Facts and Data

Official Unesco Page
View photos from OUR PLACE the World Heritage collection

Basis Data:
Unesco World heritage since: 2003
Size of heritage: 23 ha
- Buffer zone: 45 ha

Longitude: -70,372°
Latitude: -32,959°


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.

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Historic Quarter of the Seaport City of Valparaíso

The Historic Quarter of the Seaport City of Valparaíso, located in the Fifth Region of Chile, is a UNESCO World Heritage site that showcases the rich history and cultural significance of this vibrant city. Valparaíso, also known as the Jewel of the Pacific, is renowned for its unique architecture, colorful houses, and stunning views of the Pacific Ocean.


Valparaíso was founded in 1536 by Spanish conquistadors and quickly became an important port for trade between Europe and the Americas. The city's strategic location made it a crucial stopover for ships traveling along the Pacific coast. As a result, Valparaíso flourished economically and culturally, attracting immigrants from all over the world.

During the 19th century, Valparaíso experienced a period of rapid growth and modernization. The city became a melting pot of different cultures, with European, Asian, and African influences shaping its unique identity. This cultural diversity is reflected in the architecture of the Historic Quarter, which features a mix of architectural styles, including neoclassical, Victorian, and Art Nouveau.

However, Valparaíso's golden age came to an end in the early 20th century when the opening of the Panama Canal shifted trade routes away from the city. Valparaíso's economy declined, and many of its historic buildings fell into disrepair. In the 1970s, the city faced further challenges with political unrest and neglect.

Current State

Recognizing the historical and cultural value of Valparaíso, UNESCO designated its Historic Quarter as a World Heritage site in 2003. This designation aimed to preserve and revitalize the city's unique architectural heritage and promote sustainable development.

Today, the Historic Quarter of Valparaíso is a vibrant and lively neighborhood that attracts both locals and tourists. The area is characterized by its steep hills, narrow streets, and colorful houses, which are adorned with beautiful murals and street art. The city's iconic funiculars, or ascensores, provide a unique way to navigate the hilly terrain and offer breathtaking views of the city and the Pacific Ocean.

The restoration efforts in the Historic Quarter have been successful in preserving the architectural integrity of the buildings while adapting them to modern needs. Many of the historic buildings have been transformed into boutique hotels, art galleries, restaurants, and cultural centers, breathing new life into the neighborhood.

Valparaíso's cultural scene is thriving, with numerous art festivals, music events, and street performances taking place throughout the year. The city's bohemian atmosphere and creative spirit have attracted artists, writers, and musicians from all over the world, making it a hub for artistic expression.

Despite the challenges it has faced, Valparaíso's Historic Quarter stands as a testament to the city's resilience and cultural significance. Its unique blend of history, architecture, and vibrant street life make it a must-visit destination for anyone seeking to explore Chile's rich cultural heritage.