Museum of Memory and Human Rights#5 in Best Things To Do in Santiago
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If you're looking to learn more about General Augusto Pinochet's dictatorship, plan a visit to the Museum of Memory and Human Rights (Museo de la Memoria y los Derechos Humanos). The museum catalogues Pinochet's 17-year rule, which resulted in the torture, murder and disappearance of thousands of Chileans. According to many recent visitors, the museum succeeds in increasing cultural awareness of the thousands of residents impacted by persecutions, exoneration, imprisonment and torture during Pinochet's rule. The museum pays tribute to the thousands of lives lost between 1973 and 1990 through photographs of victims, video coverage of protesters and a host of legal documents, letters and artifacts from the late 20th century.
Visitors describe the museum's collection of stories and objects as enlightening, yet somber. "The stories, pictures and artifacts are amazing, if somewhat chilling. It is important to learn these lessons so it doesn't happen again," commented one TripAdvisor user. Upon entering the museum, also be sure to admire its glass and copper building, designed by acclaimed Brazilian architect Marcos Figueroa.
You can reach the Museum of Memory and Human Rights by taking metro Line 5 to the Quinta Normal stop. Admission is free and exhibitions are open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; the museum stays open until 8 p.m. between January and March. The documentation center, which features a digital library and extensive collection of historical documents and audio files from 1973 to 1990, stays open year-round from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday to Friday, and is located in the basement of the museum. You may pick up an audio guide, available in English, for 2,000 CLP (about $3.50 USD). For further details, consult the official Museum of Memory and Human Rights website (written in Spanish).
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Beckoning to an artsy crowd, the Bellavista neighborhood features graffiti-lined streets with cafes, art galleries and boutique shops. Here, you'll find inventive cocktail bars and eclectic eateries rubbing shoulders with antique homes and colonial mansions. Spend some time exploring La Chascona — the former home of celebrated poet Pablo Neruda — before scouring the Patio Bellavista shopping area for souvenirs. Also be sure to continue north to take in the scenery from Santiago's crown jewel: St. Christopher Hill, a nearly 3,000-foot high hill tucked inside Metropolitan Park.
The creative energy, trend-setting boutiques and laid-back vibes found in Bellavista make this a popular hangout spot among travelers and locals alike. And according to some recent visitors, the best way to experience it all is by wandering away from the main drag, Pío Nono. "This place is like an outdoor art museum. Between the colorful houses and the street art there seems to be a surprise around every corner," one TripAdvisor user said.
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