Barrio Dieciocho

Barrio Dieciocho is a neighborhood in Santiago that used to be home to some elite families. It still has some nice architecture for a good hour or so of exploring.

The most famous of all the palaces built in the area is the Palacio Cousiño on Calle Dieciocho. It was built in 1878 for one of the richest families in Santiago, the Cousiño family, who made their fortune in mining and shipping. It housed foreign dignitaries after 1940, and in 1968 it became a museum. Unfortunately, it was closed for restoration when I tried to visit.

Palacio Cousiño in Barrio Dieciocho, Santiago de Chile

Palacio Cousiño

Palacio Cousiño in Barrio Dieciocho, Santiago de Chile

Palacio Cousiño

Walking north on Calle Dieciocho to Alameda, I encountered a lot of nice buildings. Most of them served some sort of institution or university. Others were once lavish private mansions.

Calle Dieciocho in Barrio Dieciocho, Santiago de Chile

Calle Dieciocho

Calle Dieciocho in Barrio Dieciocho, Santiago de Chile

Calle Dieciocho

Some of the more well-known mansions included Mansión Luis Besa, Mansión Subercaseaux, and Palacio Eguiguren (1918).

Mansión Luis Besa in Barrio Dieciocho, Santiago de Chile

Mansión Luis Besa

Mansión Subercaseaux on Calle Dieciocho in Barrio Dieciocho, Santiago de Chile

Mansión Subercaseaux

Palacio Eguiguren in Barrio Dieciocho, Santiago de Chile

Palacio Eguiguren

At the corner with Alameda, there’s a pink building called Palacio Íñiguez. It was built in 1908 and is one of the buildings that stood out the most in the entire barrio.

Palacio Íñiguez in Barrio Dieciocho, Santiago de Chile

Palacio Íñiguez

Palacio Íñiguez in Barrio Dieciocho, Santiago de Chile

Palacio Íñiguez

On the ground floor of Palacio Íñiguez is Confitería Torres. This is the oldest café in Santiago, opening in 1879. It was a favorite of intellectuals, politicians, and aristocrats. The menu is not cheap and service was slow, but it was a nice experience.

Confitería Torres in Barrio Dieciocho, Santiago de Chile

Confitería Torres

Confitería Torres in Barrio Dieciocho, Santiago de Chile

Confitería Torres

I had the Barros Luco, named after the president who frequented the restaurant and always ordered it. It’s a sandwich with melted cheese and steak on toasted bread. It was pretty good but not filling. It was CLP $5,700.

Barros Luco at Confitería Torres in Barrio Dieciocho, Santiago de Chile

Barros Luco

On the next corner heading east on Alameda was the Círculo Español. It was a former aristocratic club in Palacio Irarrázabal.

Palacio Irarrázabal in Barrio Dieciocho, Santiago de Chile

Palacio Irarrázabal

Turning right on Calle San Ignacio de Loyola, there are a few more blocks of buildings to see, although some of them are still run down and not yet restored. One noticeable building is the Iglesia de San Ignacio. It was built in 1899.

Calle San Ignacio de Loyola in Barrio Dieciocho, Santiago de Chile

Calle San Ignacio de Loyola

Iglesia de San Ignacio in Barrio Dieciocho, Santiago de Chile

Iglesia de San Ignacio

Iglesia de San Ignacio in Barrio Dieciocho, Santiago de Chile

Iglesia de San Ignacio

One of my favorite blocks is a small part of Calle Padre Alonso de Ovalle. It contains several beautiful buildings.

Calle Padre Alonso de Ovalle in Barrio Dieciocho, Santiago de Chile

Calle Padre Alonso de Ovalle

Calle Padre Alonso de Ovalle in Barrio Dieciocho, Santiago de Chile

Calle Padre Alonso de Ovalle

Calle Padre Alonso de Ovalle in Barrio Dieciocho, Santiago de Chile

Calle Padre Alonso de Ovalle

At the southern end of Calle San Ignacio de Loyola sits Parque Diego de Almagro. It runs for a few blocks east to west and is full of trees giving shade to university students and mothers playing with their children.

Parque Diego de Almagro in Barrio Dieciocho, Santiago de Chile

Parque Diego de Almagro

Parque Diego de Almagro in Barrio Dieciocho, Santiago de Chile

Parque Diego de Almagro

At the very east end of the park is the back of the Basílica de los Sacramentinos. When you look at the dome, you might feel as if you’ve been transported to Paris. The church was modeled after Basilique du Sacré-Cœur and was completed in 1931. The front end of the church has a small park and fountain across the street.

Basílica de los Sacramentinos in Barrio Dieciocho, Santiago de Chile

Basílica de los Sacramentinos

Basílica de los Sacramentinos in Barrio Dieciocho, Santiago de Chile

Basílica de los Sacramentinos

Basílica de los Sacramentinos in Barrio Dieciocho, Santiago de Chile

Basílica de los Sacramentinos

Getting to Barrio Dieciocho is easy. The nearest metro station to Palacio Cousiño is Toesca on the Yellow Line. Universidad de Chile metro station is about a ten minute walk down Calle Prat to the Basílica de los Sacramentinos. Metro Los Héroes will leave you outside of Confitería Torres.

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