Historic Quarter of the Seaport City of Valparaíso - Chile
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member denben
S 33° 02.440 W 071° 37.680
19H E 254580 N 6341134
Quick Description: Historic Quarter of the Seaport City of Valparaíso: World Heritage Site
Location: Chile
Date Posted: 6/4/2011 9:45:20 PM
Waymark Code: WMBN3Y
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Tervas
Views: 10

Long Description:
The city of Valparaíso, the second largest in Chile, is exceptional testimony to the early phase of globalization in the late 19th century. It is located on the Pacific coast some 100 km north-west of Santiago, in the centre of the country. The geography of Valparaíso consists of a bay, a narrow coastal plain and a series of hills. The World Heritage site is located between the sea and the first terrace, in the area where the city first developed.

The territory was originally inhabited by Chango Indians, who lived on farming and fishing. The site was discovered by Juan de Saavedra in 1536, and the settlement was founded by Pedro de Valdivia in 1544, and it was designated the first port of the nation in 1554. After a disastrous earthquake in 1730, the inhabitants were forced to move on to the hillsides, thus developing the most characteristic feature of the town. From this time on, most of the settlement developed over the hills. The main economic resource gradually shifted from wheat to saltpeter. Following this development, the town was articulated into areas characterized by their principal activities, such as commerce, harbour, industry and business.

In 1903, the electrical train system started operating, providing the first change to the 19th century urban environment. In 1906, a violent earthquake struck the region, causing damage especially in the downtown area, and leading to substantial reconstruction programs. In addition, the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the national independence gave a further incentive to erect public, commercial, and private buildings of high quality. In 1914, however, the opening of the Panama Channel meant that Valparaíso lay aside from the great commercial routes between the two oceans. The economic crisis of saltpeter reduced the importance of the port, and, at the same time, Santiago consolidated its status as the political and economic center of the country. The world economic crisis in 1929 further contributed to the change.

Nevertheless, Valparaíso continued its development, even though facing serious social and economic problems. As a result, solutions were sought, and new construction activities expanded in the upper zones of the city, including the areas of Juan Gomez, San Francisco, San Juan de Dios, and de Jaime, the present Francia Avenue.

Source: UNESCO website (visit link)
Type: Site

Reference number: 959

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RedFriend visited Historic Quarter of the Seaport City of Valparaíso - Chile 8/2/2014 RedFriend visited it
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Panther16 visited Historic Quarter of the Seaport City of Valparaíso - Chile 10/22/2011 Panther16 visited it
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