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WHERE NATURE'S BEAUTIES HAVE BEEN RETAINED IN THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE SANTA LUCIA, SANTIAGO DE CHILE

And close beside is a specimen of modern engineering in the shape of the immense wall, which at this point supports the roadway VOL. XXXVI

July, 1900

No. 211

THE SANTA LUCIA OF SANTIAGO DE CHILE

A HISTORIC PILE OF ROCKS WHICH, RISING FROM THE CENTER OF CHILE's CAPITAL, HAS BEEN TRANSFORMED INTO THIE MOST PICTURESQUE

AND AT THE SAME TIME MOST NOVEL MUNICIPAL

PLEASURE - GROUND IN THE WORLD

BY DOUGLAS WHITE

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T IS four and a half centuries since which he was attempting to bring, by force Pedro Valdivia and his conquering of arms, under the power of Spain. His

army marching from the north en- tory tells how well Valdivia served his tered the great valley which separates the king and how in that same spot where his higher and lower Cordilleras of central camp-fires gleamed beside the Mapocho, as Chile. Following up the River Mapocho, it tumbles from the Cordillera to the sea, this daring Spanish invader established he founded in 1541 the city which is now his headquarters about midway in the the capital of South America's Lone Star plain where, strangely enough, Nature had Republic. constructed for him a citadel almost as To this city Valdivia gave the name of easy of defense, as if the mind of man, Santiago, while to the rocky mount which filled with the ideas of war, had planned became his Nature-constructed fortress, its construction. This citadel was in the and where he so successfully withstood atform of an immense pile of rocks rising tack, against thousands of Indian warriors, abruptly from the floor of the valley to a the invader gave the name of Santa Lucia. height of three hundred feet and filled From its base the town gradually crept with nooks, crannies, and defiles in which out, in earliest times, hugging close to the a vastly inferior force might bid defiance grim rocks which would afford protection to the savage armies with which Valdivia should the pueblo be attacked, but graduhad contended on his march from Peru. ally, as time advanced, stretching its

The old campaigner saw at once the ad- streets and avenues farther and farther vantage of such a position. Pitching his away, yet always clinging to that rocky camp between the rocky mount and the peak as the point which marked the center Rio Mapocho he stationed his outlooks on of the city's site. Generations piled up the summit of the rocky pile whence into centuries, and still the “ Cerro Santa a view of the entire valley was command- Lucia" stood, a grim reminder of the times ed, and with little labor prepared the place agone,

the
peace
which had fallen upon

the for defense against the hordes of native country rendering its usefulness as warriors which he knew would swoop place of refuge and defense a thing of the down upon him whenever he should at- past. tempt to make a stand in this country Change followed change as the Santa

a

(Copyright, 1900, by OVERLAND MONTHLY PUBLISHING Co. All rights reserved.)

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General View of the Santa Lucia from the City of Santiago-Showing the Chapel Erected in Memory of Don Benjamin Vicuna Mackenna on the Brow

of the Mount, with the Principal Range of the Andes in the Distance Lucia looked down upon the overthrow of ity a Chilean who traced his lineage to the Spain's power and the rising of Chile's hills of old Scotia. From his ideas destar of freedom. Then the mount saw tur- veloped the transformation which has bulence and civil strife until at last the changed the Santa Lucia from a bleak republic settled down to an era of advance- towering rock into the most beautiful of ment and enlightenment. Through it all pleasure places. Not only did Don Benjathe craggy peak of Valdivia's fortress min Vicuna Mackenna bring forward the raised itself above the spreading plain, force of Santiago’s finances for the purand, as time advanced, the immense cattle- pose of improving and beautifying the ranges were transformed into those beaute- Santa Lucia, but when the city's funds ous estates for which Chile is famous, and ran low, funds were supplied from his own

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the little town which clustered about its private fortune, in order that the work base grew until fully a quarter of a mil- might be kept in progress. lion souls found residence within its lim- The defiles which had offered protection its. There were changes in everything to Valdivia's warriors were filled with else, but none in the Santa Lucia. Finally earth, terraces were cut, hedges, trees and the rugged pile which had been of such flowers planted, while drives and walks service in the ages past became a blot upon made the ascent of the Santa Lucia an the city's face, and many suggestions were

easy one. It was really a wonderful deoffered for its removal. None, however, velopment from the dull gray pile which were effective, and finally there came into Nature had erected to the power as the head of Santiago’s municipal- blossoming steeps developed by the touch

green and of man. Nature's most beautiful features Lucia. This entrance is in the form of an were carefully preserved and between them immense arch approached from the street were laid out gems of floriculture and below by a broad stone staircase and openpicturesque bits of landscape-gardening ing toward the hill upon a beautifully which at every turn of the winding drives bowered walk which leads toward the and walks are spread before the visitor in higher terraces. a series of increasing delights. At several The Chileans are not a people who yearn points the roadways break suddenly from for labor of any sort, and for this reason some rocky gorge upon a terrace upheld the electric railway which is now taking on the lower side with walls of rock, the place of the antique trams in Santiago topped by castellated battlements, creating is being carried up and around the Santa the idea that the carriage is being driven Lucia to a terminus near the upper or along the roof's edge on the summit of most important of the terraces. To the some feudal castle. There are several people of any nation which takes even a entrances for pedestrians to this odd minimum of delight in exercise of any pleasure-ground, while carriages kind, the introduction of an electric line limited to one gateway which enters close within the limits of a place of recreation by the Alameda, the principal avenue of so novel and picturesque as the Santa the capital. At one of the entrances for Lucia would seem a desecration, but not so pedestrians there is now in course of con- to the Chileno, who, it is estimated, will struction the most elaborate of all the bits visit the Santa Lucia with four times his of architecture which adorn the Santa former frequency when he can reach the

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Upper End of the Driveway on the Santa Lucia, Santiago de Chile—Showing the Theater

at the End of the Drive

are

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