"This is where it began" Top 5 Page for this destination Cerro Santa Lucia Tip by TheWanderingCamel
Cerro Santa Lucia, Santiago: 30 reviews and 71 photos
Cerro Santa Lucia rises up in the very heart of Santiago, winding paths and stairways leading up through lush green gardens to a small plaza where an old city gate faces a memorial sculpture of the Mapuche Indian leader, Caupolican, who led his people against Pedro de Valdivia and his conquistadores. The Mapuche knew the hill as Huelén - a place of sadness. Maybe they couldread the future.
When Valdivia proclaimed the founding of the city of Santiago de Nueva Extramadura in December 12, 1541 at the nearby Plaza de Armas, he named the little hill for the saint whose day fell on that date.
Elaborate tiers of yellow and white colonnades known as Castillo Hidalgo and the fountains of Terazza Neptuno form the entrance on the corner of the Alameda, from here you can take steps and stairs all the way up to the top or the longer, and somewhat less strenuous, winding pathway. There's also an elevator at the other end of the park for those less energetically inclined.
There's a small chapel on the summit, the burial place of Benjamin Vicuña Mackenna, the man responsible for the creation of the park in 1872 - until Ben got to work, the hill had been neglected for centuries. The views of the city and the mountains beyond from the top are spectacular (don't be tempted to take in the city's night scene from here though - the park is lovely by day but has a bad reputation by night).
Visitors are required to sign an entry book.
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