VALPARAISO – VIÑA DEL MAR
Valparaiso is one of the oldest cities in Chile. Its origins go back to 1536 and by its quality of main port of the kingdom played a determining role in the process of national emancipation.
Located 120 kilometers from Santiago, it is the capital of the fifth of the twelve regions in which it has been administratively divided this country whose modality of government is centralized. With the cities of Viña del Mar, Reñaca,Concón, Quilpué and Villa Alemana form a conurbation denominated Great Valparaiso.
Valpo Sede of the Legislative Power of the nation and declared capital of cultural institutions of the country, it houses the regional government and most of the regional secretariats of the central government and is seat of the Chilean Navy.
The urban configuration of Valparaiso is determined by its crazy topography, dominated by 44 hills that stand in a natural amphitheater overlooking the ocean that merges with the sky. The streets at the foot of the hill, the narrow passages, the stairs, the viewpoints, the houses hanging in the void and that seem to reach the hand of the passengers of ancient lifts, the fissures with sea bottom … Traits of a city Which, in addition, sees itself from the hills.
The population of the commune of Valparaiso is close to 300 thousand people, of whom 94%, that is to say almost 280 thousand, live perched in the hills.
The city serves as support for port activity through the provision of a series of services. Important financial institutions, such as banks and investment entities, considered as facilitators of foreign trade, are concentrated in the narrow plan of the city, together with the governmental services that regulate the commercial transactions.
The city is heir to a historical past that gives it a unique identity. In the nineteenth century it hosted successive waves of immigrants, mainly European, which gave Valparaiso a cosmopolitan and pluralistic character, in a country that due to formidable natural obstacles developed for centuries an insular and monolithic character from the cultural point of view. Testimony of this richness is the heterogeneous architecture that is observed when crossing the plan and the hills