Barrio República is one of the neighborhoods to the west of the historic city center of Santiago that could be enjoyable for architecture lovers to walk through. It’s also full of universities and students, and is otherwise known as Barrio Universitario. I took an hour to explore it but it’s not as impressive as other barrios I’ve walked through.
Starting at Metro República, at the corner of Alameda and Avenida República, I walked down Avenida República. It’s a tree-lined avenue with wide sidewalks. A lot of street vendors were selling goods to university students there. One surprise for me personally was the Colectividad Helénica, a Greek-Chilean institute.
All along the street, I found some interesting mansions and buildings scattered among the universities.
Museo de la Solidaridad
The most important building on Avenida República is the Museo de la Solidaridad. It’s a museum commissioned by Salvador Allende in 1971. The collection was hidden after the military coup of 1973 and the administration of the museum moved to Paris. There, the collection grew to over 1500 pieces and garnered worldwide attention. The museum is housed in the DINA, the headquarters of the Secret Police during the Pinochet regime. It cost CLP $1,000 at the time of writing and is definitely worth visiting.
The collection has various works of left-wing art from all over Latin America and the world. The most prominent artist I noticed in the collection is Joan Miró. To learn more about Joan Miró, see over 180 of his works, and find out about up-to-date exhibitions of his work, please visit Artsy’s Joan Miró page. There is also a display of photos of Allende with a room full of his personal effects.
Avenida Ejército Libertador
The other street that caught my attention was Avenida Ejército Libertador, which has less trees but more cafés. It’s also got the wide sidewalks and a few universities, but doesn’t have as much impressive architecture like Avenida República. The most prominent building on Ejército is the Iglesia de San Lázaro, built in 1930. Metro stations Toesca and Los Héroes sit at opposite ends of Avenida Ejército Libertador.
I wandered up and down a few other streets, but nothing else really caught my eye.