Landmark n°8. Palacio de la Moneda (Money / Currency Palace)
Considered the main work of neoclassicism in Chile, it was designed by architect Joaquín Toesca and opened its doors in 1805.
By 1730 the Chilean economy suffered a great depression and so the wealthy Spanish merchant Don Francisco García Huidobro was established as Standing Treasurer and acquired the house on the south west corner of Morandé and Huérfanos streets, known as Old Palace. On September 10, 1749, this place minted its first gold coin with the image of King Fernando VI.
Eventually the mint house moved to lands owned by the Teatinos, place chosen by Toesca to start the works in 1784. With a neoclassical style and influences of Roman Doric, the building is a horizontal volume. Its main façade faces Moneda street.
In 1846, under the government of President Manuel Bulnes, the building became the presidential residence and seat of government, although until 1922 it still performed in the work of mintage.
The country’s history is tied to this building because it immediately reminds of the coup of September 11, 1973 when La Moneda Palace was bombed to the ground by the Chilean Armed Forces causing major damage to the building and marked the beginning of the military dictatorship that would last until 1990.
Currently, after 10 years of reconstruction, it is a majestic white building that gives an idea of what the colonial architecture was like on its best days. The interior has several yards, like “Patio de los Naranjos” (Orange Tree Yard) or “Patio de los Cañones” (Cannon Yard), where two ancient cannons from the colonial era are preserved. The remodeling of “Plaza de la Ciudadanía” (Citizenship Square) is also noteworthy, since under it we can find the La Moneda Palace Cultural Centre.
The architect Toesca died in 1799 without seeing his greatest work finished, a work that marked the history of the country.
Address: The whole block between the following streets: Morandé, Moneda, Teatinos and Av. Libertador Bernardo O’Higgins.
Services: Access for people with reduced mobility and adapted toilets.