Historic Quarter of the Seaport City of Valparaíso
The colonial city of Valparaíso presents an excellent example of late19th-century urban and architectural development in Latin America. In its natural amphitheatre-like setting, the city is characterized by a vernacular urban fabric adapted to the hillsides that are dotted with a great variety of church spires.
It contrasts with the geometrical layout utilized in the plain. The city has well preserved its interesting early industrial infrastructures, such as the numerous ‘elevators’ on the steep hillsides.
Churches of Chiloé
The Churches of Chiloé represent a unique example in Latin America of an outstanding form of ecclesiastical wooden architecture. They represent a tradition initiated by the Jesuit Peripatetic Mission in the 17th and 18th centuries, continued and enriched by the Franciscans during the 19th century and still prevailing today.
These churches embody the intangible richness of the Chiloé Archipelago, and bear witness to a successful fusion of indigenous and European culture, the full integration of its architecture in the landscape and environment, as well as to the spiritual values of the communities.
Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works
Humberstone and Santa Laura works contain over 200 former saltpeter works where workers from Chile, Peru and Bolivia lived in company towns and forged a distinctive communal pampinos culture.
That culture is manifest in their rich language, creativity, and solidarity, and, above all, in their pioneering struggle for social justice, which had a profound impact on social history. Situated in the remote desert Pampa, one of the driest deserts on earth, thousands of pampinos lived and worked in this hostile environment, for over 60 years, from 1880, to process the largest deposit of saltpeter in the world, producing the fertilizer sodium nitrate that was to transform agricultural lands in North and South America, and in Europe, and produce great wealth for Chile. Because of the vulnerability of the structures and because of the impact of a recent earthquake, the site was also placed on the List of World Heritage in Danger, to help mobilize resources for its conservation.
Rapa Nui National Park
Rapa Nui, the indigenous name of Easter Island, bears witness to a unique cultural phenomenon. A society of Polynesian origin that settled there c. A.D. 300 established a powerful, imaginative and original tradition of monumental sculpture and architecture, free from any external influence.
From the 10th to the 16th century this society built shrines and erected enormous stone figures known as moai, which created an unrivalled cultural landscape that continues to fascinate people throughout the world.
Sewell Mining Town
Situated 85 km south of the capital, Santiago in an environment marked by extreme climate more than 2,000 m up the Andes, Sewell Mining Town was built by the Braden Copper company in the early 20th century to house workers at what was the world’s largest underground copper mine, El Teniente. It is an outstanding example of the company towns that were born in many remote parts of the world from the fusion of local labour and resources from an industrialized nation, to mine and process high-value natural resources.
At its peak Sewell numbered 15,000 inhabitants, but was largely abandoned in the 1970s. The town was built on a terrain too steep for wheeled vehicles around a large central staircase rising from the railway station. Along its route formal squares of irregular shape with ornamental trees and plants constituted the main public spaces or squares of the town. Off the central staircase, paths ran along the contours leading to smaller squares and secondary staircases linking the town’s different levels. The buildings lining the streets are timber, often painted in vivid green, yellow, red and blue. Designed in the U.S.A., most of them were built on a 19th century American model, but the design of the Industrial School (1936), for example, is of modernist inspiration. Sewell is the only mountain industrial mining settlement of considerable size of the 20th century to have been built for year-round use.