City Introduction

Valparaiso, an important seaport in eastern Pacific Coast of South America and the capital of Aconcagua and Valparaiso Province, located on the south bank of Valparaiso Bay, approximately 130 kilometers away from Santiago and built in 1536. This city was once destroyed by pirates, windstorm, fire and earthquakes, most of the buildings were rebuilt after the earthquake in 1906. Valparaiso has broad harbors, Solid seawalls and modern port facilities. It is also the largest trading port in Chile and accounts for half of the country's imports. The industries include textile, metal-processing, chemical engineering, oil refining, sugar refining, apparel, leather, painting and so on, which accounts for nearly 20 percent of the whole country. The spectacular nature and pleasant weather here make it a great tourism attraction and there are a lot of universities and museums. The western terminal station traverses the Andes international railway and linked with electric trains in capital. Most of the citizens are European emigrants, especially descendants of English, German, French, Italian emigrants. Meanwhile, this city is also the place where the National Assembly, Ministry of Culture and Naval Command of Chile is.

History and Culture

In the golden age of Valparaiso (1848-1914), it attracted a large number of European emigrants and the communities they formed brought a special signature for this city, which was particularly significant in the city’s architectural style. Every emigrant community built their own churches and schools while more and more communities established other economic and cultural institutions, the largest of them were from Britain, Germany and Italy, every community set up settlements on the hillside near the communities, all of which can be still seen today in the National Historic District.

In the second half of the 20th century, Valparaiso experienced a huge downturn and most of the wealthy people moved away from the city center to the prosperous Santiago or Vina del Mar. In the beginning of the 1990s, Valparaiso lost numerous unique heritages and many Chileans abandoned the city. However, by the mid-1990s, a movement launched by grass-roots level was developing vigorously in Valparaiso.

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The Valparaiso foundation, which was founded by a North American poet named Todd Temkin, participated in the renewal project of the main heritages while the foundation also helped to improve the tourism facilities and brought jazz, folk music and grand opera to this city. Temkin promoted the submitting of many important policies through his influence on Sunday column of Leader Valparaiso, such as to form Valparaiso laws in National Assembly, which ensured the financial support for protecting the heritages.

And the Lucas Renzo Pecchenino foundation preserved some painters’ and artists’ creational inspiration that symbolized the mass culture in Valparaiso and provided a redecorated building for them to create art while overlook the bay.

In 2003, the Chilean National Assembly announced that Valparaiso became the “cultural capital” of Chile and then the Ministry of Culture moved to the city. In the last three days of every year, Valparaiso will hold a new year party with hundreds of citizens and the holiday is culminated by the seaside fireworks show. This is the largest party in Latin America, there were once one million visitors standing on the mountaintop and seaside and overlooking the bay.

Valparaiso’s nightlife is the best in Chile. Owning to the various bars and nightclubs, it has been the most popular entertainment place for sailors and students. The origin of a Valparaiso tour guide can be found in Caetano’s novel and the private detective of victory area can be found in Pasio Gervasoni’s painting.

Climate Changes

Valparaiso’s climate is temperate and Mediterranean, similar with San Francisco and Santa Barbara. The city has dry summers but it’s usually foggy because of the Humboldt Current. In winter, if the strong convective clouds cross over the central Chile, it will bring heavy rains occasionally, but the situation is different every year.

The average maximum temperature of Valparaiso in summer is 23 degrees Celsius and the minimum is 13 degrees Celsius, with an average of 2 days and 2mm of rainfall, the average humidity is 73.

The average maximum temperature of Valparaiso in winter is 17 degrees Celsius and the minimum is 9 degrees Celsius, with an average of 6 days and 60mm of rainfall, the average humidity is 80.

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