Santiago

Santiago  (San-tee-âh ´go ) stands near the western base of the Andes, one thousand seven hundred feet above sea-level, and one hundred and fifteen miles by rail east by southeast of Valparaiso. The snow-capped mountains seem to enclose it on the north and east; while in the east of the city rises the picturesque park, Cerro de Santa Lucia (eight hundred feet above the plain), dotted with grottoes, statues, kiosks, restaurants, an historical museum, and an observatory. The small but turbulent stream, the Mapocho, is crossed by five bridges.

The city is regularly laid out, lighted with gas and electric light, and has electric railways in all directions. Most of the houses are of one story only, owing to the earthquakes (the most serious occurred in 1575, 1647, 1730, 1822, 1835, 1906).

On the great Plaza Independencia are the government palaces, the Grand English Hotel, the cathedral, and the archbishop's palace. On the site of the Jesuit church, burned down in 1863, a monument was erected in memory of the two thousand worshipers who perished in the fire.

Santiago boasts a noble Alameda, or boulevard, adorned with four rows of poplars and statues. Facing it are the University and the National Institute. The city has also a military school, schools of arts and agriculture, a conservatory, a national library with one hundred and two thousand volumes; botanical and zoological gardens, etc.

The manufactures include cloth, ship's biscuits, beer, brandy, etc., and it has also an ice factory, a fruit-conserving establishment, and copper-smelting works.

Santiago was founded by Pedro de Valdivia in 1541.