Valparaíso

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For other places with the same name, see Valparaiso (disambiguation).
Valparaíso

Valparaíso, Top:View of Valparaíso Port, from Arti lleria Hills, 2nd left:Chilean Navy Office in Sotomayor Square, 2nd right:Tipica Houser (Casa Tipica) and Artilleria Hills, 3rd left:Atkinson Street (Calle Atkinson) in Concepcion Hills, 3rd middle:Valparaíso Custom House (Aduana de Valparaíso), nearby Sotomayor Square, 3rd right:Baron Cable-car in Ascensor area, Bottom upper left:Monument at the Heroes of Iquique in Sotomayor Square, Bottom lower left:Valparaíso Trolley bus in Serrano Street (Calle del Cerrano), Bottom upper middle:Saint Paul Anglican Church (Iglesia anglicana de Saint Paul) in Concepcion Hill, Bottom lower middle:Templeman Street (Calle Templeman) in Alegre Hills, Bottom right:Turri Clock Tower in Prat Street
Valparaíso, Top:View of Valparaíso Port, from Arti

lleria Hills, 2nd left:Chilean Navy Office in Sotomayor Square, 2nd right:Tipica Houser (Casa Tipica) and Artilleria Hills, 3rd left:Atkinson Street (Calle Atkinson) in Concepcion Hills, 3rd middle:Valparaíso Custom House (Aduana de Valparaíso), nearby Sotomayor Square, 3rd right:Baron Cable-car in Ascensor area, Bottom upper left:Monument at the Heroes of Iquique in Sotomayor Square, Bottom lower left:Valparaíso Trolley bus in Serrano Street (Calle del Cerrano), Bottom upper middle:Saint Paul Anglican Church (Iglesia anglicana de Saint Paul) in Concepcion Hill, Bottom lower middle:Templeman Street (Calle Templeman) in Alegre Hills, Bottom right:Turri Clock Tower in Prat Street
Flag
Flag
Coat of arms
Coat of arms
Map of the Valparaíso commune in the Valparaíso Region
Location in Chile
Location in Chile
Valparaíso
Location in Chile
Nickname(s): The Jewel of the Pacific, Valpo
Coordinates (city): 33°03′S 71°37′W / 33.050°S 71.617°W / -33.050; -71.617Coordinates: 33°03′S 71°37′W / 33.050°S 71.617°W / -33.050; -71.617
Country Chile
Region Valparaíso
Province Valparaíso
Founded 1536
Capital Valparaíso
Government[1]
 • Type Municipality
 • Alcalde Jorge Castro Muñoz (UDI)
Area[2]
 • City 401.6 km2 (155.1 sq mi)
Elevation 10 m (30 ft)
Population (2012 census)[2]
 • City 284,630
 • Density 710/km2 (1,800/sq mi)
 • Urban 275,141
 • Metro 930,220
 • Rural 841
Time zone CLT (UTC−4)
 • Summer (DST) CLST (UTC−3)
Area code(s) (country) 56 + (city) 32
Website Official website (Spanish)

Valparaíso (/ˌvælpəˈrz/, Spanish: [balpaɾaˈiso]) is a major city, seaport, and educational center commune in Chile. Greater Valparaíso is the third largest metropolitan area in the country. Valparaíso is located 69.5 miles (111.8 km) northwest of Santiago[3] and is one of the South Pacific's most important seaports. Valparaíso is the capital of Chile's third most populated administrative region and has been the headquarters for the Chilean National Congress since 1990.

Valparaíso played a very important geopolitical role in the second half of the 19th century, when the city served as a major stopover for ships traveling between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans by crossing the Straits of Magellan. Always a magnet for European immigrants, Valparaíso mushroomed during its golden age, when the city was known by international sailors as "Little San Francisco" and "The Jewel of the Pacific". In 2003, the historic quarter of Valparaíso was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a new national law named the city "Chile's Cultural Capital."

Examples of Valparaíso's former glory include Latin America's oldest stock exchange, the continent's first volunteer fire department, Chile's first public library, and the oldest Spanish language newspaper in continuous publication in the world, El Mercurio de Valparaíso. The opening of the Panama Canal and reduction in ship traffic dealt a staggering blow to Valparaíso. The second half of the twentieth century was not kind to Valparaíso, as many wealthy families abandoned the city. Over the past 15 years, the city has staged an impressive renaissance attracting many artists and cultural entrepreneurs who have set up shop in the city's hillside historic districts. Today, many thousands of tourists visit Valparaíso from around the world to marvel and the city's unique labyrinth of cobbled alleys and colorful buildings.

Though nearby San Antonio has become the country's most commercially viable seaport, the port of Valparaíso continues to be a major distribution center for container traffic, copper, and fruit exports. Valparaíso also receives growing attention from cruise ships which visit during the South American summer. Most significantly, Valparaíso has transformed itself into a major educational center with four large traditional universities and several large vocational colleges. The city has also become a shining beacon of Chilean culture, with many major festivals every year and street artists and musicians on every corner.

History[edit]

Valparaíso's bay was probably first populated by Picunches Indians, who were dedicated to agriculture. Other accounts say that it was the Changos who were nomads dedicated to fishing, and traveling between Caldera and Concepcion. Spanish explorers arrived in 1536, aboard the Santiaguillo, a supply ship sent by Diego de Almagro, who is considered the first European explorer, or discoverer, of Chile. The Santiaguillo carried men and supplies for Almagro's expedition, under the command of Juan de Saavedra, who named the town after his native village of Valparaíso de Arriba in Cuenca, Spain.

View of Valparaíso Bay in 1830

During Spanish colonial times, Valparaíso remained a small village, with only a few houses and a church. After Chile's independence from Spain (1818), Valparaíso became the main harbour for the nascent Chilean navy, and opened to international trade, formerly limited to commerce with Spain and its other colonies.

Valparaíso soon became a desired stopover for ships rounding South America via the Strait of Magellan and Cape Horn. It gained particular importance supporting and supplying the California Gold Rush (1848–1858). In its role as a major seaport, Valparaíso received immigrants from many European countries, mainly from Britain, Germany, France, Switzerland and Italy. German, French, Italian and English were commonly spoken among its citizens, who founded and published newspapers in these languages.

Valparaíso on c1863
1906 Valparaíso Earthquake

International immigration transformed the local culture from Spanish origins and Amerindian origins, including the construction of the first non-Catholic cemetery of Chile, The Cemetery of Dissidents. Football (soccer) was introduced to Chile by English immigrants, and the first private Catholic school in Chile was founded by French immigrants in Valparaíso: Le Collège des Sacrés Cœurs (The Sacred Hearts School) which has been operating for about 170 years. Immigrants from Scotland and Germany founded the first private secular schools, (The Mackay School, and Die Deutsche Schule, respectively). Immigrants formed the first volunteer fire-fighting units (still a volunteer activity in Chile). Their buildings reflected a variety of European styles, making Valparaíso more varied than some other Chilean cities.

In August 18, 1906; a major earthquake struck Valparaíso; there was extensive property damage and thousands of deaths. The Chilean doctor Carlos Van Buren, of U.S. descent, was involved in medical care of earthquake victims. He later established a modern hospital Carlos Van Buren Hospital in 1912.[citation needed]

The golden age of Valparaíso's commerce ended after the opening of the Panama Canal (1914). Shipping shifted to the canal as captains sought to avoid the risks of the Strait of Magellan. The port's use and traffic declined significantly, causing a decline in the city's economy. Since the turn of the 21st century, shipping has increased in the last few decades with fruit exports, increasing opening of the Chilean economy to world commerce, and larger-scale, Post-Panamax ships that do not fit the Panama Canal.

The city was affected by the 27 February 2010 earthquake.[4]

Republican era[edit]

19th century[edit]

Daguerreotype of Valparaíso about 1852.
Picture of the church of San Francisco in 1864.
Picture of the city in 1888.

On March 28, 1814, the USS Essex is defeated by British frigates Phoebe and Cherub during the War of 1812, leading to the deaths of 58 US Marines. (Captain David Porter, a survivor of this attack, would retire to Portersville, IN and request changing the name to Valparaíso, commemorating the only naval battle he ever lost.) By August 2, 1820, the Liberating Expedition of Peru sails from Valparaíso.

At half past ten on the evening of November 19, 1822 Valparaíso experiences occurs a violent earthquake that leaves the city in ruins; of the 16,000 residents, casualties included at least 66 adults and 12 children, as well as 110 people wounded. Among them was Account Liberator of Chile and later its Supreme Director Bernardo O'Higgins who was sleeping in the governor's mansion and died under its rubble. The next day a meteor trail was visible from Quillota to Valparaíso, seen as a religious experience for much of the population.

In 1826, the Royal Navy Great Britain establishes a South America Station in Valparaíso to maintain British naval interest in the region. It would remain until 1837 when it was relocated to Esquimalt, British Columbia.

September 12, 1827 saw the establishment of El Mercurio de Valparaíso, currently the oldest circulating newspaper in the Spanish language worldwide.

In May 1828, a constitutional convention begins regular meeting in the church of San Francisco. By August 9, the Constitution of the Republic of Chile would be fully drafted and disseminated.

On June 6, 1837, Minister Diego Portales is shot at the port outside of Baron Hill on suspicion of promoting conspirators who opposed the Peru-Bolivian Confederation, considered a turning point of Chilean public opinion and the purpose of the war.

By 1851, the first fire brigade in the country is formed. The next year potable running water becomes available, as well as the first telegraph service in Latin America, between the city and Santiago. It would be another four years before streetlights, with 700 gas lanterns, are installed. In 1861 the first tram company is formed, mostly using horse or mules to draw them, and fully established over the next few years.

Taking advantage of the total lack of defenses a Spanish fleet commanded by Casto Méndez Núñez bombarded the city during the Spanish-South American war in 1866. Chilean merchant ships are sunk, except for those vessels whose captains hoisted foreign flags.

A merger of the National Steamship Company and Chilean Steamship Company, the South American Steamship Company was created as a national response to the increasing dominance of the Pacific Steam Navigation Company in 1872. In 1880 the Chilean Telephone Company is formed by Americans Joseph Husbands, Peter MacKellar, James Martin, and the US consul Lucius Foot, the first official telephone company in the country. Three years later on the first of December, Concepción funicular opens, the first of many hydraulic systems.

After the country's independence and its consequent openness to international trade, Valparaíso becomes an important port of call on trade routes through the Eastern Pacific. Many immigrants settled there, mostly from Europe and North America, who helped include Valparaíso and Chile in the industrial revolution sweeping other parts of the world. This created a different city with civil, financial, commercial and industrial institutions, many of which still exist today.

All this resulted in a population increases. The city reached more than 160,000 inhabitants in the late nineteenth century, making it necessary to use the steep hills for more houses, mansions and even cemeteries. The lack of available land caused the city authorities and developers to reclaim low lying tidal marshland (polder) to build administrative, commercial and industrial infrastructure.

20th century[edit]

Headlines of El Mercurio de Valparaíso on May 14, 1903.
The 2014 Great Fire of Valparaíso with the National Congress Building in the foreground

The twentieth century began with the first big protest of dockworkers, Chile on April 15, 1903, due to complaints by Dockers about their excessive working hours and demands for higher wages, requests that were ignored by employers, creating a tense situation that led to serious violence on May 12. There were protests and the burning of the CSAV offices and several people were shot and killed. All this prompted intervention by the state. This protest was important for the future of Trade Unionism in the country.

The same year, electric trams appeared.

On August 16, 1906 earthquake occurred on Valparaíso, which caused severe damage throughout the city, which was at that time the heart of the Chilean economy.

Damage was valued at hundreds of millions of pesos of the time, and human victims were counted at 3,000 dead and over 20,000 injured. After removing the debris, reconstruction work began. These included the widening of streets, culverting and covering streams, (Jaime and Delicias - creating the current avenues Francia and Argentina respectively). The main street of the city (Pedro Montt) was laid and Plaza O'Higgins was created a hill was removed to allow the passage of Colon Street. The damaged Edwards mansion was demolished and in its place the present Cathedral of Valparaíso was built and, among many other works, this gave shape to the current Almendral Valparaíso area.

In 1910 the port expansion work of the city, which ended in 1930, began. A long breakwater was built, along with piers and docking terminals.

The opening of the Panama Canal in 1914 caused a severe reduction of port activity as Valparaíso lost its vital role as the major stopping point for shipping going from the North Atlantic to the North Pacific via the Magellan channel.

21st century[edit]

Currently Chile's legislature along with other institutions of national importance like the National Customs Service, the National Fish and Aquaculture Ministry, the Ministry of Culture and the Barracks General of the Chilean Navy are sited in the city. In addition to the capital of the Valparaíso Region hosts the Regional Administration and government.

In February 2013, about 105 homes were destroyed in Valparaíso, affecting 1,200 people. On April 13, 2014 a huge brush fire burned out of control, destroying 2,800 homes and killing 16 people, forcing President Michelle Bachelet to declare it a disaster zone.[5]

Geography[edit]

Valparaíso is located in central Chile, 120 km (75 mi) to the north west of the capital Santiago. Valparaíso, like most of Chile, is vulnerable to earthquakes. Before the earthquake of February 27, 2010, which measured 8.8 on the moment magnitude scale,[6] the last catastrophic earthquake to strike Valparaíso devastated the city in August 1906, killing nearly 3,000 people.[7] Other significant earthquakes to affect the city were the 1730 Valparaíso earthquake and the 1985 Santiago earthquake.

Geology[edit]

Because of Valparaíso's proximity to the Peru-Chile Trench, the city is vulnerable to earthquakes. The Peru-Chile Trench stores large amounts of energy for a very long time and sometimes ruptures after short intervals in a violent earthquake.

Climate[edit]

Valparaíso has a very mild Mediterranean climate (Köppen Csb) closely resembling that of San Francisco or Santa Barbara at a similar latitude in the northern hemisphere. The summer is essentially dry, but the city is affected by fogs from the Humboldt Current during most of the year. In the winter, rainfall can occasionally be extremely heavy when a powerful frontal system crosses central Chile, but frequency of such rains varies greatly from year to year. Snowfall occurs rarely in the highest parts of the city. In winter, strong winds can make drop the thermal sensation below the freezing point.

Climate data for Valparaíso, Chile
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 20.8
(69.4)
20.7
(69.3)
19.4
(66.9)
17.9
(64.2)
16.5
(61.7)
15.2
(59.4)
14.3
(57.7)
14.8
(58.6)
15.4
(59.7)
16.5
(61.7)
18.2
(64.8)
19.9
(67.8)
17.5
(63.5)
Daily mean °C (°F) 17.0
(62.6)
16.8
(62.2)
15.6
(60.1)
14.2
(57.6)
13.3
(55.9)
12.0
(53.6)
11.4
(52.5)
11.7
(53.1)
12.1
(53.8)
13.2
(55.8)
14.7
(58.5)
16.2
(61.2)
14.0
(57.2)
Average low °C (°F) 13.5
(56.3)
13.5
(56.3)
12.7
(54.9)
11.4
(52.5)
10.8
(51.4)
9.6
(49.3)
9.2
(48.6)
9.3
(48.7)
9.5
(49.1)
10.4
(50.7)
11.5
(52.7)
12.8
(55)
11.2
(52.2)
Record low °C (°F) 7
(45)
6
(43)
6
(43)
3
(37)
3
(37)
−1
(30)
0
(32)
1
(34)
2
(36)
2
(36)
6
(43)
7
(45)
−1
(30)
Precipitation mm (inches) 0.4
(0.016)
0.0
(0)
3.7
(0.146)
13.3
(0.524)
54.5
(2.146)
83.1
(3.272)
111.2
(4.378)
60.0
(2.362)
26.7
(1.051)
10.4
(0.409)
7.9
(0.311)
1.3
(0.051)
372.5
(14.665)
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm) 3 2 3 5 9 9 8 8 6 5 3 2 63
 % humidity 72 74 76 78 80 80 80 79 78 75 71 70 76.1
Mean monthly sunshine hours 279.0 245.7 217.0 174.0 114.7 81.0 93.0 117.8 147.0 170.5 216.0 263.5 2,119.2
Source #1: Meteorología Interactiva[8]
Source #2: Climate & Temperature[9]

Cityscape[edit]

UNESCO World Heritage Site
Historic Quarter of the Seaport City of Valparaíso
Name as inscribed on the World Heritage List
Houses in Valparaíso
Type Cultural
Criteria iii
Reference 959
UNESCO region Latin America and the Caribbean
Inscription history
Inscription 2003 (27th Session)

Nicknamed "The Jewel of the Pacific", Valparaíso was declared a world heritage site based upon its improvised urban design and unique architecture. In 1996, the World Monuments Fund declared Valparaíso's unusual system of funicular lifts (steeply inclined carriages) one of the world's 100 most endangered historical treasures. In 1998, grassroots activists convinced the Chilean government and local authorities to apply for UNESCO world heritage status for Valparaíso. Valparaíso was declared a World Heritage Site in 2003. Built upon dozens of steep hillsides overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Valparaíso boasts a labyrinth of streets and cobblestone alleyways, embodying a rich architectural and cultural legacy. Valparaíso is protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Landmarks include:

Gallery[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Although technically only Chile's 6th largest city, with an urban area population of 263,499 (275,982 in municipality[2]), the Greater Valparaíso metropolitan area, including the neighbouring cities of Viña del Mar, Concón, Quilpué and Villa Alemana, is the second largest in the country (803,683 inhabitants).

According to the 2002 census of the National Statistics Institute, the commune of Valparaíso spans an area of 401.6 km2 (155 sq mi) and has 275,982 inhabitants (135,217 men and 140,765 women). Of these, 275,141 (99.7%) lived in urban areas and 841 (0.3%) in rural areas. The population fell by 2.4% (6858 persons) between the 1992 and 2002 censuses.[2]

Residents of Valparaíso are commonly called porteños (feminine: porteñas).[11][12]

Administration[edit]

As a commune, Valparaíso is a third-level administrative division of Chile administered by a municipal council, headed by an alcalde who is directly elected every four years. The 2008–2012 alcalde is Jorge Castro Muñoz. The council has the following members:[1]

  • Alberto Neumann La
  • Absalón Opazo Lazcano
  • Eugenio González Bernal
  • Eugenio Trincado Suárez
  • Abel Gallardo
  • Marina Huerta Rosales
  • Máximo Silva Herrera
  • Jaime Barrientos Ramírez
  • Manuel Murillo Calderón
  • Luis Soto Ramírez

Within the electoral divisions of Chile, Valparaíso is represented in the Chamber of Deputies by Mr. Joaquín Godoy (RN) and Mr. Aldo Cornejo (PDC) as part of the 13th electoral district, (together with Juan Fernández and Isla de Pascua). The commune is represented in the Senate by Francisco Chahuán Chahuán (RN) and Ricardo Lagos Weber (PPD) as part of the 6th senatorial constituency (Valparaíso-Coast).

Economy[edit]

Tourists in Cerro Alegre.
View of the bay, the harbor and the hills of Valparaíso.

Major industries include tourism, culture, shipping and freight transport.

Approximately 50 international cruise ships call on Valparaíso during the 4-month Chilean summer. The port of Valparaíso is also an important hub for container freight and exports many products, including wine, copper, and fresh fruit.

Commerce[edit]

Currently in Valparaíso there are 2 large shopping centres and various other major retail development:

  • Portal Valparaíso (Jumbo/Easy/Paris/La Polar)
  • Harbour Station Mall
  • Baron Square
  • Kenrick Mall
  • Axis Avenida Pedro Montt
  • Axis Avenida Uruguay
  • Axis Avenida Condell

Port of Valparaíso[edit]

Valparaíso received its first ship in 1536 with the arrival of the 'Santiaguillo', which supported the expedition of Diego de Almagro.

In 1810 a wealthy merchant built the first pier in the history of Chile and the first during the colonial era, in the place where now stands the building of El Mercurio de Valparaíso, since at that time the sea came to this point (due to work to reclaim land from the sea it is now five blocks away). Between 1910 and 1930 he built much of the existing port of the city, including much of the land reclamation work that now provides the city's commercial centre.

Currently the port of Valparaíso is divided into ten sites which sites 1,2,3,4 and 5 are administered by South Pacific Terminal SA and sites 6,7,8,9 and 10 for Valparaíso Port Company. The last two sites include a dock and are used as public walks and cruise passenger terminal.

Valparaíso is the main container and passenger port in Chile, transferring 10 million tons annually, and serves about 50 cruises and 150,000 passengers.

Overlooking the port of Valparaíso from the viewpoint May Twenty, Artillery Hill.
Overlooking the port of Valparaíso from the viewing point 21 de Mayo (May Twenty-one), Artillery Hill.

Transport[edit]

A new regional Metro system, opened to the public on 24 November 2005. This updated parts of the direct railway line that once linked Santiago to Valparaíso, and cities in between (originally built in 1863). This metro system now connects Valparaíso with Viña del Mar and other cities. The metro constitutes the so-called "fourth stage" ("Cuarta Etapa") of Metropolitan improvements. The metro railway extends along most of Gran Valparaíso and is the second metro system in operation in Chile (after Santiago's), and includes an underground section that crosses Viña del Mar's commercial district.

One of the historic trolleybuses still in daily service in 2012

Public transport within Valparaíso itself is provided primarily by buses, trolleybuses and funiculars. The buses provide an efficient and regular service to and from the city centre and the numerous hills where most people live, as well as to neighbouring towns while more distant towns are served by Pulman (long distance) coaches. Buses are operated by several private companies and regulated by the Regional Ministry of Transport, which controls fares and routes.[13] The Valparaíso trolleybus system has been in operation since 1952, and in 2012 it continues to use some of its original vehicles, built in 1952 by the Pullman-Standard Company, along with an assortment of other vehicles acquired later.[14] Some of Valparaíso's Pullman trolleybuses are even older, built in 1946–48, having been acquired secondhand from Santiago in the 1970s. The surviving Pullman trolleybuses are the oldest trolleybuses still in normal service anywhere in the world,[13][15] and they were collectively declared National Historic Monuments by the Chilean government in 2003.[13][16]

Valparaíso's road infrastructure has been undergoing substantial improvement, particularly with the completion of the "Curauma — Placilla — La Pólvora" freeway bypass, which will allow trucks to go directly to the port facility over a modern highway and through tunnels, without driving through the historic and already congested down-town streets. In addition, roads to link Valparaíso to San Antonio, Chile's second largest port, and the coastal towns in between (Laguna Verde, Quintay, Algarrobo, and Isla Negra, for example), are also under various degrees of completion. Travel between Valparaíso and Santiago currently takes about 80 minutes via a modern toll highway.

Internal passenger air services to Valparaíso are provided through the airport at Quintero which is some distance from the city but now served by good roads. The great majority of foreign visitors arrive through Santiago or on cruise liners.

Polanco Elevator
Artillería funicular railway

Funicular railway[edit]

Because the slopes of the hills, many of the surrounding areas of Valparaíso are inaccessible by public transport. That is why "elevators" serve the function of communicating the high part of the city with the plan, besides being strong holiday highlight. The only elevator that can truly be called as such, is the Ascensor Polanco, because it is vertical. Meanwhile, the rest are cable cars but traditionally called elevators. Several of those funiculars – locally called ascensores – provide public transport service between the central area and the lower slopes of the surrounding hills,[13] the first of which (Ascensor Concepción, also known as Ascensor Turri) opened in 1883 and is, operated by steam, still in service.[17][18] The Cerro Cordillera elevator was built in 1887. As many as 28 different funicular railways have served Valparaíso at one time or another, of which 14 were still in operation in 1992[17] and still around 12 in 2010.

Valparaíso has currently fifteen lifts declared Historical Monuments by the National Monuments Council. Five are municipal property and the remaining belong to four private companies. The elevators are elevators municipal Baron (detained for work), El Peral, Polanco, Queen Victoria and St. Augustine (arrested for jobs). As for the rest, lifts Florida, Butterflies and Nuns are owned by the National Elevator Company SA; Artillery, Concepción and Mountains belong to the Society of Mechanical Lifts Valparaíso Holy Spirit, Larraín and Villaseca (stopped for repairs) are the property of Valparaíso Elevators Company SA, and Dairy (stopped by fire) belongs to the Society of Dairy Cerro Lifts Ltd.

Culture[edit]

During Valparaíso's golden age (1848–1914), the city received large numbers of immigrants, primarily from Europe. The immigrant communities left a unique imprint on the city's noteworthy architecture. Each community built its own churches and schools, while many also founded other noteworthy cultural and economic institutions. The largest immigrant communities came from Britain, Germany, and Italy, each developing their own hillside neighbourhood, preserved today as National Historic Districts or "Zonas Típicas."

Severín's Public Library

During the second half of the 20th century, Valparaíso experienced a great decline, as wealthy families de-gentrified the historic quarter, moving to bustling Santiago or nearby Viña del Mar. By the early 1990s, much of the city's unique heritage had been lost and many Chileans had given up on the city. But in the mid-1990s, a grass roots preservation movement blossomed in Valparaíso where nowadays also a vast number of murals created by graffiti artists can be viewed on the streets, alleyways and stairways.

The Fundación Valparaíso (Valparaíso Foundation), founded by the North American poet Todd Temkin, has executed major neighborhood redevelopment projects; has improved the city's tourist infrastructure; and administers the city's jazz, ethnic music, and opera festivals; among other projects. Some noteworthy foundation projects include the World Heritage Trail,[19] Opera by the Sea,[20] and Chile's "Cultural Capital".[21] During recent years, Mr. Temkin has used his influential Sunday column in El Mercurio de Valparaíso to advocate for many major policy issues, such as the creation of a "Ley Valparaíso" (Valparaíso Law) in the Chilean Congress, and the possibility that the Chilean government must guarantee funding for the preservation of Valparaíso's beloved funicular elevators.

Facade of El Mercurio de Valparaíso's publishing building in Calle Esmeralda
The "Broadcasting Building" of the Parque Cultural de Valparaíso (PCdV) which has been established on a former prison's ground.[22][23]

Valparaíso's newspaper, El Mercurio de Valparaíso is the oldest Spanish-language newspaper in circulation in the world.

The Fundacion LUKAS maintains the drawings and paintings of the cartoonist Renzo Antonio Giovanni Pecchenino Raggi (stage name LUKAS),[24] who came to symbolize Valparaíso in popular culture, in a new restored building overlooking the bay.[25]

Valparaíso is also home to the so-called "School of Valparaíso", which is in fact the Faculty of Architecture & Urbanism of the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso. The "School of Valparaíso" was in the 1960s and 1970s one of the most experimental, avant garde and controversial Architectural schools in the country.

Valparaíso stages a major festival attended by hundreds of thousands of participants on the last three days of every year. The festival culminates with a "New Year's by the Sea" fireworks show, the biggest in all of Latin America, attended by a million tourists who fill the coastline and hillsides with a view of the bay. Even though everyone calls it the Valparaíso Fireworks, it is in fact a fireworks display running along a great part of the coast from Valparaíso, past Viña del Mar and all the way to Concón.

The Chilean Congress meets in a modern building in the Almendral section of Valparaíso, after relocation from Santiago during the last years of the dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet. Although congressional activities were to be legally moved by a ruling in 1987, the newly built site only began to function as the seat of Congress during the government of Patricio Aylwin in 1990.

In 2003, the Chilean Congress declared Valparaíso to be "Chile's Cultural Capital" and home for the nation's new cultural ministry.

Valparaíso offers various urban nightlife activities. Traditional bars and nightclubs can be found near Plaza Sotomayor. A vivid guide to Valparaíso can be found in the novels of Cayetano Brule, the private detective who lives in a Victorian house in the picturesque Paseo Gervasoni in Cerro Concepción.

Health system[edit]

The public healthcare system mainly relies on the Hospital Carlos Van Buren located at the plan and Hospital Valparaíso (officially Hospital Eduardo Pereira) located at St. Roque Hill. There are also several clinics like Universidad de Chile's Clinica Barón, Hospital Aleman (due to close), and the former Naval Hospital on Playa Ancha Hill.

Sports[edit]

Valparaíso has several public sports venues and facilities, including a growing network of cycle routes.[26]

  • The Club Deportivo Playa Ancha (Playa Ancha Sports Club), located in Av. Playa Ancha 451, Cerro Playa Ancha,[27] opened in 1919 and offers football pitches, table football, basketball and tennis courts, two swimming pools and a small gym. Tennis and swimming lessons are held in the club as well as local tournaments, and the pool can be used recreationally in summer.
Main entrance of today's Estadio Elías Figueroa Brander in 2011
  • The Complejo Deportivo Escuela Naval (Naval School Sports Centre), located at General Hontaneda, Cerro Playa Ancha,[28] offers Olympic-standard modern facilities with a heated swimming pool and indoor volleyball, basketball, gymnastics, judo and fencing areas. It also has extensive outdoor sports facilities, suitable for rugby, football and tennis.
  • The Estadio Elías Figueroa Brander (formerly Chiledeportes Regional Stadium) is located at the junction of Hontaneda and Subida Carvallo, Cerro Playa Ancha,[29] This stadium has historic links to the local football team, Santiago Wanderers, the oldest professional football team in Chile founded on August 15, 1892. Built in 1931, it holds 18,500 people[30] and also serves as an athletics and swimming venue.
  • Fortín Prat (Fort Prat), located at Rawson 382, Almendral,[31] is a historic basketball venue, hosting the "golden age" of Valparaíso basketball from 1950 to 1970. Fort Prat has also hosted numerous local handball, table tennis and boxing championships. It offers children's classes and a gym, and is also home to the Valparaíso Basketball Association Museum.
  • The Muelle Deportivo Curauma is located 20 minutes from Valparaíso in Lake Pañuelas at Avenue Borde Laguna and Curauma.[32] The calm waters of the 195 km2 lagoon permits rowing, kayaking, fishing and boating. It has also been chosen as a venue for the 2014 South American Games. Around the lagoon are camping sites, cycle and hiking trails, and paintball and canopy facilities.[33]
  • The Puerto Deportivo Valparaíso,[34] located at Muelle Barón, Bordemar Centro,[35] is a watersports centre which offers sailing, kayaking and scuba diving lessons and hosts the "Valpo Sub" program that seeks to preserve the area's underwater heritage, offering educational tours and expeditions to shipwrecks along the bay. Puerto Deportivo Valparaíso also carries out programs promoting ecotourism in Valparaíso Bay, and rents equipment for people having lessons. It features an interactive room that shows information on the underwater heritage.
  • The Velódromo Roberto Parra[36] is located opposite the Club Deportivo Playa Ancha and is part of its wider complex. The velodrome contains a cycle track, table football, and handball and basketball courts. All its facilities are available for public rent.

The "Valparaíso Downhill"[37] is a mountain bike race that takes place in February. Riders race through the city streets tackling the steps and alleys, finding their own way through the ramps and jumps down to the "plan" (Valparaíso's "lowlands"). The Valparaíso Downhill has been described by Chop MTB as "the craziest urban downhill race of all".[38]

Since 2005, a series of running events has taken place in the city with 5K, 10K, 21K and marathon distances. The race starts at Muelle Barón and the course runs along the seafront, crossing diverse architectural and geographical landmarks.[39]

The final stage of the 2014 Dakar Rally ended up at Valparaíso's Plaza Sotomayor in the heart of the old town, surrounded by historic buildings. Ignacio Casale, the Chilean winner of the 2014 Quad category, was cheered here in the streets by the Valparaíso crowd.[40]

Education[edit]

Educational establishments[edit]

At primary school level, Valparaíso boasts some of the most emblematic schools in the region, such as the Liceo Eduardo de la Barra and Salesian College Valparaíso. The latter has or the marching band and instrumental oldest and largest Chile founded in 1896. Other landmarks of the city schools are the Mary Help of Christians School, San Rafael Seminary, the Lycée Jeanne Ross, Colegio San Pedro Nolasco and Scuola Italiana among others. Many of the schools named in the plan is located in the city, concentrated in the Almendral neighborhood.

In addition, Valparaíso was the birthplace of many private schools founded by the European colonies, as the German School, the Alliance Francaise, Mackay College (now located in the neighboring resort of Viña del Mar) and the College of the Sacred Hearts of Valparaíso, that operating since 1837 is the oldest private school in South America.

University establishments[edit]

Valparaíso is characterized by being a university town, due to the extensive amount of existing higher education institutions in the city. In the city sets some of the most important universities of Chile, as the Pontifical Catholic University of Valparaíso, Universidad de Playa Ancha and the Technical University Federico Santa Maria. The latter university is visible from much of the city, as it is located on the front of Cerro Placeres, and has a characteristic building Tudor Gothic and Renaissance. Another important traditional university in the city is the University of Valparaíso. The city has many colleges nontraditional varying size, quality and focus.

University Foundation Acronym Type
Utfsm.jpg Federico Santa María Technical University 1931 UTFSM/USM Private university

Traditional

Frontispucv.jpg Pontifical Catholic University of Valparaíso 1925 UCV/PUCV Private university

Traditional

Universidad de Playa Ancha de Ciencias de la Educación.jpg Playa Ancha University of Educational Sciences 1948 UPLA Public university
Escuela de Derecho..jpg University of Valparaíso 1981 UV Public university

Notable residents[edit]

Valparaíso is the birthplace of many historically significant figures, including:

It has also been the residence of many artists, such as Chilean poet Pablo Neruda and Nicaraguan poet Rubén Darío.

Puerto Rican pro-independence leader Segundo Ruiz Belvis died in the city in November 1867.

International relations[edit]

Twin towns and sister cities[edit]

Valparaíso is twinned with:

Partnerships[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Municipality of Valparaíso" (in Spanish). Retrieved 2010-11-15. 
  2. ^ a b c d e (Spanish) Instituto Nacional de Estadísticas
  3. ^ Valparaíso Article
  4. ^ (French) Easy Voyage, "Le Chili 5 jours après le séisme", 4 March 2010 (accessed 4 March 2010)
  5. ^ chile declares disaster as deadly fire storms historic port city
  6. ^ "Yahoo!". news.yahoo.com. Retrieved 2014-07-05. 
  7. ^ Martland, Samuel. 2007. "Reconstructing the City, Constructing the State: Government in Valparaíso after the Earthquake of 1906," Hispanic American Historical Review 87, no. 2: 221-254. Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost (accessed September 13, 2008)
  8. ^ "Información climatológica de estaciones chilenas-Chile Centro" (in Spanish). Univerisdad de Chile. Retrieved 2013-09-03. 
  9. ^ "Valparaíso Climate Guide to the Average Weather & Temperatures with Graphs Elucidating Sunshine and Rainfall Data & Information about Wind Speeds & Humidity:". Climate & Temperature. Retrieved 2010-03-06. 
  10. ^ See also Funicular railways of Valparaíso for the range of total numbers and active numbers, given from different sources.
  11. ^ Gregory, Vanessa (November 8, 2009). "Tastes of Newly Fashionable Valparaíso, Chile". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-03-18. 
  12. ^ Gabanski, Pepa (21 January 2011). "Old Prejudices Die Hard In Chile's Rival Coastal Cities: Viña and Valparaíso". The Santiago Times. Retrieved 2011-03-18. 
  13. ^ a b c d Webb, Mary (ed.) (2009). Jane's Urban Transport Systems 2009–2010, pp. 65-66. Coulsdon (UK): Jane's Information Group. ISBN 978-0-7106-2903-6.
  14. ^ The Trolleybuses of Valparaíso, Chile (detailed history). Allen Morrison. 2006. Retrieved 2010-09-08.
  15. ^ Trolleybus Magazine No. 281 (September–October 2008), p. 110. ISSN 0266-7452.
  16. ^ La Estrella (Chilean newspaper), 29 July 2003 "Quince troles porteños son monumentos históricos" (in Spanish). Retrieved 2010-09-08.
  17. ^ a b Morrison, Allen (1992). The Tramways of Chile, pp. 31–32. New York: Bonde Press. ISBN 0-9622348-2-6.
  18. ^ Ascensor Concepción (Spanish). Capital Cultural. Retrieved 2010-09-08.
  19. ^ "Sendero Bicentenario". web.archive.org. Retrieved 2014-05-24. 
  20. ^ "Ópera en el Mar". web.archive.org. Retrieved 2014-05-24. 
  21. ^ AyerViernes S.A. "Capital Cultural". Capitalcultural.cl. Retrieved 2011-04-17. 
  22. ^ PCdV – Historical Review. pcdv.cl
  23. ^ Michael Webb: Open City: Ex Cárcel Parque Cultural by HLPS in Valparaíso, Chile. 10/24/2012 architectural-review.com
  24. ^ Fundacion LUKAS. via web.archive.org
  25. ^ Bienvenidos al Cerro Concepción de Valparaíso. via web.archive.org
  26. ^ Cycle rout ciudaddevalparaiso.cl retrieved on February 07,02014
  27. ^ Club Deportivo Playa Ancha (Playa Ancha sports club) ciudaddevalparaiso.cl retrieved February 07, 2014
  28. ^ Complejo Deportivo Escuela Naval (Navy School Sports Centre) ciudaddevalparaiso.cl retrieved February 07, 2014
  29. ^ Estadio Regional Chiledeportes via web.archive.org
  30. ^ "Stadiums in Chile". Worldstadiums.com. Retrieved 2011-09-21. 
  31. ^ Fortín Prat (Fort Prat) ciudaddevalparaiso.cl retrieved February 07, 2014
  32. ^ Muelle Deportivo Curauma ciudaddevalparaiso.cl retrieved February 07, 2014
  33. ^ Ecoturismo Peñuelas www.lagopenuelas.com retrieved February 08, 2014
  34. ^ Puerto Deportivo Valparaíso website retrieved on February
  35. ^ Puerto Deportivo Valparaíso ciudaddevalparaiso.cl retrieved February 07, 2014
  36. ^ Velódromo Roberto Parra ciudaddevalparaiso.cl retrieved February 07, 2014
  37. ^ Downhill bike race in Chile is insanity at its finest by Justin Delaney, Gadling.com on Mar 3rd 2011 at 3:30PM retrieved February 08, 2014
  38. ^ Valparaíso – still the craziest urban downhill race of them all! chopmtb.com/ JCW, FEBRUARY 25, 2013 retrieved on
  39. ^ "Maratón Valparaíso" maratonvalparaiso.cl retrieved February 08, 2014
  40. ^ Minuto a Minuto El Rally Dakar 2014 llega a su fin en Valparaíso www.24horas.cl/ ALONSO SÁNCHEZ MONCLOA January 18, 2014, retrieved on February 08, 2014
  41. ^ Marsia Alexander-Clarke (2003). "Marsia Alexander-Clarke, Video Artist". Retrieved 2011-08-24. 
  42. ^ "El Mercurio". Mercuriovalpo.cl. 2010-08-04. Retrieved 2012-01-07. 
  43. ^ "deslumbra a Europa". Estrellavalpo.cl. 2010-08-04. Retrieved 2012-01-07. 
  44. ^ "24 Horas - Tenor Giancarlo Monsalve visita Valparaíso". 24horas.cl. Retrieved 2012-01-07. 
  45. ^ "Barcelona internacional - Ciutats agermanades" (in Catalan). © 2006–2009 Ajuntament de Barcelona. Retrieved 2009-07-13. 
  46. ^ "Town Twinning Agreements". Municipalidad de Rosario - Buenos Aires 711. Retrieved 2014-10-14.