Day 66: Cathedral & Human Rights Museum

in Chile by

This afternoon we went to Plaza de Armas to visit the cathedral, which is enormous. We make it our mission to visit the big city cathedral of wherever we’re staying (Buenos Aires | Montevideo), if we can, for various reasons, but mostly because cathedrals have the best architecture of almost all the buildings we visit, whichever city we’re in. This one was no exception.

The Metropolitan Cathedral of Santiago The Metropolitan Cathedral of Santiago
This might be the most impressive Cathedral we have seen so far in South America

It even had a walkway underneath the main alter where they housed the tombs of bishops and priests past, dating all the way back to the 1600’s and a weird hanging Jesus that seemed like an art installation, but I’m not sure it was (and you can’t call it weird whilst you’re there, so I didn’t like to ask).

The rest of the place was pretty much your standard huge-marble-statue-of-Mary-or-Saint type place, with a few offshoot rooms with ridiculous over the top murals, some so sparkly they looked like Christmas, and a pretty large chapel at the entrance for grand effect.

No, this is not a bad photo. This was actually that bright and shiny.

Then we caught an Uber to somewhere we’ve been meaning to go for a few days, the Museum of Memory and Human Rights, or as it’s also known, Museo de la Memoria y los Derechos Humanos. Since Felipe described what happened to Salvador Allende and what happened when Pinochet took over, we wanted to find out more about the era, being as it was so recent and we were too young at the time to really understand what was happening, but both knew who Pinochet was and that it was bad.

The Museum of Memory and Human Rights, Santiago, Chile.

The reality is that it was worse than we will ever understand. The museum serves as a memorial to the victims of the human rights violations during the civic military regime that ruled under Pinochet from 1973 to 1990. We learned about the coup, the torture that ensued, the thousands of deaths and the people that are still missing. It was hard to believe or comprehend; an uncomfortable read and extremely difficult to take in.

We didn’t manage to spend as much time as we would’ve liked to at the museum, and got kicked out at closing time, but unfortunately we had no WiFi to book an Uber, and weren’t near any stores or obvious places to get a cab. The museum is in the middle of nowhere it seems. It took us over half an hour to walk back to Plaza de Armas to get enough WiFi to get an Uber, but after a long bop and drive, we got home too late to have a Skype session with important people (sorry guys)!

We decided to have a cheap dinner, and got ourselves some wine, cheese, crackers, meat and the most dangerous peanuts in the world. I say that because, they were possibly the most delicious we have ever had (I.e: they were COVERED in sugar) and had a warning on them ALTO CALORIO (HIGH IN CARLORIES). The supermarket wine we had, again, was probably one of the nicest, and at about £6.50 a bottle, we were pretty happy with our decision to stay in.

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