Torres del Paine National Park

Plaza Victoria, Valparaiso

Plaza Victoria in Valparaiso, Chile.
A view of Plaza Victoria

Also known as Plaza de la Victoria, it is an emblematic place and of great historical importance for the port of Valparaiso, located in the neighborhood of El Almendral.  It takes its name in honor of the Chilean triumph in the war against the Peruvian-Bolivian Confederation, immediately after the victory in the Battle of Yungay in January 1839. It is a historical and patrimonial place, until the 17th century it was a beach and then a bullring.

Today, it is used for cultural and social events. The plaza has an area of 5,768 square meters and is surrounded by Chacabuco, Molina, Plaza Victoria, and Edwards streets. Together with Plaza Simón Bolívar, it forms an important urban nucleus of the city, with important relevant buildings that surround them and a large number of visitors, not for nothing a popular song from the 60s already said: "Plaza de la Victoria, is a great social center🎵🎵..."


Environment and Architecture

After independence, the plaza received several names, such as Plaza O'Higgins, Nueva and Orrego, but in 1841 it was renamed, changing its old name from Plaza Orrego to Plaza de la Victoria, alluding to the recent Chilean military triumph over the Peruvian-Bolivian Confederation. 

From then on, various urbanization and beautification plans were carried out and the plaza began to gain importance for social gatherings as well as commercial and recreational activities.

Currently, the floor is decorated with sinusoidal tiles. In addition, there are several statues of artistic and patrimonial importance:

The Fuente Francesa, in the center of the square is a fountain brought from France, flanked by four statues symbolizing the seasons of the year. It was installed at the end of the 1860's or the beginning of the 1870's. It is a fountain based on the work of the sculptor Mathurin Moreau, and its base is decorated with the mythological figures of four classical gods of water and the seas: Neptune, god of fresh water and the sea; Anphitrite, an ancient goddess of the calm sea, wife of Poseidon; Acis, god of the homonymous river near Etna in Sicily; and Galatea, Acis's beloved and creator of the river, who is sometimes seen as Roda, daughter of the couple of sea kings. At the top, four children holding hands support a smaller plate.

Other interesting ornamental pieces are the two lions located at one of its entrances. These figures would evoke those of the Teatro de la Victoria, collapsed by the 1906 earthquake.

Valparaiso is a historical city with ancient traditions. Its old buildings reflect this past, some of them around this square:

Club Naval de Valparaiso, 1586 Condell St. Naval club founded in 1885 by a group of officers of the Chilean Navy who felt the need to have a center in which to express their concerns and be the custodians of the naval traditions of a victorious Navy at the end of the War of the Pacific. The current Naval Club building is a palace located in front of the Teatro Condell. 

Teatro Condell, 1585 Condell St., a theater and cinema  opened in 1912 next to the gallery that bears his name, with a capacity of 350 spectators. Built by the Italian architect Antonio Lafoglia.

Valparaiso Cathedral, 1774 Chacabuco St. The Gothic building was built between 1910 and 1950 on land donated by Juana Ross Edwards. It was restored after the earthquakes of 1971 and 1985.

In the crypt, next to the graves of the diocesan bishops, the heart of the Minister of State, Mr. Diego Portales, is kept in a bronze amphora. Daily, at 7:00 p.m. you can hear the cathedral bells ringing.

Public Library in Valparaiso, Chile.
Santiago Severin Public Library, 1653 Yungay St., in front of Plaza Simon Bolivar. It was created on February 27, 1873, being the first public library in Chile, after the Biblioteca Nacional. The building, which has a neoclassical and neo-Renaissance style, was inaugurated on October 26, 1919, receiving the name of its benefactor, Santiago Severin. It currently has some 82,000 copies of books, along with approximately 260,000 copies of newspapers and magazines.

Location of Plaza Victoria