The history of Castillo Hidalgo
At the top of Santa Lucia Hill -in the historic center of the city of Santiago, Chile- is El Castillo Hidalgo, a building built in 1816 during the Reconquest by order of the last Spanish Governor of Santiago , Casimiro Marco del Pont. It is one of the most important buildings in the history of the city and, next, we will review all the details of the Castillo Hidalgo history.
In its beginnings, the castle was named Batería Santa Lucía , because it was erected in order to serve as a fortress for the defense of the city of Santiago del Nuevo Extremo. In addition, it was used as a black hole and barracks for the realistic lining. Later, when O'Higgins assumed power, the castle received the name "Manuel Hidalgo" -in honor of a captain who died in the battle of Chacabuco- and became one of the most iconic monuments of the city.
The vision of the Mayor Benjamín Vicuña Mackenna, at the end of the 19th century, was looking for a city in Santiago where you could enjoy and renovate its parks and hills. In the case of Santa Lucía, it created cobbled roads to ride in carriages, beautiful gardens and ornamented fountains, which together with the sculptures and squares are integrated to the porticos and memorial arches, hermitages and spectacular steep stairs that lead to elevated viewpoints -where they began to develop a large part of the social activities- what made this trip one of the most exclusive meeting points of Santiago.
In 1874, Castillo Hidalgo became the seat of a museum that exhibited the Coloniaje Exhibition. However, upon the death of Vicuña Mackenna (1886), the exhibited collection was distributed throughout several places in the capital, and the place was converted into a municipal warehouse. Undoubtedly, a curious fact about the Castillo Hidalgo history.
Years later, in 1910, the first event center of the city was installed on the terrace of the Castle, which housed an exclusive restaurant of the high society of Santiago. The terrace, now roofed, incorporated large windows to enjoy the panoramic views of the city.
It is currently the most traditional meeting point of the capital, after a group of private investors from 1997 decided to restore this majestic monument. It is used for weddings, end of the year parties, graduations and galas, among other events.
El Castillo Hidalgo is one of the many historical points of the capital, and staying at the Almacruz Hotel and Convention Center may be your best option to visit the main tourist attractions of downtown Santiago.