The economy of Santiago de Chile exhibits great activity throughout the city. There are certain areas where things related to finances are concentrated. The quality of life of the population is one of the best in the region: according to average income, it occupies fifth place in the ranking after Mexico City, Buenos Aires, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. The growth rate of the metropolis reaches a figure close to 4% per year. One of the factors that facilitate the boom of the economy is international tourism. The city symbolizes an attraction and is very visited by people of different nationalities, attracted by its natural beauties and by the rich historical and cultural heritage it boasts. The Chilean capital has a high economic development, one of the highest in Latin America. The city is the gateway to the national territory thanks to the presence of the Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport and the Los Libertadores trans-Andean pass, these accesses are used by tourists who visit the country. In addition, tourists staying in the sector have modern hotels of international standard. The area where the highest percentage of the economy of Santiago de Chile is concentrated is Las Condes, there are important financial sectors in Vitacura and Lo Barnechea. The distinguished complexes have rooms for holding meetings, exhibitions and various activities related to the economy and business. Generally, these ceremonies emulate the North American or European style: formality is made explicit in the attendees’ clothing and in the use of optimal language when explaining certain issues. The economy and business of Santiago de Chile define part of the social life of the country’s capital.
Heritage and monuments
Within the metropolitan area there are 174 heritage sites under the custody of the Council of National Monuments, among which are archaeological, architectural and historical monuments, as well as neighborhoods and typical areas. Of these, 93 are within the commune of Santiago, considered the historic center of the city. Although no Santiago monument has been declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco, the following are proposed by the Chilean government:
- the Inca sanctuary of Cerro El Plomo,
- the church and convent of San Francisco
- the palace of La Moneda.
In the center of the city there are buildings built during the Spanish domination for the most part, they correspond to Catholic temples, such as the Metropolitan Cathedral, the Church of San Francisco or the Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. Other buildings of the time are the Plaza de Armas, the headquarters of the Royal Court, the Central Post Office or the Casa Colorada. During the nineteenth century new architectural works began to be erected in the capital of the young republic. The aristocracy built palaces for residential use in the República neighborhood. Other structures with artistic currents from Europe are added, such as the Club Hípico de Santiago, the central houses of the University of Chile and the Catholic University, the Central Station and the Mapocho Station, the Central Market, the National Library, the Museum of Fine Arts and the Paris-London neighborhood, among others. Various green areas in the city contain in their interior and in their surroundings various heritage sites such as Cerro Santa Lucía, the sanctuary of the Virgin Mary at the top of Cerro Tupahue, the lavish crypts of the General Cemetery of Santiago, the Forest Park, Parque O’Higgins and Quinta Normal.
Museums and Libraries
Santiago is home to a large number of museums of different types, which occupy the old buildings of colonial origin, such as the National Historical Museum, which is located in the Palacio de la Real Audiencia. The Casa Colorada houses the Santiago Museum, while the Colonial Museum is installed in the San Francisco church and the Pre-Columbian Art Museum occupies part of the old Customs Palace. The Museum of Fine Arts, established in 1947 the Museum of Contemporary Art, dependent on the Faculty of Arts of the University of Chile.
The Quinta Normal Park also has museums, among which are Natural History, the Artequin Museum, the Science and Technology Museum and the Railway Museum. In other sectors of the city there are the Aeronautical Museum in Cerrillos, the Tajamares Museum in Providencia and the Mirador Interactive Museum in La Granja. The latter, inaugurated in 2000, has been visited by more than 2.8 million attendees, making it the busiest museum in the entire country. As for public libraries, the most important is the National Library located in the center of Santiago. Its origins date back to 1813, which houses the headquarters of the National Archive. In order to provide more to the population, incorporate new technologies and complement the services provided by municipal libraries and the National Library.