Landmark n°12. Ex Congreso Nacional (Former National Congress)

Posted in Tour I. Historical/Old Santiago, and Hito 12. Ex Congreso Nacional

Landmark n°12. Ex Congreso Nacional (Former National Congress)

Landmark n°12. Ex Congreso Nacional (Former National Congress)
Landmark n°12. Ex Congreso Nacional (Former National Congress)

It is one of the most representative buildings of the democratic life of the country, built by French architect Claude Françoise Brunet, on a land that belonged to the Jesuits.

In the property we can find a square floor where the façade has six Corinthian columns and two wings designed to house the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate, which are divided by a large honor hall.

The beautiful and spacious gardens are the place formerly occupied by the Church of the Company, which on December 8, 1863 suffered a major fire that severely damaged the building. Guillermo Renner was commissioned to design the gardens after the tragic event. Here we can find a memorial to the victims of the fire in a marble statue depicting a Virgin.

After the restoration, the building was inaugurated in 1901, being one of the first works made of reinforced concrete in Chile. It hosted the National Congress until September 11, 1973 which is when it became the Ministry of Justice until the end of the dictatorship. Finally, it was used by the Chancellery until 2006. By this time, the premises started to be returned to the authorities of Congress.

It currently serves as Santiago’s seat of the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate, as well as the Library of Congress.

It was declared National Monument in 1976, because of all the history it contains.

Trivia

Due to public outcry generated by the death of over 1,800 people in the fire that damaged this building on December 20, 1863, the first Fire Department of Santiago was founded, only 12 days after the tragedy.

Address: Compañía 1131

Admission: Free admission to the gardens. Entering the library is free with prior registration.

Hours: Mondays through Fridays, 10:00 am to 5:30 pm

Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Contact:  For guided tours, contact +56-2-250-5136 (50 people max).

Flexible hours depending on availability.

Services: Access for people with reduced mobility and adapted toilets.

Wi-Fi Access for visitors.

Photography allowed.

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