HISTORY OF SANTIAGO AND SURROUNDINGS
According to archaeological studies, it is estimated that the first inhabitants of Santiago was established themselves around the year 800, with the emergence of farming communities that cultivated potatoes, beans and corn alongside the Mapocho River basin. These towns belonged to picunches under the influence of the Inca Empire, which built some fortresses such as Huaca del Cerro Chena and the Santuario del Cerro El Plomo.
With the arrival of the Spaniards, the conquistador Pedro de Valdivia founded the city of Santiago del Nuevo Extremo on February 12, 1541. It was the master alarife Pedro de Gamboa who designed the street grid layout in a Spanish style. The city was attacked by the Indians in September of that year, during the War of Arauco, but managed to be protected. In addition, Santiago suffered several earthquakes, so it was not until 1607 that the Real Audencia (Royal Court) was established in Santiago, which gave it the role of capital in Chile.
The first buildings of Santiago began to be built around 1561, with the Catedral de Santiago Santiago Cathedral) and la Iglesia de San Francisco San Francisco Church) in 1572, made of adobe and stone. In 1767 Puente Cal y Canto was constructed, which joined the northern area known as La Chimba.
Also in 1780 the construction of major buildings such as Palacio de la Moneda was performed as the Palacio de la Moneda, the facade of the Cathedral and the design for the San Carlos canal were performed, all of these constructions were done by Italian architect Joaquín Toesca.
In 1810 the First Government Meeting in Santiago was proclaimed, which began the process of Independence of Chile, which was finally consolidated in 1818 during the Battle of Maipú.
After this, Bernardo O'Higgins assumes the position of Supreme Director , i n the period known as Patria Nueva (New Nation) in which important works such as the construction of the Paseo de la Alameda de las Delicias were performed.
Subsequently during the nineteenth century in the so-called Conservative Republic, different institutions such as the Universidad de Chile and Quinta Normal, Park of Cerro Santa Lucía, Teatro Municipal (Municipal Theatre), Club Hípico and the current Parque O’Higgins were built.
In the year 1857, the first railroad reaches Santiago, which made it the centerpiece of the country's rail system. In 1884, Estación Central de Santiago (Central Station of Santiago) is opened.
During the twentieth century, Santiago became the economic center of Chile and major banks and shops were set up in the capital. Also, several municipalities were created to improve the local administration of the city. In the beginning of the century the construction work of the Santuario de Inmaculada Concepción on the summit of Cerro San Cristóbal began and also an Observatorio Astronómico (Astronomical Observatory) was installed in 1903.
In 1910 the Centenary of the Republic was held with the implementation of various urban projects in the capital, including the expansion of the rail network to Cajon del Maipo, the construction of Estacion Mapocho (Mapocho Station) in the north of the city, the creation of Parque Forestal and Museo de Bellas Artes (National Museum of Fine Arts) and the Biblioteca Nacional (National Library).
At the start of the 20's, Santiago's growth began to accelerate and the people began to settle in the foothill areas, while the downtown area became a financial, commercial and governmental sector.
In the 60's major advances were made in the city, with the construction of the International Airport of Pudahuel and the Metro de Santiago (Santiago Subway) network.
With the start of the 21st century, Santiago positioned itself as a modern metropolis, with urban highways, major skyscrapers and large housing complexes and shopping centers.