World Heritage #0959 – City of Valparaíso

Last modified 30.10.2022 | Published 15.02.1988Chile, South America, World Heritage Sites

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The important port city of Valparaíso on the Chilean coast offers some nice funicular rides up the steep hillsides.

The UNESCO World Heritage List includes more than a thousand properties with outstanding universal value. They are all part of the world’s cultural and natural heritage.

Official facts

  • Official title: Historic Quarter of the Seaport City of Valparaíso
  • Country: Chile
  • Date of Inscription: 2003
  • Category: Cultural site

UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre’s short description of site no. 959:

“The colonial city of Valparaíso presents an excellent example of late 19th-century urban and architectural development in Latin America. In its natural amphitheatre-like setting, the city is characterized by a vernacular urban fabric adapted to the hillsides that are dotted with a great variety of church spires. It contrasts with the geometrical layout utilized in the plain. The city has well preserved its interesting early industrial infrastructures, such as the numerous ‘elevators’ on the steep hillsides.”

My visit

I spent a few days here on my 1987-1988 South American journey. It was a pleasant city as I recall. In my diary at the time, not yet converted to a blog entry here, I wrote:

“Valparaíso is situated in a kind of pot at the coast with populated hillsides behind it. There are elevators leading up the hillsides and we saw several pleasant streets. There were fine view both towards Vina and impoverished areas. This must be the town in Chile with the most Chinese restaurants. That may be natural considering the size of the city’s harbour.”

Read more about my visit. 

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