On the last Sunday of May, Chile celebrates “Dia del Patrimonio”, when all the public institutions (museums, government buildings, etc) open their doors to the public for free. There are free walking tours in each neighborhood and major city, and insider access to buildings that aren’t open to the public. For our first Dia Del Patrimonio, we managed to check out a couple of places in the city, noted below.
MUSEO NACIONAL DE BELLAS ARTES
Located two blocks from our apartment, this museum is one of the city’s iconic cultural institutions. Its facade is beautiful, with a domed roof and a mix of Baroque and neo-classical architecture. My favorite aspects of it are the Corinthian columns that decorate the front of the museum.
The inside was a pleasant surprise - it’s not overwhelmingly big that you feel like you can’t see everything in a day, but it still has beautiful works of art that are creative, original and inspiring.
Look at this atrium!
Art exhibit made out of poster board, I think?
And my favorite one from the afternoon - made entirely of shards of glass
Ok, here’s what you need to know about Palacio Bruna. It’s literally two doors down from us, we see it every day from our apartment, and the outside of the building is gorgeous. But there is NO public access. One time we even asked the friendly guard if we could take a quick look inside, but our pleading eyes didn’t help (can’t always get as lucky as we did in Cajon del Maipo). They treat it like a top secret facility.
But here it was, open for a few hours, on Dia del Patrimonio! We hurried over excitedly to the building and found…the wait was over an hour. So, wait we did.
Was it worth it?
I wasn’t blown away by the inside (this isn’t Buckingham Palace), but it felt good finally being able to scratch that Bruna itch.
Fun Fact: this used to be the US embassy, which is why the cross street is called Estados Unidos. Now, it's a Tourism Center (…closed to the public).
INTERESTED IN KNOWING MORE ABOUT SANTIAGO’S HISTORY?
CHECK OUT MY POST ON SANTIAGO WALKING TOUR!
What’s your favorite building in Santiago? Tell me in the comments below!