Santiago's Cathedral - or Catedral Metropolitana - is considered one of the finest pieces of religious architecture in South America. This is the Catedral Metropolitana's fourth incarnation (as well as numerous touchups) since a church was first dedicated on this spot in 1561, and must be one of its loveliest.
It was most recently rebuilt in the 1750s, with the help of Italian architect Joaquín Toesca, who designed the baroque-fringed neoclassical facade that set the standard for subsequent structures around the Plaza de Armas.
Yet, as impressive as the stone exterior is, it is the resplendent vault and richly adorned altar, inside, that really inspires. A small museum of religious artifacts adjoins the main church.
Enjoyable tour with a great guide!
Absolutely loved this, I could sense my guide's love for the city. Was fascinating being told about Salvador Allende's history after reading about him in one of Isabel Allende's books, and the views, graffiti, military buildings and in fact entire tour were great. Fantastic guide, fluent English.
The tour was very good especially the guide Jacqueline Aliste. She was flexible in the pace and sites we visited. I would recommend her as an excellent guide for a "Gringo" visitor to Santiago. Pickup and drop off was across the street from our hotel.
The Catedral Metropolitana has dominated the west side of the Plaza de Armas for centuries, and is the official heart of the city, from which all other points around Santiago are measured. Driving in this busy neighborhood isn't recommended, but the metro's L5 green line drops you at Plaza de Armas, in front of the main facade of Santiago's Cathedral.
While the interior is worth a look any time, consider visiting for one of the cathedral's organ concerts, played on an ornate instrument the size of some homes. These are held several times a month; check the paper, or ask at the church, to find out about upcoming events.