The expedition to the Kingdom of Chile led by Pedro de Valdivia came to the Central Valley in December 1540. After exploring the vicinity of Mapocho river, on December 13th, 1540, the expedition settled at the foothills of a small mountain. Here the Spanish conquistador built a stronghold and a watch point to control the surroundings. The hill - called Huelen by the natives – was renamed as Cerro Santa Lucia in honor of Lucia of Syracuse celebrated on December 13th.
Santiago Valdivia chose this location not only for the rich vegetation and the good weather, but because it served as a stronghold to defend the city from Indian attack.
In 1872 the mayor of the time, Benjamin Mackenna, designed a project to transform the hill into a space open to the public. He led a remodeling plan that included construction of parquets, roads, gardens, gazebos, and other buildings.
The 69 meters high hill with its area of nearly 66 thousand square meters, became one of the most remarkable public works of the time.
In 1938, a decree of the Ministry of Public Education declaimed the Cerro Santa Lucia as national monument.
The Cerro Santa Lucia, it´s in the middle of the city, It´s a hill and was one the first places where Pedro de Valdia ( our conqueror) founded the city in Feb 12th of 1554
Now it´s a nice place , with a magnificent entrance and a nice Casttle ( chilean one) on the top, You can walk inside some of the pads and stay a nice time try to do it´s early and not get into dark zones, because get´s pretty dangereous after midday.
There is an craftsmanship indigenous center of on the hill, also a tourist information office. You can have a great view of the city, specially after a rainy day.
Cerro Santa Lucia is a hill that was transformed into a landscape retreat by 150 slave prisoners and under the direction of Benjamin Vicuna Mackenna, the mayor at the time. Visitors visit Cerro Santa Lucia to admire the ornate architecture inlcuidng Terraza Neptuno and climb up to the summit to admire the City's panoramic views. The park opens 9.00 am to either 7.00 pm or 8.00 pm and you need to register your ID card or passport details. There is no admittance charge.
Park with great views of the city. This is a definite must see. This park was originally a hillside fort. Now, it's a park with wonderful fountains, gardens and walkways.
However, the park has a reputation of being very dangerous after dark.
Cerro Santa Lucia is a pretty hill in the centre of Santiago. It is 69 m high and from the top you get great views of the city. When you enter, you must sign a visitors' book in the presence of the two policemen guarding the entrance. This is a security measure to help prevent the muggings that have occurred here in the past.
The rocky hill has great historical significance as it is said that it was here, that in 1541, Pedro de Valdivia founded the city of Santiago. In fact, he founded it on the site of Plaza de Armas, within sight of the hill, while the hill itself was used as a fortified lookout post by the early conquistadores.
In 1872, Benjamin Vicuña Mackenna, the Mayor of Santiago, decided to develop it into a park. There are many interesting monuments here, including Castle Hidalgo, a statue of Caupolican, a famous Mapuche leader, standing on a rock, the fountains of Terazza Neptuno and the chapel where Benjamin Vicuña Mackenna is buried.
You climb to the top via a series of steps, pathways, and viewing platfrorms.
The park is open from 9am to 7pm.
Of course it was nice observing all these animals while visiting the Zoo.
Even in winter time there were some colourful plants in the zoo, and from the open spots you already had a great city over the city. And at that time we were only halfway up the hill.
After visiting the Santiago zoo, we continued our journey up to the summit of San Christobal hill with the Funicular.
If you want to se something at Cerro Santa Lucia, you must climb some steps, but the view is worth the effort. Even on a grey Sunday morning.
I think it must be great to climb this hill on a clear and sunny day, and then you can see the snowy mountains of the Andes.
When you are at the big platform near the Hidalgo fortress, you can climb up till the upper platform; from there you have a great view.
The Cerro Santa Lucia, which is a beautiful city park, with some beautiful buildings and fountains.
On top is also a fortress, the Bateria Hidalgo, at the big platform you can see the canons.
And there is also the statue of Caupolican. He was the most famous Mapuche leader.
Cerro means Hill in Spanish, so Cerro Santa Lucia means Santa Lucia Hill.
In fact it is a small hill in the city centre of Santiago (is only 70 metres of height).
This is the place where the city is founded, for years it was a bold rocky hill, but the mayor Vicuna Mackenna gave order to change it into a beautiful city park.
When Benjamín Vicuña Mackenna was elected mayor of Santiago in 1872, one of his first decisions was to improve the city's urban environment and among his many projects was the development of Cerro Santa Lucia, a 69 m hill that stands in the middle of downtown Santiago. This hill already was of great historical importance since it was where Pedro de Valdivia founded the city of Santiago in the name of Spain back in 1541 (a monument marks the spot where the ceremony took place). About 150 prisoners were put to work to build different paths and lookouts that lead visitors from the bottom of the hill to the chapel where Vicuña Mackenna was eventually buried, and to the beautiful Castle Hildalgo.
From the top of the hill you get one of the best views of the city and the surrounding Andes. Cerro Santa Lucia is open every day from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm, free of charge. You will however be asked to provide your passport information - this safety measure was added a few years ago to make sure the hill remains a safe spot for visitors and locals alike. If you only have a few hours to spend in the city, I would definitely recommend putting Cerro Santa Lucia at the top of your list of things to do, it was my favorite spot in all of Santiago!
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