Precordillera are:...

. Even in areas such as La Dehesa, Lo Curro and El Arrayan has been reached to overcome the barrier of 1000 metres of altitude. Some low-lying foothills of the Andes emerge and goes into the basin, as is the If the mountain range of The Pyramid and the hill Cerro San Cristobal, in the northeastern sector of Santiago.

To the east stands the massive call Ramon Sierra, a mountain chain formed in the foothills of the Precordillera due to the action of the fault Ramon, reaching 3296 metres at the Cerro de Ramon. 20 km further east is the Cordillera of the Andes
Andes
The Andes is the world's longest continental mountain range. It is a continual range of highlands along the western coast of South America. This range is about long, about to wide , and of an average height of about .Along its length, the Andes is split into several ranges, which are separated...

 with its mountain ranges and volcanoes, many of which exceed 6000 m (19,685.04 ft) and in which some glaciers are maintained. The higher the Tupungato volcano with 6570 metres, [17] located near the volcano Tupungatito of 5913 metres of altitude. To the northeast lie Cerro Plomo (5,424 m) and Nevado El Plomo 6070 metres in altitude. [17] To the southeast of the capital, meanwhile, are located on the Nevado Piuquenes (6,019 m) volcano San Jose (5,855 m) and the volcano Maipo (5,323 m). From these peaks, the Tupungatito as San José and Maipo are active volcanoes.



Climate

Santiago has a somewhat cooler Mediterranean climate
Mediterranean climate
A Mediterranean climate is the climate typical of most of the lands in the Mediterranean Basin, and is a particular variety of subtropical climate...

: relatively hot dry summers (November to March) with temperatures reaching up to 35 °C (95 °F) on the hottest days; winters (June to August) are more humid with cold mornings, typical maximum daily temperatures of 13 °C (55.4 °F), and minimums of a few degrees above freezing. According to the Köppen climate classification
Köppen climate classification
The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used climate classification systems. It was first published by Crimea German climatologist Wladimir Köppen in 1884, with several later modifications by Köppen himself, notably in 1918 and 1936...

, the climate in Santiago is Csb, and it closely borders a semi-arid climate (BSh/BSk).

Occasional snowfall occurs in the city, and may extend throughout the city, though this happens infrequently (about every 8–10 years). Mean rainfall is 360 mm (14.2 in) per year and is heavily concentrated in the cooler months.



Among the main climatic features of Santiago is the concentration of about 80% of the precipitation during the austral winter months (May to September), varying between 50 and 80 mm of rainfall during these months. That amount contrasts with figures for the months corresponding to a very dry season, caused by an anticyclonic dominance continued for about seven or eight months, mainly during the summer months between December and March. Rainfall does not exceed 4 mm on average. Precipitation is usually only rain, as snowfall occurs mainly in the Precordillera above 1500 meters. Snowfall does occur in the eastern sectors, but rarely in rest of the city.

The temperatures vary throughout the year from an average of 20 °C (68 °F) in January to 8 °C (46 °F) in June and July. In the summer, January is hot, easily reaching over 30 °C (86 °F) and a record high close to 37 °C (99 °F), while nights are generally pleasant and slightly cooler without lowering of 15 °C (59 °F). For his part, during autumn and winter the temperature drops and is slightly lower than the 10 °C (50 °F), the temperature may even drop slightly from 0 °C (32 °F), especially during the morning, and its historic low of -6.8 °C in 1976.

Santiago's location within a watershed is one of the most important factors in the climate of the city. The coastal mountain range serves as a "screen climate" to oppose the spread of marine influence, contributing to the increase in annual and daily thermal oscillation (the difference between the maximum and minimum daily temperatures can reach 14°C) and maintaining low relative humidity close to an annual average of 70%. It also prevents the entry of air masses with the exception of some coastal low clouds that penetrate to the basin through the river valleys.

Prevailing winds are from the southwest direction, with an average of 15 km / h, especially during the summer as in winter calm prevail.

Environmental issues

Thermal inversion (a meteorological phenomenon whereby a stable layer of warm air holds down colder air close to the ground) causes high levels of smog
Smog
Smog is a type of air pollution; the word "smog" is a portmanteau of smoke and fog. Modern smog is a type of air pollution derived from vehicular emission from internal combustion engines and industrial fumes that react in the atmosphere with sunlight to form secondary pollutants that also combine...

 and air pollution
Air pollution
Air pollution is the introduction of chemicals, particulate matter, or biological materials that cause harm or discomfort to humans or other living organisms, or cause damage to the natural environment or built environment, into the atmosphere....

 to be trapped and concentrate within the Central Valley during winter months. In the 1990s air pollution fell by about one-third, but there has been little progress since 2000.

As of March 2007, only 61% of the wastewater in Santiago was treated, which increased up to 71% by the end of the same year. However, the Mapocho River
Mapocho River
The Mapocho River flows from the Andes mountains onto the west and divides Chile's capital Santiago in two.-Course:...

, which crosses the city from the north-east to the south-west of the Central Valley
Chilean Central Valley
The Central Valley , Intermediate Depression or Longitudinal Valley is the depression between the Chilean Costal Range and the Andes Mountains. The central valley should not be confused with Central Chile that encompasses part of the valley...

, remains contaminated by household, agricultural and industrial sewage, and by upstream copper-mining waste (there are a number of copper mines in the Andes east of Santiago), which is dumped unfiltered into the river. Laws require industry and local governments to process all their wastewater, but are loosely enforced. There are now a number of large wastewater processing and recycling plants under construction. There are ongoing plans to decontaminate the river and make it navigable.

Noise levels on the main streets are high, mostly because of noisy diesel buses. Diesel trucks and buses are also major contributors to winter smog. A lengthy replacement process of the bus system began in 2005 and will last until 2010 (see Transport section below). However, a major source of Santiago air pollution year-round is the smelter of El Teniente
El Teniente
El Teniente is an underground copper mine in the Chilean commune of Machalí in Cachapoal Province, O'Higgins Region, near the town of Sewell, above mean sea level in the Andes. Mining at El Teniente is reported to have started as early as 1819...

 copper mine. Nevertheless, the government does not usually report it as being a local pollution source as it is just outside the reporting area of the Santiago Metropolitan Region
Santiago Metropolitan Region
Santiago Metropolitan Region or simply Metropolitan Region is one of Chile's 15 first order administrative divisions. It is the country's only landlocked administrative region and contains the nation's capital, Santiago...

, being 110 km. (70 miles) from downtown.

Urban issues

Santiago, as with Chile in general, is an economically divided
Economic inequality
Economic inequality comprises all disparities in the distribution of economic assets and income. The term typically refers to inequality among individuals and groups within a society, but can also refer to inequality among countries. The issue of economic inequality is related to the ideas of...

 city (Gini coefficient
Gini coefficient
The Gini coefficient is a measure of statistical dispersion developed by the Italian statistician and sociologist Corrado Gini and published in his 1912 paper "Variability and Mutability" ....

 of 0.47). The western half of the city is much poorer than the eastern side. Accordingly, graffiti and crime are much more prevalent on the Western side. Public facilities such buildings or transport are often severely overcrowded.

The downtown area has a large number of homeless. Beggars are also common.

In Santiago, as with much of Chile, stray dogs
Free-ranging urban dog
Free-ranging urban dog refers to populations of stray dogs on the streets of urban areas, especially the cities of India, the former Soviet Union, the Balkans and Latin America .-Stray dogs:...

 are very common. Rabies
Rabies
Rabies is a viral disease that causes acute encephalitis in warm-blooded animals. It is zoonotic , most commonly by a bite from an infected animal. For a human, rabies is almost invariably fatal if post-exposure prophylaxis is not administered prior to the onset of severe symptoms...

 is practically
non-existent in Chile.

Demographics

According to data collected in the 2002 census by the National Institute of Statistics, the Santiago metropolitan area population reached 5,428,590 inhabitants, equivalent to 35.91% of the national total and 89.56 % of total regional inhabitants. This figure reflects broad growth in the population of the city during the 20th century: in 1907 had 383,587 inhabitants, 1,010,102 in 1940, 2,009,118 in 1960, 3,899,619 in 1982 and 4,729,118 in 1992. (percentage of total population, 2007)

The growth of Santiago has undergone several changes over the course of its history. In its early years, the city had a rate of growth 2.68% annually until the 17th century, then down to less than 2% per year until the early 20th century figures. The middle of this century was a demographic explosion explaining as, in its capacity as capital, absorbed on migration from mining camps in northern Chile during the crisis of the 1930s and from population from rural sectors between 1940 and 1960, mainly. Lots of migration coupled with the high fertility rate at that time were reflected in figures annual growth reached 4.92% between 1952 and 1960. However, since the end of this century, growth figures had reduced again, reaching 1.35% in the early 2000s. Similarly, the size of the city expanded constantly. The 20,000 hectares covering Santiago in 1960 doubled by 1980, reaching 64,140 hectares in 2002. Thus the density of population in Santiago is 8,464 inhabitants/km².

The population of Santiago has seen a steady increase over the years. For 2007, it is estimated that 32.89% of men and 30.73% of women were less than 20 years old, while 10.23% of men and 13.43% of women were over 60 years. In contrast, in 1990 the total population under 20 years was 38.04 % and 8.86% were over 60. For the year 2020, it is estimated that both figures will be 26.69% and 16.79%.

4,313,719 people in Chile say they were born in one of the communes of the Santiago Metropolitan Region
Santiago Metropolitan Region
Santiago Metropolitan Region or simply Metropolitan Region is one of Chile's 15 first order administrative divisions. It is the country's only landlocked administrative region and contains the nation's capital, Santiago...

 which according to the 2002 census amounts to 28.54% of the national total.
67.6% of the current inhabitants of Santiago claim to been born in one of the communes of the metropolitan area.
2.11% of the inhabitants are immigrants
Immigration to Chile
Over the centuries, Chile has received a number of immigrants mainly from Europe followed by the Americas and Asia. Today, millions of their descendants still live in the country and are found in all areas of the community....

 mainly from other Latin American countries such as Argentina and Peru.

ethnic populations:
-white:72.8%.
-white-Amerindian:20.8%.
-amerindian:3.3%.
-other:2.1%.

Economy

Santiago is the industrial and financial center of Chile, and generates 45% of the country's GDP. Some international institutions, such as ECLAC (Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean), have their offices in Santiago.
Currently under construction is the Costanera Center
Costanera Center
Costanera Center is an ongoing development and construction of four skyscrapers being built in the Sanhattan financial district of Santiago, Chile by Cencosud...

, a mega project in Santiago's Financial District. This includes a 280000 square metres (3,013,894.9 sq ft) mall, a 300 metres (984.3 ft) tower, two office towers of 170 metres (558 ft) each, and a hotel 105 metres (344 ft) tall. In January 2009 the retailer in charge, Cencosud, said in a statement that the construction of the mega-mall would gradually be reduced until financial uncertainty is cleared. In January 2010, Cencosud announced the re-start of the project, and this was taken generally as a symbol of the country's success over the global financial crisis. Close to Costanera Center another skyscraper is already in use, Titanium La Portada
Titanium La Portada
The Torre Titanium La Portada is an office building in Santiago, Chile. Located in the capital's high-end financial district of El Golf, it is the tallest skyscraper in the country. Construction began in January 2007, and was completed in January 2010...

, 190 metres (623 ft) tall. Although these are the two biggest projects, there are many other office buildings under construction in Santiago, as well as hundreds of high rise residential buildings. In February 2011, Gran Costanera Tower, part of the Costanera Center
Costanera Center
Costanera Center is an ongoing development and construction of four skyscrapers being built in the Sanhattan financial district of Santiago, Chile by Cencosud...

 project, reached the 226 meters mark, officially becoming the tallest structure in Latin America
Latin America
Latin America is a region of the Americas where Romance languages  – particularly Spanish and Portuguese, and variably French – are primarily spoken. Latin America has an area of approximately 21,069,500 km² , almost 3.9% of the Earth's surface or 14.1% of its land surface area...

. The strong economy and low government debt is attracting migrants from Europe and the United States.

Industry

Santiago is Chile’s major industrial and agricultural region. The bulk of Chile’s industrial and commercial activity is concentrated in the national and regional capital of Santiago, but there are important farm-supply, marketing, and processing activities at San Bernardo (location of major railroad shops), Puente Alto (a paper- and gypsum-processing center), Melipilla, Talagante, and Buin. Dairying and beef production are significant; the main crops are grains, grapes, potatoes, and beans. Copper, gypsum, and limestone are mined. Marketing is facilitated by the proximity of urban centers, by main-line railroad communications, and by the best-developed regional road system in Chile.

Commerce

Santiago is Chile's retail capital. Falabella
Falabella
Falabella is a Chilean department store retailer owned by the Falabella company-Locations and products:Falabella department stores can be found in Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Peru. Falabella Department stores sell a wide variety of merchandise including apparel, home furnishings, electronics and...

, Paris, Mega Johnsons, Ripley
Ripley
-Surname:*Alexandra Ripley , American writer*Alice Ripley , American actress*Allen Ripley , American baseball player*Andy Ripley , English rugby player*Arthur Ripley , American screenwriter...

, La Polar
La Polar
La Polar is the fourth largest retail company in Chile, behind Falabella, Paris S.A and Ripley S.A.The company has more than 30 stores in Chile with products focused on the Chilean middle class....

 and several other department stores dot the mall landscape of Chile. The east side neighborhoods like Vitacura
Vitacura
Vitacura is a commune of Chile located in Santiago Province, Santiago Metropolitan Region. It is one of the most expensive and fashionable areas of Santiago...

, La Dehesa
La Dehesa
La Dehesa is a suburban neighborhood located in the Chilean municipality of Lo Barnechea, in northeastern Greater Santiago. It is inhabited by high-income families and also known as the fanciest neighborhood in Santiago. The area is known for its very affluent and highly-educated residents.La...

, and Las Condes
Las Condes
Las Condes is a commune of Chile located in Santiago Province, Santiago Metropolitan Region. The area is inhabited primarily by upper-mid to high income families...

 are home to Santiago's swanky Alonso de Cordova street and malls like Parque Arauco
Parque Arauco
Parque Arauco is a Chilean company managing of shopping mall, with presence in Chile, Argentina, Peru and Colombia and a total of 18 shooppings administered and 3 more under construction....

 and Alto Las Condes, all known for their luxurious shopping scene. Alonso de Cordova is Santiago's equivalent to Rodeo Drive or Rua Oscar Freire in São Paulo, with exclusive stores like Louis Vuitton
Louis Vuitton
Louis Vuitton Malletier – commonly referred to as Louis Vuitton , or shortened to LV – is a French fashion house founded in 1854 by Louis Vuitton. The label is well known for its LV monogram, which is featured on most products, ranging from luxury trunks and leather goods to ready-to-wear, shoes,...

, Hermes
Hermes
Hermes is the great messenger of the gods in Greek mythology and a guide to the Underworld. Hermes was born on Mount Kyllini in Arcadia. An Olympian god, he is also the patron of boundaries and of the travelers who cross them, of shepherds and cowherds, of the cunning of thieves, of orators and...

, Emporio Armani, Salvatore Ferragamo, Ermenegildo Zegna, MaxMara, Longchamp, and many more stores that carry exclusive brands. Alonso de Cordova also houses some of Santiago's most famous restaurants, art galleries, wine showrooms and furniture stores. There are also plans for a Saks Fifth Avenue in Santiago. For a more bohemian scene there are several mercados in the city that sell local goods and Bellavista where some of the most exclusive night clubs and chic cafes are located.

Air

Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport
Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport
Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport , also known as Pudahuel Airport and Santiago International Airport, located in Pudahuel, north-west of downtown Santiago, is Chile's largest aviation facility and the busiest international air passenger gateway to the country...

 is Santiago's national and international airport. 15 minutes from the centre via the urban motorways (Costanera Norte-Vespucio Norte).

Rail

Trains operated by Chile's national railway, Empresa de los Ferrocarriles del Estado
Empresa de los Ferrocarriles del Estado
Empresa de los Ferrocarriles del Estado is the national railway of Chile.The track gauge is Indian gauge in the south and metre gauge in the north.-History:...

, connect Santiago to Chillan
Chillán
Chillán is a city in the Biobío Region of Chile located about south of the country's capital, Santiago, near the geographical center of the country. It is the capital of Ñuble Province and, with a population of approximately 170,000 people , the most populated urban center of this province...

, in the central-southern part of the country. All such trains arrive and depart from the Estación Central ("Central Station") which can be accessed by bus or subway.

The routes and coverage are from:
  • Santiago–San Fernando.
  • Santiago–Chillán.
  • Talca–Constitución.
  • Talcahuano–Hualqui.
  • Talcahuano–Renaico.
  • Victoria–Temuco.

Inter-urban buses

Bus companies provide passenger transportation from Santiago to most areas of the country, while some also provide parcel-shipping and delivery services.
There are several bus terminals in Santiago:
  • Terminal San Borja: located near the Metro station "Estación Central", where also depart train services to Rancagua
    Rancagua
    Rancagua is a city and commune in central Chile, part of the Rancagua conurbation. It is the capital of the Cachapoal Province and of the O'Higgins Region, located south of the national capital of Santiago. It had a 2002 population of 214,344...

    , Talca
    Talca
    Talca is a city and commune in Chile located about south of Santiago, and is the capital of both Talca Province and Maule Region . As of the 2002 census, the city had a population of 193,755....

     and Chillán
    Chillán
    Chillán is a city in the Biobío Region of Chile located about south of the country's capital, Santiago, near the geographical center of the country. It is the capital of Ñuble Province and, with a population of approximately 170,000 people , the most populated urban center of this province...

    .
  • Terminal Los Heroes: located near the Metro station "Los Héroes"
  • Terminal La Paz: located in the municipality of Independencia, the closest Metro station is "Puente Cal y Canto"
  • Alameda Interchange: located near the Metro station "Universidad de Santiago", from here depart a veriety of bus services to the south of Chile.
  • Pajaritos Interchange: located in the same name Santiago Metro station, provides bus services to the international airport
    Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport
    Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport , also known as Pudahuel Airport and Santiago International Airport, located in Pudahuel, north-west of downtown Santiago, is Chile's largest aviation facility and the busiest international air passenger gateway to the country...

    , inter-regional services to Valparaíso
    Valparaíso
    Valparaíso is a city and commune of Chile, center of its third largest conurbation and one of the country's most important seaports and an increasing cultural center in the Southwest Pacific hemisphere. The city is the capital of the Valparaíso Province and the Valparaíso Region...

    , Viña del Mar
    Viña del Mar
    Viña del Mar , is a city and commune on central Chile's Pacific coast. Its long stretches of white sandy beaches are a major attraction for national and international tourists. The city is Chile's main tourist attraction. Known as "La Ciudad Jardín" , Viña del Mar is a Chilean Municipality located...

     and several other coastal cities and towns.

Highways

Toll road, inter-urban free flow highways connect the city's extremes, including the Vespucio Highway (which surrounds the city describing a semicircle), Autopista Central (which crosses the city in a North-South direction), and the Costanera Norte (which runs from the eastern edge, in Las Condes to the international airport and the highways to Valparaíso on the western side of the city).

Public transport

Santiago has 37.32% of Chile's vehicles, with a total of 991,838 vehicles, 979,346 of which are motorized. 805,220 cars pass through the city, which is equivalent to 37.63% of the national and at a rate of one car for every 7 people. To support this huge number of cars there is an extensive network of streets and avenues stretching across Santiago to facilitate travel between the different communities that make up the metropolitan area.

As regards public transport, during the 1990s various governmental efforts were attempted to resolve what was considered a chaotic system in the city. There were tendered in 1994 for the first time for the routes of the yellow buses (minibuses identified with the colour). Despite this, the system had serious issues of routes overlapping, contamination and unsafety for riders, and therefore a new transport system, called Transantiago
Transantiago
Transantiago is a public transport system that serves Santiago, the capital of Chile. It is considered the most ambitious transport reform undertaken by a developing country according to the World Resources Institute....

 was devised. The system was launched on February 10, 2007, combining core services across the city with a local feeder routes, which have a unified system of payment through a contactless smartcard
Contactless smart card
A contactless smart card is any pocket-sized card with embedded integrated circuits that can process and store data, and communicate with a terminal via radio waves. There are two broad categories of contactless smart cards. Memory cards contain non-volatile memory storage components, and perhaps...

 called "Tarjeta bip!". In its first months, Transantiago showed a series of errors in design and implementation, which lately have been majorly resolved by the authorities. However, a high rate of evasion of fare payment, and some frequency issues in certain areas remain as of August 2010.

Metro de Santiago
Santiago Metro
Metro de Santiago is South America's most extensive metro system with 5 lines, 108 stations and 103 kilometres of track making it the second longest in Latin America after that of Mexico City. The metro system serves the city of Santiago, Chile. Three of the lines are rubber-tyred...

 carries over 2 million passengers daily through its five lines (1, 2, 4, 4A and 5), extending over 84 km and 89 stations. In 2010, a new extension to the commune of Maipú expanded the Metro to more than 105 km in length. Construction of two new lines (3 and 6) was confirmed recently by president Sebastián Piñera, and is expected to be operating in 2014.

Other local transport systems include 25,000 taxis, identified by black colour cars and yellow roof. In regard to cycling, in recent years the city has tried to promote the use of bicycles with the construction of bike paths and bike lanes, but so far the number built is limited and with little connections between the routes. Most cyclists ride on the street, and the use of helmets and lights is not extended.

Metro

With 101 stations currently in operation and 16 under construction, the Santiago Metro
Santiago Metro
Metro de Santiago is South America's most extensive metro system with 5 lines, 108 stations and 103 kilometres of track making it the second longest in Latin America after that of Mexico City. The metro system serves the city of Santiago, Chile. Three of the lines are rubber-tyred...

 is South America's most extensive metro system. The system has five operating lines and carries around 2,400,000 passengers per day. Two underground lines (Line 4 and 4A) and an extension of Line 2 were inaugurated during late 2005 and beginning of 2006. Further extensions are currently underway on Lines 1 and 5.
An announcement of plans for a new line was made by President Bachelet. The South Express Line, Line 6, will be finished by 2014, adding 12 stations to the network and approximately 15 km of track.

Commuter Rail

The company Trenes Metropolitanos S.A. provides suburban rail service under the brandname of Metrotren
Metrotrén
The Metrotrén , is a Chilean commuter rail system operated by Trenes Metropolitanos S.A., a subsidiary of the Empresa de los Ferrocarriles del Estado , that covers 13 communes, from Santiago de Chile to San Fernando. It is connected with Metro de Santiago in Alameda station...

. There is only one southbound route, serving 18 stations between the Central Station of Santiago at Alameda and San Fernando, via Paine and Graneros. The electrified service expands over 138 km (85.75 mi). About 10 daily trains operate the full distance in each direction, with up to 30 trains between Santiago and Graneros.

Bus

Transantiago
Transantiago
Transantiago is a public transport system that serves Santiago, the capital of Chile. It is considered the most ambitious transport reform undertaken by a developing country according to the World Resources Institute....

 is the name for the city's public transport system. It works by combining local (feeder) bus lines, main bus lines and the Metro network. It includes an integrated fare system, which allows passengers to make bus-to-bus or bus-to-metro transfers for the price of one ticket, using a contactless smartcard. Fares cannot be paid in cash, and if the card does not have enough credit, it must be recharged before a trip.

Taxi

Taxicab
Taxicab
A taxicab, also taxi or cab, is a type of vehicle for hire with a driver, used by a single passenger or small group of passengers, often for a non-shared ride. A taxicab conveys passengers between locations of their choice...

s are common in Santiago and are painted black with yellow roofs and have orange license plates. So-called radiotaxis may be called up by telephone and can be any make, model, or color but should always have the orange plates. Colectivos are shared taxicabs that carry passengers along a specific route for a fixed fee.

Political divisions

Greater Santiago lacks a metropolitan government for its administration, which is currently distributed between various authorities, complicating the operation of the city as a single entity. The highest authority in Santiago is considered to be the intendant
Intendant
The title of intendant has been used in several countries through history. Traditionally, it refers to the holder of a public administrative office...

 of the Santiago Metropolitan Region
Santiago Metropolitan Region
Santiago Metropolitan Region or simply Metropolitan Region is one of Chile's 15 first order administrative divisions. It is the country's only landlocked administrative region and contains the nation's capital, Santiago...

, an unelected delegate of the president.

The whole of Greater Santiago does not fit perfectly into any administrative division, extending throughout four different provinces
Provinces of Chile
A province is the second largest administrative division in Chile, after a region. Each region is divided into provinces. There are 54 provinces in total....

 and 37 communes. The majority of its 641.4 km² (247.65 sq mi) (as of 2002) lie within Santiago Province, with some peripheral areas contained in the provinces of Cordillera
Cordillera Province, Chile
Cordillera Province is one of six provinces in the Santiago Metropolitan Region of central Chile. Its topography includes a small area of Chile's central valley, glaciers, rivers, volcanoes, and the Andes range, which forms the border with Argentina...

, Maipo
Maipo Province
Maipo Province is one of six provinces in the Santiago Metropolitan Region of central Chile. Its capital is San Bernardo.-Administration:As a province, Maipo is a second-level administrative division of Chile, governed by a provincial governor who is appointed by the president.-Communes:The...

 and Talagante
Talagante Province
Talagante Province is one of six provinces of the Santiago Metropolitan Region in central Chile. The capital is the city of Talagante, located approximately southwest of the national capital of Santiago...

.

Communes in Santiago Province
Santiago Province (Chile)
Santiago Province is one of the six provinces of the Santiago Metropolitan Region of central Chile. It encompasses the majority of the population of that region, including 31 of the 36 communities of Greater Santiago. The province spans ....

>
Santiago
Cerrillos
Cerro Navia
Cerro Navia
Cerro Navia is a commune of Chile located in Santiago Province, Santiago Metropolitan Region. It is one of the most densely populated communes of Santiago, Chile.- History :...

Conchalí
Conchalí
Conchalí is a commune of Chile located in Santiago Province, Santiago Metropolitan Region. It is a northwestern suburb of Santiago.-Demographics:...

El Bosque
Estación Central
Estación Central
Estación Central is a commune of Chile located in Santiago Province, Santiago Metropolitan Region. Its name comes from the Estación Central railway station located in the commune.-Demographics:...

Huechuraba
Huechuraba
Huechuraba is a city and commune of Chile located in Santiago Province, Santiago Metropolitan Region.Huechuraba has a mild mediterranean climate: relatively hot dry summers with temperatures reaching up to on the hottest days; winters are more humid, with typical maximum daily temperatures of ,...

Independencia
La Cisterna
La Cisterna
La Cisterna is a commune of Chile located in Santiago Province, Santiago Metropolitan Region. It was founded on 30 May 1925.-Demographics:...

La Florida
La Granja
> La Pintana
La Pintana
La Pintana is a commune of Chile located in Santiago Province, Santiago Metropolitan Region. La Pintana is home to Antumapu, the agricultural and veterinary sciences campus of University of Chile Chile's oldest university.-Demographics:...

La Reina
La Reina
La Reina is a commune of Chile located in Santiago Province, Santiago Metropolitan Region. It was created in 1963 from an eastern portion of the Ñuñoa commune...

Las Condes
Las Condes
Las Condes is a commune of Chile located in Santiago Province, Santiago Metropolitan Region. The area is inhabited primarily by upper-mid to high income families...

Lo Barnechea
Lo Barnechea
Lo Barnechea is a commune of Chile located in Santiago Province, Santiago Metropolitan Region. It is home to some of Chile's fanciest neighborhoods comparable to Beverly Hills and River Oaks...

Lo Espejo
Lo Espejo
Lo Espejo is a commune of Chile located in Santiago Province, Santiago Metropolitan Region. It has the country's largest population density.-Demographics:...

Lo Prado
Lo Prado
Lo Prado is a commune of Chile located in Santiago Province, Santiago Metropolitan Region.-Demographics:According to the 2002 census of the National Statistics Institute, Lo Prado spans an area of and has 104,316 inhabitants , making the commune an entirely urban area...

Macul
Macul
Macul is a commune of Chile located in the central-eastern part of Greater Santiago, bordered by the communes of Ñuñoa to the north, San Joaquín to the west, Peñalolén to the east and La Florida to the south....

Maipú Ñuñoa
Ñuñoa
Ñuñoa is a commune of Chile located in Santiago Province, Santiago Metropolitan Region. Its inhabitants are primarily a middle and upper-middle class....

Pedro Aguirre Cerda Peñalolén
Peñalolén
Peñalolén is a Chilean commune in Santiago Province, Santiago Metropolitan Region. It was founded on November 15, 1984.-Demographics:...

> Providencia
Providencia, Chile
Providencia is a commune of Chile located in Santiago Province, Santiago Metropolitan Region. Part of Greater Santiago, it is bordered by the communes of Santiago to the west, Recoleta to the northwest, Las Condes and Vitacura to the northeast, La Reina to the east, and Ñuñoa to the south.In 2006...

Pudahuel
Pudahuel
Pudahuel is a census-designated commune of Chile located in Santiago Province, Santiago Metropolitan Region. Santiago's international airport Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez is located there...

Quilicura
Quilicura
Quilicura founded in 1902, is a commune of Chile located in Santiago Province, Santiago Metropolitan Region. It is a satellite city on what was originally the outskirts of the city of Santiago, but as urban sprawl has set in it is now quickly urbanizing from what was recently prime agricultural land...

Quinta Normal
Quinta Normal
Quinta Normal is a commune of Chile located in Santiago Province, Santiago Metropolitan Region. It is named after a large park in the area.-Demographics:...

Recoleta Renca
Renca
Renca is a commune of Chile located in Santiago Province, Santiago Metropolitan Region. It was founded on May 6, 1894.-Demographics:According to the 2002 census of the National Statistics Institute, Renca spans an area of and has 133,518 inhabitants , making the commune an entirely urban area...

San Joaquín
San Joaquín
San Joaquín is a commune of Chile located in Santiago Province, Santiago Metropolitan Region.The alcalde's office and municipal building is located at Ave...

San Miguel San Ramón Vitacura
Vitacura
Vitacura is a commune of Chile located in Santiago Province, Santiago Metropolitan Region. It is one of the most expensive and fashionable areas of Santiago...

Communes in other provinces > Padre Hurtado
Padre Hurtado
Padre Hurtado is a Chilean city and commune in Talagante Province, Santiago Metropolitan Region. A portion of the commune belongs to the Greater Santiago conurbation...

Pirque
Pirque
Pirque is a commune of Chile in Cordillera Province, Santiago Metropolitan Region; it is located 2.8 kilometers SE of Puente Alto and 21.3 kilometers SSE of the center of Santiago. It is situated in a mountain chain.-Demographics:...

> Puente Alto
Puente Alto
Puente Alto is a city and commune of Chile. It is the capital of the Cordillera Province in the Santiago Metropolitan Region. Located at the south of the Greater Santiago conurbation, it houses 492,603 inhabitants , making it the largest city in Chile...

San Bernardo
San Bernardo, Chile
San Bernardo is a Chilean city and commune. It is the capital of the Maipo Province in the Santiago Metropolitan Region. It is the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Bernardo.-Demographics:...

> San José de Maipo
San José de Maipo
San José de Maipo is the name of a commune in Chile and the city within it, located in Cordillera Province, Santiago Metropolitan Region, some 48 kilometers south-east of capital Santiago, bordered on the east by the Argentina, across the Andes.-Demographics:...


Culture

Despite its long history, there are only a few historical buildings from the Spanish colonial period left in the city, because Santiago - as the rest of the country - is regularly hit by earthquakes. The buildings from this period include the Casa Colorada (1769), the Church San Francisco (1586) and Posada del Corregidor (1750).
Another reason that it lacks old buildings from this time is the relatively new prosperity of Chile; at the time of the Spanish colony, the city had a low economic impact, the upswing came after the independence of the country. This explains the newness of the buildings built mainly in neoclassic style.
The Cathedral on the central square (Plaza de Armas), 1745 according to plans by Joaquim Toesca built, ranks as the sights as Palacio de La Moneda, the Classicist Presidential Palace. The original building was between 1784 and 1805 of the architect Joaquín Toesca. Since 1846, the Presidential Palace is home to the Government.

Other buildings at the Plaza de Armas were finished in 1882 and between 1804 and 1807 built Palacio de la real Audjencia, of 18. September 1810 - today date of Nationalfeiertages - met the first Government of the country.
The Centre houses the historical museum with 12,000 exhibits. In the South-East of the square is the built in 1893 blue Eisenkontruktion of Edwards Kaufhauses (Edificio commercial Edwards) and the 1769 finished colonial building the "Casa Colorada", the historical city museum
Close is the (Teatro Municipal) Theatre. In 1906 by an earthquake destroyed building was built of the French architect Brunet of Edward Baines 1857. Not far from the theatre the Mansión Subercaseaux (today seat Banco Edwards) and the National Library (one of the largest libraries of South America). Grouped opposite are the previous National Convention, the law courts, and the Royal Customs House (Palacio real Casa de Aduana), together with the Museum of pre-Columbian art.
A fire destroyed the building in 1895. It was then rebuilt and reopened 1901 in neoclassic style. The first Chilean National Congress was 4. July 1811 decision (1810) the Government junta in Santiago formed by. The Congress was deposed under the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet (1973–1989) and after the dictatorship in Valparaíso on 11. Newly constituted March 1990.
The Plaza Montt is the building of the Justice Palace (Palacio de Tribun Musicales). The building was between 1907 and 1926 of the architect Emilio Doyére. It is home to the Supreme Court (Corte comparison de Justicia). The Kollegialgericht with 21 judges is the highest judiciary in Chile. The judges be proposed by the judges of the Supreme Court and appointed by the President on lifetime. The building is also home of the Supreme Court of appeal.

At the Plaza Montt is the building of the Justice Palace (Palacio de Tribunales). The building was created from 1907 to 1926 after plans by the architect Emilio Doyére. It is the seat of the Supreme Court (Corte Suprema de Justicia). The panel of 21 judges is the highest judicial power in Chile. The judges are appointed by the judges of the Supreme Court and proposed by the President appointed for life. The building is also headquarters of the Supreme Court of the country.
Calle Bandera ("Banner Street") leads to the building of the Merchants' Exchange (the Bolsa de Comercio), completed in 1917, to the Club de la Unión (its building was opened in 1925), to the Universidad de Chile (1872), and to the oldest churchhouse in the city, the Iglesia de San Francisco (constructed between 1586 and 1628), with its Marian statue, La Virgen del Socorro ("The Virgin of Succour"), by Pedro de Valdivia. North of the Plaza de Armas ("Place of Arms", where the colonial militia was mustered), the Paseo Puente to Santo Domingo Church (1771) and Market (Mercado Central), a powerful iron construction. In the center of Santiago is the Torre Entel, a 127.4-meter-high television tower with observation deck, all completed in 1974; the tower serves as a communication center for the leading telephone company, ENTEL Chile.

With the Costanera Center, a commercial and architectural landmark of the capital. When completed in 2009 is a combination of jobs, housing, shopping and entertainment venues have been achieved. The project with a total area of 600,000 square meters, includes the 300-meter high "Gran Torre Costanera" (South America's tallest building) and three other commercial buildings with shopping malls, shops, cinemas, an amusement centre, restaurants, hotels, offices and luxury apartments. The four office towers extensive building complex is replaced by a highway and subway connections.

Music

There are two symphonic orchestras:
  • Orquesta Filarmónica de Santiago ("Philharmonic Orchestra of Santiago"), which performs in the Teatro Municipal ("Municipal Theater")
  • Orquesta Sinfónica de Chile ("Symphonic Orchestra of Chile"), dependent of the Universidad de Chile, performs in its theater.


There are a number of jazz establishments, some of them, including "El Perseguidor", "Thelonious", and "Le Fournil Jazz Club", are located in Bellavista, one of Santiago's "hippest" neighborhoods, though "Club de Jazz de Santiago", the oldest and most traditional one, is in Ñuñoa.

Annual festivals feature in Santiago with various acts such as Lollapalooza
Lollapalooza
Lollapalooza is an annual music festival featuring popular alternative rock, heavy metal, punk rock and hip hop bands, dance and comedy performances, and craft booths. It has also provided a platform for non-profit and political groups. The music festival hosts more than 160,000 people over a...

 and Maquinaria festival
Maquinaria festival
Maquinaria Festival is a festival held in Chile, which gathers different musical styles and brings the grandeur of European festivals of music, mixing different forms of art and consciousness.-2010 festival:...


Newspapers

The most widely circulated newspapers in Chile are published by El Mercurio
El Mercurio
El Mercurio is a conservative Chilean newspaper with editions in Valparaíso and Santiago. Its Santiago edition is considered the country's paper-of-record and its Valparaíso edition is the oldest daily in the Spanish language currently in circulation. El Mercurio is owned by El Mercurio S.A.P...

and Copesa
Copesa
Copesa is one of the more important Chilean media conglomerate. Copesa is controlled by Álvaro Saieh, a Chilean business man.-Overview:...

and have earned more than the 901% of revenues generated in printed advertising in Chile.

Some of the most popular newspapers available in Santiago are:
  • El Mercurio
    El Mercurio
    El Mercurio is a conservative Chilean newspaper with editions in Valparaíso and Santiago. Its Santiago edition is considered the country's paper-of-record and its Valparaíso edition is the oldest daily in the Spanish language currently in circulation. El Mercurio is owned by El Mercurio S.A.P...

  • La Tercera
    La Tercera
    La Tercera , formerly known as La Tercera de la Hora , is a daily newspaper published in Santiago, Chile and owned by Copesa. It is El Mercurios closest competitor....

  • La Cuarta
    La Cuarta
    La Cuarta is a Chilean daily tabloid part of the Copesa group. Both in style and content it is the closest the Chilean press comes to a good old-fashioned British Tabloid.The newspaper is famous for its tone and plebeian style of headlining stories....

  • Las Últimas Noticias
    Las Últimas Noticias
    Las Últimas Noticias is a Chilean, daily middle market tabloid newspaper owned by El Mercurio SAP....

  • La Segunda
  • The Clinic
    The Clinic
    The Clinic is a Chilean satirical/investigative newspaper founded by Patricio Fernández Chadwick in November 1998. The name was inspired by Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet's October 1998 arrest in Britain at The London Clinic, which bears the name The Clinic on its façade...

  • The Santiago Times
    The Santiago Times
    The Santiago Times is an English-language newspaper published in Santiago, Chile that reports news in Chile and the other parts of Latin America. It is part of The Chilean Information Project reporting on environmental, social and economic issues within Chile...


Sports

Santiago is home of Chile's most successful football clubs. The most successful of them is Colo Colo. It was founded on April 19, 1925. It has a long tradition and plays since the establishment of the first Chilean league in 1933 continuously in the highest league. 29 national titles, 10 Copa Chile
Copa Chile
The Copa Chile is an annual cup competition for Chilean football teams. Due to time constraints and club pressure, the trophy was cancelled in 2000, but returned in 2008...

 successes and in 1991 champions of Copa Libertadores, Chile's only team that ever won the tournament. The club hosts its home games in the Estadio Monumental, in the commune of Macul.

Another great club is CF Universidad de Chile. The club is considered one of the best known and most successful with 14 national titles and 3 Copa Chile successes. It was founded on May 24, 1927 under the name Club Deportivo Universitario as a union of Club Náutico and Federación Universitaria. The founders were students of the Universidad de Chile. 1980, the organization separated from the University of Chile and the club is now completely independent. The team plays its home games in the Estadio Nacional de Chile, in the commune of Ñuñoa.
Club Deportivo Universidad Católica
Club Deportivo Universidad Católica
Club Deportivo Universidad Católica is a professional football club based in Santiago, Chile, which plays in the Primera División.Universidad Católica is one of the most successful and popular football clubs in Chile and considered one of the three "big teams"...

 was founded on April 21, 1937 and is also often referred to briefly as UC. It consists of fourteen different departments responsible for the students of the same university are excluded. Far beyond the borders of Chile is known mainly for his club soccer team. This team plays its home games in Estadio San Carlos de Apoquindo. Universidad Católica has 10 national titles, making it the third most successful football club in the country. It has played the Copa Libertadores more than 20 times, reaching the final in 1993, losing to São Paulo FC.

Several other football clubs are based in Santiago, the most important of them being Unión Española
Unión Española
Club Unión Española S.A.D.P is a professional Chilean football based in Independencia, Santiago de Chile. Founded by a Spanish immigrants on 18 May 1897, Unión Española have participated in the top-tier of Chilean football for all of their existence but two seasons in the late '90s .Unión Española...

, Audax Italiano
Audax Club Sportivo Italiano
Audax Italiano La Florida is a Chilean football club based in La Florida. Founded in 1910, it plays in the Chilean Primera División and has spent most of their history in the top tier of Chilean football. Audax has been national champions four times, being the sixth chilean team with more title...

, Palestino
Club Deportivo Palestino
Club Deportivo Palestino, is a professional football club based in the city of Santiago, Chile. The club was founded in 1920 and plays in the Primera División de Chile...

 and Santiago Morning
Club de Deportes Santiago Morning
Club de Deportes Santiago Morning is a Chilean professional football club based in Recoleta, Santiago. They compete in the Chilean Primera División since 1933, when the league was founded. Santiago Morning was one of the founding teams of the league...

.

In addition to playing football in particular tennis and horse riding (here especially the Chilean Rodeo) plays an important role. In the entire metropolitan area are distributed Wettstuben in which mainly the male population of Santiago, the horse racing track at screens. Completed the 1904 Club Hípico is located in the south of the city.

Other Sports includes Rowing and Canoeing, which is practiced in two Lakes nearby. The first is Laguna Carén, which is reachable with Public Transport (Buses J-11 and J-12 which departs from Metro Station "Pajaritos" (Line 1) or "Barrancas" (Line 5), 5 minute ride by bus). The other option is Aculeo which is located 40 km south. More Information at www.remometropolitano.clRemo Metropolitano

Recreation

There is an extensive network of bicycle trails in the city, especially in the Providencia comuna. The longest section is the Americo Vespuccio road, which contains a very wide dirt path with many trees through the center of a street used by motorists on both sides. The next longest path is along the Mapocho River along avenida Andrés Bello. Many people use folding bicycles to commute to work.

The city's main parks are:
  • Cerro San Cristóbal
    Cerro San Cristóbal
    Cerro San Cristóbal is a hill in northern Santiago, Chile. It rises 880 m AMSL and about 300 m above the rest of Santiago; the peak is the second highest point in the city, after Cerro Renca. Its original indigenous name was Tupahue...

     - San Cristóbal Hill
    Cerro San Cristóbal
    Cerro San Cristóbal is a hill in northern Santiago, Chile. It rises 880 m AMSL and about 300 m above the rest of Santiago; the peak is the second highest point in the city, after Cerro Renca. Its original indigenous name was Tupahue...

    , which includes the Santiago Metropolitan Park Zoo
  • Parque O'Higgins - O'Higgins Park
  • Parque Forestal - Forestal Park, park located at the city center alongside Mapocho river
  • Cerro Santa Lucía
    Cerro Santa Lucía
    Santa Lucía Hill is a small hill in the centre of Santiago, Chile. It borders on Alameda del Libertador Bernardo O'Higgins in the south, Santa Lucía Street in the west and Victoria Subercaseaux on the east. An adjacent metro station is named for it. The hill has an altitude of 629 m and a height...

     - Santa Lucía Hill
  • Parque Araucano in Las Condes adjacent to the Parque Arauco shopping mall contains 30 hectares of gardens. It is closed for maintenance on Mondays.
  • Parque Inés de Suarez, Providencia.
  • Parque Padre Hurtado(a.k.a. Parque Intercomunal).

There are ski resorts to the east of the city (Valle Nevado
Valle Nevado
Valle Nevado is a popular ski resort located 46 kilometers east of Santiago, Chile.Valle Nevado is one of South America's most modern ski resorts...

, La Parva
La Parva
La Parva is a town and ski resort located about northeast of the Chilean capital of Santiago. It is in the middle ridge of the "3 Valleys" resorts that also includes El Colorado and Valle Nevado....

, El Colorado
El Colorado
El Colorado is a settlement in northern Argentina. It is located in Formosa Province....

) and wineries in the plains west of the city.

Cultural places to visit include:
  • Museo de Bellas Artes - Fine Arts Museum
  • Barrio Bellavista
    Barrio Bellavista
    Barrio Bellavista is an area that lies between the Mapocho River and San Cristóbal Hill in Santiago, Chile. It is known as Santiago's bohemian quarter, with new hip restaurants, boutiques, and avant-garde galleries occupying loft spaces and lordly mansions that punctuate tree-lined streets awash...

    , cultural and bohemian neighborhood
  • Central Station, railway station designed by Gustave Eiffel
    Gustave Eiffel
    Alexandre Gustave Eiffel was a French structural engineer from the École Centrale Paris, an architect, an entrepreneur and a specialist of metallic structures...

  • Víctor Jara Stadium
  • Ex National Congress
    Ex Congreso Nacional
    The Former National Congress Building is the former home of the Chilean Congress. Congress met in this building in central Santiago until Salvador Allende's socialist government was overthrown by Augusto Pinochet's military coup d'état on September 11, 1973.During the Pinochet dictatorship,...

  • Plaza de Armas
    Plaza de Armas
    The Plaza de Armas is the name for the main square in many Latin American cities. In Mexico this space is known as El Zócalo, and in Central America as Parque Central...

    , central square
  • Palacio de La Moneda
    Palacio de La Moneda
    Palacio de La Moneda , or simply La Moneda, is the seat of the President of the Republic of Chile. It also houses the offices of three cabinet ministers: Interior, General Secretariat of the Presidency and General Secretariat of the Government...

    , government palace


The main sport venues are Estadio Nacional
Estadio Nacional de Chile
The Estadio Nacional Julio Martínez Prádanos is the national stadium of Chile, and is located in the Ñuñoa district of Santiago). It is the largest stadium in Chile with an official capacity of 47,000, and is part of a 62 ha sporting complex which also features tennis courts, an aquatics center, a...

 (site of the 1962 World Cup
1962 FIFA World Cup
The 1962 FIFA World Cup, the seventh staging of the World Cup, was held in Chile from 30 May to 17 June. It was won by Brazil, who retained the championship by beating Czechoslovakia 3–1 in the final...

 final), Estadio Monumental David Arellano
Estadio Monumental David Arellano
Estadio Monumental is a football stadium in Santiago, Chile. Completed in 1989, the stadium has a current spectator capacity of 45,000. Originally, the stadium could hold up to 65,000 spectators but that was dramatically reduced for security reasons...

, Estadio Santa Laura
Estadio Santa Laura
Estadio Santa Laura is a football stadium in Independencia, Santiago, Chile. It is the home stadium of Unión Española. The stadium holds 22,000 people and was built in 1922. It is a multi - use stadium , also used for concerts. It is rarely sold out for soccer matches and attendance is rarely...

 and Estadio San Carlos de Apoquindo
Estadio San Carlos de Apoquindo
Estadio San Carlos de Apoquindo is a multi-purpose stadium, in Santiago, Chile. It is currently used mostly for football matches and is the home stadium of Club Deportivo Universidad Católica...

.

Religion

As in most of Chile, the majority of the population of Santiago is Catholic. According to the National Census, carried out in 2002 by the National Statistics Bureau (INE), in the Santiago Metropolitan Region, 3,129,249 people 15 and older identified themselves as Catholics, equivalent to 68.7% of the total population, while 595,173 (13.1%) described themselves as Evangelical Protestants. Around 1.2% of the population declared themselves as being Jehovah's Witnesses
Jehovah's Witnesses
Jehovah's Witnesses is a millenarian restorationist Christian denomination with nontrinitarian beliefs distinct from mainstream Christianity. The religion reports worldwide membership of over 7 million adherents involved in evangelism, convention attendance of over 12 million, and annual...

, while 0.9% identified themselves as Latter-day Saints (Mormons), 0.25% as Jewish
Judaism
Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

, 0.11% as Orthodox and 0.03% as Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

. Approximately 10.4% of the population of the Metropolitan Region stated that they were atheist
Atheism
Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities. In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities...

 or agnostic
Agnosticism
Agnosticism is the view that the truth value of certain claims—especially claims about the existence or non-existence of any deity, but also other religious and metaphysical claims—is unknown or unknowable....

, while 5.4% declared that they followed other religions.

Education

The city is home to numerous universities, colleges, research institutions and libraries.

The largest university and one of the oldest on the American continent is Universidad de Chile. The roots of the University date back to the year 1622, as on 19 August the first university in Chile under the name of Santo Tomás de Aquino was founded. On 28 July 1738, it was named the Real Universidad de San Felipe
Philip the Apostle
Philip the Apostle was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus. Later Christian traditions describe Philip as the apostle who preached in Greece, Syria, and Phrygia....

 in honor of King Philip V of Spain
Philip V of Spain
Philip V was King of Spain from 15 November 1700 to 15 January 1724, when he abdicated in favor of his son Louis, and from 6 September 1724, when he assumed the throne again upon his son's death, to his death.Before his reign, Philip occupied an exalted place in the royal family of France as a...

. In the vernacular, it is also known as Casa de Bello (Spanish: Bellos house - after their first Rector, Andrés Bello
Andrés Bello
Andrés de Jesús María y José Bello López was a Venezuelan humanist, poet, lawmaker, philosopher, educator and philologist, whose political and literary works constitute an important part of Spanish American culture...

) known. On 17 April 1839, after Chile from the mother country, the Kingdom of Spain, became independent, was officially to the University Universidad de Chile, and opened on 17 September 1843.

The Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (PUC) was founded in June 1888. On 11 February 1930 was the university by a decree by Pope
Pope
The Pope is the Bishop of Rome, a position that makes him the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church . In the Catholic Church, the Pope is regarded as the successor of Saint Peter, the Apostle...

 Pius XI. to an appointed Pontifical University, 1931, the full recognition by the Chilean government. Joaquín Larraín Gandarillas
Joaquín Larraín Gandarillas
Monsignor Joaquín Larraín Gandarillas was a Chilean priest, Roman Catholic bishop of Santiago, professor, writer and first president of the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile.-Early life:...

 (1822–1897), Archbishop of Anazarba, was the founder and first rector of the PUC. The PUC is a modern university; the campus of San Joaquin has a number of contemporary buildings and offers many parks and sports facilities. Several courses are conducted in English. The current president Sebastián Piñera
Sebastián Piñera
Miguel Juan Sebastián Piñera Echenique is a Chilean businessman and politician. He was elected President of Chile in January 2010, taking office in March 2010.- Education :...

, minister Ricardo Raineri
Ricardo Raineri
Ricardo Jorge Raineri Bernain is an economist, academic, researcher, consultant, and politician. On February 9, 2010, Chile's current President Sebastián Piñera nominated him to the Ministry of Energy.-Biography:...

, and minister Hernán de Solminihac all attended PUC as students and worked in PUC as professors. In the 2010 admission process, approximately 48% of the students who achieved the best score in the Prueba de Selección Universitaria
Prueba de Selección Universitaria
The University Selection Test or, as it is more commonly referred to, PSU, is a standardized university admissions examination used in Chile. It replaced in 2003 the Prueba de Aptitud Académica which had been working on since 1966....

 matriculated in the UC.

Traditional

  • Universidad de Chile
    Universidad de Chile (university)
    The University of Chile is the largest and oldest institution of higher education in Chile and one of the oldest in the Americas. Founded in 1842 as the replacement and continuation of the former colonial Royal University of San Felipe , the university is often called Casa de Bello in honor of...

     (U or UCH)
  • Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
    Pontifical Catholic University of Chile
    The Pontifical Catholic University of Chile is one of the six Catholic Universities existing in the Chilean university system and one of the two Pontifical Universities in the country, along with the Pontifical Catholic University of Valparaíso. It is also one of Chile's oldest universities and...

     (PUC)
  • Universidad de Santiago de Chile (USACH)
  • Universidad Metropolitana de Ciencias de la Educación
    Universidad Metropolitana de Ciencias de la Educación
    The Metropolitan University of Educational Sciences is a university specialized in Pedagogy and located in the commune of Ñuñoa, Santiago, Chile.-History:The university was created in 1889 as the Instituto Pedagógico de la Universidad de Chile...

     (UMCE)
  • Universidad Tecnológica Metropolitana
    Universidad Tecnológica Metropolitana
    Metropolitan University of Technology is a university in Chile. It is part of the Chilean Traditional Universities.- External links :*...

     (UTEM)
  • Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María
    Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María
    thumbnail|right|276px|University frontisThe Federico Santa María Technical University , is a Chilean university situated in Valparaíso, Chile...

     (UTFSM)

Non-traditional

  • Universidad Academia de Humanismo Cristiano
    Academy of Christian Humanism University
    The Academy of Christian Humanism University is a Chilean non-profit private university, founded in 1988 but whose origins date back to 1975 when establishing the Academy of Christian Humanism, led by Cardinal Raúl Silva Henríquez , whose purpose was to bring together a group of intellectuals to...

     (UAHC)
  • Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez
    Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez
    The Adolfo Ibáñez University is a private university of Chile pertaining to the Adolfo Ibáñez Foundation. In 1988, according with the new educational legislation, a new university was founded on the base of the Valparaiso Business School , an old institution for the professional teaching in...

     (UAI)
  • Universidad Alberto Hurtado
    Universidad Alberto Hurtado
    Alberto Hurtado University is a Jesuit university located in downtown Santiago. Established in 1997, the university was created from the merger of three separate institutes,Instituto Latinoamericano de Doctrina y Estudios Sociales , the Centro de Investigación, Desarrollo de la Educación , and the...

     (UAH)
  • Universidad Bolivariana
  • Universidad Católica Raúl Silva Henríquez
  • Universidad Central de Chile
  • Universidad de Artes y Ciencias Sociales (Arcis)
  • Universidad de Artes, Ciencias y Comunicación
    Universidad de Artes, Ciencias y Comunicación
    University for the Arts, Sciences, and Communication is a Chilean university. It is a for-profit institution owned by the Apollo Group.- External links :*...

     (UNIACC)
  • Universidad de Ciencias de la Informática (UCINF) [www.ucinf.cl/]
  • Universidad de las Américas
    Universidad de las Américas (Chile)
    Universidad de Las Americas, is a private Chilean university, founded in 1988, belonging to the network Laureate International Universities private Universities...

  • Universidad de Los Andes
  • Universidad del Desarrollo
    Universidad del Desarrollo
    Universidad del Desarrollo is a Chilean private university. Its main campus is in Concepción, with a secondary campus in the same city, and two more in Santiago.-History of Universidad del Desarrollo :...

  • Universidad del Pacífico
  • Universidad Diego Portales
    Universidad Diego Portales
    Diego Portales University is one of the first private universities founded in Chile and is named after the Chilean statesman Diego Portales.Since its foundation, the University has consistently been focused on academic improvement, which has led UDP to be positioned as one of the best universities...

  • Universidad Europea de Negocios
  • Universidad Finis Terrae
  • Universidad Gabriela Mistral
    Universidad Gabriela Mistral
    -External links:* * http://www.ugm.cl...

     (UGM)
  • Universidad Mayor
    Universidad Mayor
    Universidad Mayor is a Chilean private university. Its main campus is in Santiago, with a secondary campus in Temuco.-History of Universidad Mayor :The University was founded in Santiago, in 1988...

     (UM) http://www.umayor.cl/
  • Universidad Nacional Andrés Bello
    Universidad Nacional Andrés Bello
    Universidad Andrés Bello is a Chilean private university created in 1988. It belongs to the Laureate International Universities group.Andrés Bello University ranks as the 10th Chilean university according to the classification webometric CSIC 2011.2 in July and the 2nd Latin American private...

     (Unab)
  • Universidad Pedro de Valdivia (Upv)
  • Universidad Santo Tomás
  • Universidad San Sebastián
    Universidad San Sebastián
    Saint Sebastian University is a private Chilean university with its headquarters located in Concepción. The university also has faculties in Santiago, Valdivia, Osorno and Puerto Montt. It was founded in 1989, and received formal state recognition as a university in 2001.-External links:*...

  • Universidad Tecnológica Vicente Pérez Rosales
  • Instituto profesional DuocUC, de la Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, DuocUC, http://www.duoc.cl, :es:DuocUC
  • Instituto profesional INACAP

Other

  • Ruprecht Karl University of Heidelberg
    Ruprecht Karl University of Heidelberg
    The Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg is a public research university located in Heidelberg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. Founded in 1386, it is the oldest university in Germany and was the third university established in the Holy Roman Empire. Heidelberg has been a coeducational institution...

    's Postgraduierten- und Weiterbildungszentrum der Universität Heidelberg in Santiago
  • David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies
    David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies
    Founded in 1994, Harvard's David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies works to increase knowledge of the cultures, economies, histories, environment, and contemporary affairs of past and present Latin America. The Center's main office is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts at Harvard...

     (DRCLAS) Regional Office in Santiago
  • Stanford Faculty in Santiago

Twin towns — Sister cities

Santiago is twinned
Town twinning
Twin towns and sister cities are two of many terms used to describe the cooperative agreements between towns, cities, and even counties in geographically and politically distinct areas to promote cultural and commercial ties.- Terminology :...

 with:
Beijing
Beijing
Beijing , also known as Peking , is the capital of the People's Republic of China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of 19,612,368 as of 2010. The city is the country's political, cultural, and educational center, and home to the headquarters for most of China's...

, China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

 (2007) São Paulo
São Paulo
São Paulo is the largest city in Brazil, the largest city in the southern hemisphere and South America, and the world's seventh largest city by population. The metropolis is anchor to the São Paulo metropolitan area, ranked as the second-most populous metropolitan area in the Americas and among...

, Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

 (1998) Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires is the capital and largest city of Argentina, and the second-largest metropolitan area in South America, after São Paulo. It is located on the western shore of the estuary of the Río de la Plata, on the southeastern coast of the South American continent...

, Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

 (1992) Miami, United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 Bogota
Bogotá
Bogotá, Distrito Capital , from 1991 to 2000 called Santa Fé de Bogotá, is the capital, and largest city, of Colombia. It is also designated by the national constitution as the capital of the department of Cundinamarca, even though the city of Bogotá now comprises an independent Capital district...

, Colombia
Colombia
Colombia, officially the Republic of Colombia , is a unitary constitutional republic comprising thirty-two departments. The country is located in northwestern South America, bordered to the east by Venezuela and Brazil; to the south by Ecuador and Peru; to the north by the Caribbean Sea; to the...

 Madrid
Madrid
Madrid is the capital and largest city of Spain. The population of the city is roughly 3.3 million and the entire population of the Madrid metropolitan area is calculated to be 6.271 million. It is the third largest city in the European Union, after London and Berlin, and its metropolitan...

, Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 (1991)
Ankara
Ankara
Ankara is the capital of Turkey and the country's second largest city after Istanbul. The city has a mean elevation of , and as of 2010 the metropolitan area in the entire Ankara Province had a population of 4.4 million....

, Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

 (2000) Kiev
Kiev
Kiev or Kyiv is the capital and the largest city of Ukraine, located in the north central part of the country on the Dnieper River. The population as of the 2001 census was 2,611,300. However, higher numbers have been cited in the press....

, Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

 (1998) Riga
Riga
Riga is the capital and largest city of Latvia. With 702,891 inhabitants Riga is the largest city of the Baltic states, one of the largest cities in Northern Europe and home to more than one third of Latvia's population. The city is an important seaport and a major industrial, commercial,...

, Latvia
Latvia
Latvia , officially the Republic of Latvia , is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by Estonia , to the south by Lithuania , to the east by the Russian Federation , to the southeast by Belarus and shares maritime borders to the west with Sweden...

 Guayaquil
Guayaquil
Guayaquil , officially Santiago de Guayaquil , is the largest and the most populous city in Ecuador,with about 2.3 million inhabitants in the city and nearly 3.1 million in the metropolitan area, as well as that nation's main port...

, Ecuador
Ecuador
Ecuador , officially the Republic of Ecuador is a representative democratic republic in South America, bordered by Colombia on the north, Peru on the east and south, and by the Pacific Ocean to the west. It is one of only two countries in South America, along with Chile, that do not have a border...

 Minneapolis, United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 (1961) Langreo
Langreo
Langreo, , officially Llangréu / Langreo is a municipality of northern Spain, province of The Principality of Asturias....

, Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 (2007)
Plasencia
Plasencia
Plasencia is a walled market city in the province of Cáceres, Extremadura, Western Spain. , it had a population of 41,447.Situated on the bank of the Jerte River, Plasencia has a historic quarter that is a consequence of the city's strategic location along the Silver Route, or Ruta de la Plata...

, Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 (2007) Santiago de Querétaro
Santiago de Querétaro
Santiago de Querétaro is the capital and largest city of the state of Querétaro, located in central Mexico. It is located 213 km northwest of Mexico City, 96 km southeast of San Miguel de Allende and 200 km south of San Luis Potosí...

, Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

 (2008)Tunis
Tunis
Tunis is the capital of both the Tunisian Republic and the Tunis Governorate. It is Tunisia's largest city, with a population of 728,453 as of 2004; the greater metropolitan area holds some 2,412,500 inhabitants....

, Tunisia
Tunisia
Tunisia , officially the Tunisian RepublicThe long name of Tunisia in other languages used in the country is: , is the northernmost country in Africa. It is a Maghreb country and is bordered by Algeria to the west, Libya to the southeast, and the Mediterranean Sea to the north and east. Its area...

 (1994, "Friendship Pact") La Paz
La Paz
Nuestra Señora de La Paz is the administrative capital of Bolivia, as well as the departmental capital of the La Paz Department, and the second largest city in the country after Santa Cruz de la Sierra...

, Bolivia
Bolivia
Bolivia officially known as Plurinational State of Bolivia , is a landlocked country in central South America. It is the poorest country in South America...

 Manila
Manila
Manila is the capital of the Philippines. It is one of the sixteen cities forming Metro Manila.Manila is located on the eastern shores of Manila Bay and is bordered by Navotas and Caloocan to the north, Quezon City to the northeast, San Juan and Mandaluyong to the east, Makati on the southeast,...

, Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...


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