Plaza de Armas


Since the city's founding in 1541, the Plaza de Armas has been its symbolic heart. In colonial times a gallows was the square's grisly centerpiece; today it's a fountain celebrating libertador (liberator) Simón Bolívar, shaded by more than a hundred Chilean palm trees.

Parallel pedestrian precincts Paseo Ahumada and Paseo Estado disgorge scores of strolling Santiaguinos onto the square on weekends and sunny weekday afternoons: clowns, helium-balloon sellers and snack stands keep them entertained.

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