The port city and dazzling colors, Valparaiso. is considered an architectural relic and in fact is a World Heritage Site since 2003.
If something stresses in a city is the presence of light. And there are sites that make an art of its lighting, as Valparaiso. From morning until night falls the coast is presented as an outdoor amphitheater, that day arrives with the reflection of water to many parts of the city, and as darkness falls from above, thousands of light bulbs as Sparks to a new scenario.
Seen from above, the city looks like a big horseshoe, with angular and curved streets that escape peaks resulting from earth movements that occurred long ago. Planted facing the sea, its buildings go hand in hand with little commercial traffic tickets, and many mountains are the center of attraction for those who want an overview of its oceanic corridor.
No one passing through Valparaiso forget their slopes. His 45 hills on the bay, allowing the exceptional view of sixteen viewpoints, which can be accessed with fifteen elevators. Once there, the city re-emerged again and again, messy, beautiful.
The story goes that while some hills were inhabited by poor and working-class port, others showed a large vanity, forming opposing neighborhoods that are in every city, but these slopes framed by intriguing. That ambiguity was present in El Almendral, which had grown to become the quintessential trade sector, with farms and vineyards at the foot of Cerro Barón. Since its development in the colonial period, this sector showed a marked contrast to the training of the port, separated by the path of Almendral and Angostura del Cabo.
On the other side of the story was reaching the port, with repeated entry and exit of fishing vessels, a symbol of self-sacrificing work of an entire population. In those remaining bastions of those stories today indigenous farmers and fishermen for their tasks using animal hide rafts. El Muelle Prat is another witness of the shipping rate constant, and the Barrio del Puerto, crafts and faces tanned by the sun, is a synthesis of port life.
In these contrasts is a substance known to unite the above with those below. Today parts of the pride of the city, the elevators are as useful as quaint, and have been declared national heritage. Despite its dilapidated century of life, still transporting people in a vertical trip down the slopes of the hills and from the beginning of the century, allowing in many of the viewpoints of the area. Most retains its original structure, and its average one-minute walk (dizziness included) is a real show on the bay.
Valparaiso is a place to get lost quiet, but if you prefer guided tours, local tourism is scheduled in eight regional tours. The Cerro Concepción invites you to visit one of the first settlements of English and German immigrants, with walks and visits to historical sites Lutheran and Anglican Church Saint Paul’s, both national monuments. The second circuit at Cerro Alegre emphasizes the art with a visit to the School of Fine Arts at the University of Educational Sciences, and the mansion of the Museum of Fine Arts. There is the Casa Higueras, an old house of the 30s, respectfully recycled and entering surprised with the amenities of a grand hotel with 20 rooms on four of the seven floors of its construction.
Another circuit is called “Immigrants”, which weaves together stories and alleys with the port and naval activity, concluding at the imposing monument to the heroes of the Battle of Iquique during the War of the Pacific. Circuit continues to the “Old Quarter”, visiting streets, squares, passages and stairways that are testimony to the creation of Valparaiso, in addition to the arrival of the Sea Museum and a few old restaurants. The fifth track runs through the picturesque houses from the beach of pure wood and enormous heritage value, such as 21 de Mayo, located at Cerro Playa Ancha, one of the main viewpoints of the area.
The “open air museum” follows the tour circuit on the hill lift Bella Vista and Holy Spirit. There, Victoria Square offers a source of water was brought from France and four statues representing the seasons (relics of 1875) and a roundabout where there is usually public spectacles. The seventh tour shows the typical urban structure, cathedral, Palacio Lyon and Museum of Natural History through. Santiago Severin Library, opened in 1919 and possesses 82 thousand volumes of books and 260 thousand copies of newspapers and magazines, is its highest point.
The last track ends with a very strong reference to Pablo Neruda and his presence in the city, ideal for lovers of poetry, and to be embarrassment of this “pearl of the Pacific.