Plaza de Armas and Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes

26 July, 2015

Today I was a bit antsy and trying to stay off the climbing wall so I cracked open my Lonely Planet guide book again! This time the goal was Plaza de Armas. A large plaza central in Santiago. I hopped on a bicycle and enjoyed a sunny cruise in that direction. When I was getting close, I saw a really big cool looking building that is the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (National Art Museum) so decided to go there instead. It was cool, I really enjoy trying to enjoy art. I figure about one-third of the pieces I actually appreciated and was impressed with, one-third I was not impressed with and figured any monkey with a paint brush could make, and the final third was far enough above my head I couldn't figure it out. There was an entire art display of things burning and pebbles the artist had collected lying around and syringes sticking into cotton balls etc. I figure it's probably quite deep and significant but I decided to go back outside and look for Plaza de Armas. I definitely CAN understand plazas.

Plaza de Armas: Since the city's founding in 1541, the Plaza de Armas has been its symbolic heart. In colonial times a gallows was the square's grisly centerpiece; today it's a fountain celebrating libertador (liberator) Simón Bolivar, shaded by more than a hundred Chilean palm trees.

  • My Lonely Planet

So that was neat. Afterwards I swung by to see Iglesia de San Francisco, a church and Santiago's oldest surviving colonial building (first stone laid in 1586). Unfortunately I got there too late and it was closed (hence my photo of the cool old wooden door).