31 August 2006

Advertising everywhere

Would you agree to put a huge sign over your building to get some money or to lower building expenses like common areas lighting and maintenance of elevators?

30 August 2006

An international church in Santiago

I was walking to my job when I found this church I'd never seen. It's called Santiago Community Church and they define themselves as an "interdenominational, Protestant church, serving the English speaking community".
This is my little contribution to the multicultural initiative, started by Ham, from London Daily Photo.

29 August 2006


Rari is a rural community located south from Santiago, in Chile's seventh region. It is renowned for its woven crafts, teached from mothers to daughters.
The fact that makes Rari's handicraft so special is that it is made of horsehair! This unusual material is brightly colored and weaved to create witches, butterflies and flowers.
I saw this Rari handicrafts and thought you would like them.

28 August 2006

Ice Skating

Wanting to visit Chile but you don't want to miss your ice skating? No problem... I visited this ice skating place today, called "Cerogrado" and it's big enough to practice. I didn't even fall once!

26 August 2006

Fernando Botero

Fernando Botero is a famous Colombian artist and was born in 1932. He is known by his paintings and sculptures of slightly obese figures (mostly people and animals).
This sculpture, called "Caballo" (Horse) was donated by the artist to Santiago and is located in front of the Museum of Contemporary Art.

25 August 2006

The oldest Law Faculty in Chile

The "Universidad de Chile" is the first and biggest University in Chile. This is the Law Faculty, founded in 1842, located in the Bellavista District. The building was built in 1938, by the chilean architect Juan Martinez who was greatly inspired by Le Corbusier.
An interesting fact: 16 out of the 27 presidents in the history of Chile were lawyers who studied in this University.

24 August 2006

Discovery of America

This is one of the many Parra's works, made with litter and accompanied by a phrase. Some are funny or ironic, while others make you think.
With this picture I finish the Nicanor Parra series. I think you got an idea of the kind of work he does. If you want to see more of his "artifacts" you can go here (in spanish - go to the link "artefactos").

23 August 2006

The Automatic Coffin

You can see this coffin in Nicanor Parra's exhibit. The translation of the inscription on the sign is: "In case of resurrection, turn the coffin's lid counterclockwise. This is an automatic coffin"
Most works in this exhibit are ironic and funny. It's worth a visit...

22 August 2006

Nicanor Parra

Today I visited Nicanor Parra's exhibit, called "Obras Públicas" (Public Works), at the Palacio La Moneda Cultural Center. He is a controversial artist (poet and visual artist), and has some very interesting works. The most controversial is this one, called "El pago de Chile" (Chile's payment), in which you can see all chilean ex-presidents, hanging from the wall... Quite disturbing. It is based on a chilean proverb that says that when you work for a good cause (like being the president in this case), people will always remember your mistakes instead of your achievements. You can find more about Nicanor Parra here (some info in english). I'll be posting more pictures of this exhibit for a couple of days.

21 August 2006

Clay handicrafts

Ceramic pottery is another typical chilean handicraft. It's made of clay and most of these handicrafts are made in Pomaire, a little town located 50 Km west from Santiago. There you can find almost anything you can think of, molded in clay. There are many types of kitchen utensils, like pots and dishes, and other stuff, like flowerpots and souvenirs.
This specific handicraft store is in "Patio Bellavista", which I showed you earlier.

20 August 2006

San Cristobal's funicular

This funicular (cliff railway in the UK) goes all the way up to the top of San Cristobal Hill, where you can find the Virgin Mary I showed you two weeks ago. Also, in the middle of the ride, you can stop and visit the Santiago Metropolitan Zoo, which I expect to show you soon.
In April 1st, 1987, the late Pope John Paul II, used this funicular to go to the Virgin sanctuary and bless Chile.

19 August 2006

Don't run...

I was walking in Lira street today and this sign called my attention. What does it mean? It's located in a hospital parking exit. Does it mean "don't run in front of the exit"? Or maybe it forbids stomach aches near the hospital. No, seriously, I'm used to signs that prohibit to enter somewhere, but this one is new to me. What is your bet?

18 August 2006

Bowling memories...

I found this old bowling in a very traditional commercial gallery, located on Francisco Bilbao street. I'm sure it has been there for years, probably since the 80's, when the Bowling boom invaded Chile. I remember (I was a child back then...) that bowling championships were a "must" on weekends.
Now, this sport is not that famous anymore here, but there are some big and modern Bowling Centers around. This kind of relics are more difficult to find though...

17 August 2006

Un café à midi

Today I went to this nice cafe, called "Café de las Artes", which is located near Forestal Park. It's quite good, beautifully decorated and has a very good service. By the way, I definitively recommend their capuccino.

16 August 2006

Hervé Fischer in Chile

From August 11th, you can visit the Hervé Fischer exhibit in the Museum of Fine Arts. He is Canadian and his work, called Cibermonde (Cyberworld) is quite interesting, based on the financial world. As he says: "economy and finances have become our God, our body, our nature, our inner life and our social imaginary...". You can find more about Hervé Fischer here.

15 August 2006

Daedalus and Icarus

"Icarus and Daedalus" is by far my favorite sculpture in the Museum of Fine Arts. It's located right in front of the main entrance and the inscription in its base says "United in Glory and Death". The author is Rebeca Matte (1875 - 1929), the first chilean woman sculptor. Nevertheless, this is actually a copy. The original was given as a gift to the Brazilian government and can be found in a park in Rio de Janeiro. Due to its success among Brazilians, the artist's husband decided to make a bronze copy of the statue, which you can see in this picture.

14 August 2006

Museum of Fine Arts

Yesterday I visited the "Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes" (National Museum of Fine Arts).
It's located near the Parque Forestal. The museum was founded in 1880 and its present building was built in 1910 by the chilean architect Emilio Jecquier, to commemorate the first centenary of chilean independence. The museum style is neoclassic, with some Art Nouveau details. It was inspired by the Petit Palais of Paris. The large glass cupola (not shown in the picture) was brought from Belgium. You can see all around the building 22 ceramic mosaic medallions, which show some of the world's most famous architects, sculptors and painters, like Bramante, Violet Le Duc et Rembrandt (in this picture you can see three medallions on each side on the main entrance). I'll be showing you more pictures...

13 August 2006

Mapocho river

Mapocho river crosses Santiago. It is 110 Km long and flows from the Andes mountain range onto the west. It is believed that the word "Mapocho" is a misspelling of the mapudungun word "Mapuche", that means "people of the land". Mapudungun is the language spoken by the Mapuche, the original inhabitants of Central and Southern Chile. There is a very bold project to turn the Mapocho into a navigable river. Who knows, maybe in the not-too-distant future we can have our own bateaux mouches in Santiago!

12 August 2006


This is, at the moment, Santiago's most famous karaoke pub. It's called "Playback Studio" and has two branches in the city. The one in the picture is located at the Boulevard del Parque, next to a shopping mall.
Karaoke is actually quite fun...

11 August 2006

Chile, a country made of copper

For all of you who didn't know (and I don't think many of you knew...), Chile is the main copper producing country in the world. I found this copper handicraft store in "Patio Bellavista" a tourist and cultural center in the Bellavista district. You can find many kinds of handicrafts, ranging from kitchen utensils to art reproductions. Please note the many copper engravings that mimic da Vinci's "Last Supper".

10 August 2006

Children's Day

Last sunday (August 6th) was children's day in Chile. I took this picture in a little square in the Bellavista district, in Pio Nono street. As you can see, there was a lot going on. Plastic masks are a very common toy here. You can also notice three guanacos (look hard and you'll find the third one). You can see guanacos (scientific name: Lama guanicoe) in many squares in Chile. For some money you can take a picture of your child beside or mounted on the guanaco. If you ever encounter one, don't bother it. They are very sensitive and if they feel threatened they will spit at you!!!

09 August 2006

Santiago during autumn

This picture was taken during a gray and foggy autumn day. I don't know about you, but I love these days. They are just perfect for a sunday afternoon. In the distance, you can see the Andes, which is the world's longest mountain range, measuring more than 7.000 Km. Chile has a unique characteristic, due to its long and thin geography: You can go skiing in the morning in one of the Andes many ski centers and be at the beach in the afternoon, enjoying dusk by the Pacific Ocean.

08 August 2006

The virgin over the hill

This statue of Virgin Mary was brought from France and is located on the very top of the San Cristobal Hill, the highest point in Santiago (863 m over sea level). You can get there using the skyride, walking or by funicular (I'll show it to you some other day). Masses are celebrated on the top of the hill on special occasions.

07 August 2006

Santiago from above

With this picture I'm starting my new "Daily Photo" blog. My goal is to show you my beautiful city, Santiago de Chile, and its daily life. This picture was taken from inside a cabin of the San Cristobal Hill Skyride. I hope you like my city and I expect to see you around very often!