Cerro Santa Lucía is one of the most visited public parks by national and foreign tourists, being one of the most recognizable icons of the capital and the country.
Cerro Santa Lucía is an urban park located in the heart of the city of Santiago de Chile. It borders on Avenida Libertador General Bernardo O'Higgins to the South, where the Santa Lucía station of the Santiago Subway is located, on Santa Lucía Street to the West, on Merced Street to the North and on Victoria Subercaseaux Street to the East. It is 629 meters above sea level, 69 meters high and has a surface area of 65,300 m².
This hill, called "Huelén" by the Mapuche (in Mapudungún it means pain, melancholy or sadness), but later baptized "Santa Lucía" by the Spaniards, has a strong historical heritage: in the past, a sacred place for the Mapuche, this place was used as a refuge and lookout point by the Spaniards in times of conquest.
Pedro de Valdivia, at its feet, founded the city of Santiago on February 12, 1541. On its southwestern slope, the first mill was built in the mid-sixteenth century. During the period of the Reconquest, Casimiro Marcó del Pont, turned this hill into a fortress of the realist defence, building two batteries: the Marcó (later Castillo González - Plaza Caupolicán) and the Santa Lucía (Castillo Hidalgo).
Later, at the end of the 19th century, on the occasion of the commemoration of the Centenary of Santiago, the Mayor of Santiago, Benjamín Vicuña Mackenna, promoted a very ambitious urban renewal project for the city, which included major road works. Among them was the remodeling and urbanization of the Santa Lucía Hill, which until that date maintained its natural rustic characteristics.
It was converted into an attractive promenade, with a new and varied vegetation. More than 1000 trees of different species were planted, and beautiful gardens and small squares decorated with statues, lanterns, fountains and vases brought from Europe were created. A huge terrace was built and is now used as a lookout point, in addition to the construction of the monumental entrance to Alameda.
This place, a faithful witness of the urban transformation of that sector of Santiago, was declared a Historical Monument in 1983. A beautiful and unmissable tour, recommended for all Santiago residents and foreigners who want to know an important part of the history of Santiago; but don't be scared at around 12:00 noon, when you feel the sound of the famous 12 o'clock cannon fire, which sounds again after two years of silence.