Want to read some interesting facts about Chile?
When you start traveling around the country, you’ll find that Chile’s landscape is painted with rugged mountains, arid deserts, and lush forests.
One interesting fact about Chile, that not many people know, is that it has the largest swimming pool in the world and is home to over 18 million people.
The Chilean people’s unique cultural expressions of literature, art, architecture, music, and dance are a result of indigenous, European, and African settlers’ somewhat tumultuous coexistence throughout the centuries.
Stretching over 2,500 miles from North to South Chile encompasses 38 degrees of latitude which contributes significantly to its various degrees of cultural expression.
Interesting Facts About Chile
Chile contains nine different indigenous groups, perhaps the most prominent, influential and resilient are the Mapuche people of South-Central Chile.
Due to its arid climate in the northern region, Chile is one of the best places in South America for astronomical research, the Chilean Government even sponsors UFO research.
What is the length of Chile?
Chile extends 4,270 km and is the longest country in the world.
Chile is home to six UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including Easter Island and its giant moai statues.
The Mapuche are one of the oldest indigenous groups in Chile.
Evidence of their existence dates back to 500BC. Up until the mid-16th century, the Mapuche were the predominant group in South-Central Chile.
The Mapuche people
During the Spanish invasion that started in the mid-16th century, Mapuche tribes resisted the Spanish voraciously.
Today the Mapuche comprise roughly 85% of the remaining indigenous groups in Chile.
With a turbulent past behind them, Mapuche’s rich cultural traditions continue to survive and thrive continuing its inevitable spread around the world.
Mapuche in their native language of Mapudungun translates into “People of the Earth”
The indigenous Mapuche people of Southern Chile enjoy a rich cultural heritage that has been largely influenced by Southern Chile’s geographical isolation, and climate.
Much of the cuisine, music, dance, clothing, and architecture has been derived from the Earth’s natural resources.
Recently, Chile has seen a rise in Ethno-tourism making it possible and somewhat more accessible to visit a traditional Mapuche reserve to connect with locals and experience their culture and traditions.
Famous People from Chile
Some of the most famous Chileans in the world include:
- Pablo Neruda – Poet
- Nicole Polizzi – Actor
- Fernando González – Tennis Player
- Augusto Pinochetz – Politician
Literary Facts About Chile
Known as the Land of Poets, Chile has a vibrant literary history that is essential to its culture and covers a variety of topics ranging from love to magical realism to politics.
- Two Chilean poets have been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.
- Gabriela Mistral was the first Latin American woman to win the prize in 1945.
Gabriela’s most famous poem is Sonetos de la muerte (1914), which is a collection of love poems.
Chile’s earliest literary works came from Spanish conquerors in the 1500s.
It has been commonly acknowledged that Chilean literature began with Alonso de Ercilla y Zuniga.
A Spanish conquistador who wrote the epic poem La Araucana.
The poem was published in 3 parts during the latter part of the 16th century and became a major part of Chile’s cultural heritage.
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It depicts the bravery and heroism of the Spanish and American Indian.
Chile is considered the home of great writers and great writing.
Facts About Chilean Art
Before the arrival of the Spanish, the indigenous cultures of Chile created aesthetic artwork that spread throughout the region.
Most of the artwork created and developed throughout the region was done mainly by the Mapuche, Atacama, Inca, and Diaguita cultures.
Overall the artwork created during this time depicted animal figures and symbols.
The artwork varied depending upon which region you’re located in.
The art created during the pre-Columbian era could be aesthetic, practical, or even depicting rituals and religious ceremonies.
To learn more visit Santiago the capital of Chile to find highlights of some of Chile’s finest artwork from pre-Columbian to contemporary.
Home to the Chilean National Museum of Fine Arts and Chilean Museum of pre-Columbian Art.
In the museum of fine arts, you’ll find sculptures, oil paintings, as well as Italian drawings and Spanish paintings from the 1600s through the 1800s.
Chile’s pre-Columbia art museum is dedicated to displaying pre-Columbian artwork and artifacts from Central America and South America.
Chilean art museums and galleries are a utopia of Chilean artistic culture that comes to life.
Architectural Facts About Chile
With many superior landmarks in Chile, the country has displayed magnificent architectural achievements throughout history from the basic ruca to contemporary.
Chile has experienced earthquakes throughout history. The architecture varies widely across Chile with a vast majority of the buildings differing from region to region, due in large part of Chile’s diverse climate.
Many buildings in the southern region are constructed of wood while the northern region is more stone and concrete.
Chile’s uniquely diverse geography, including its many earthquakes, contributes to some of the strictest building codes on the planet.
Chile’s most important building was once a mint and now houses the President.
Palacio de La Moneda commonly referred to as La Moneda is the seat of the Chilean President and the offices of three cabinet ministers. Interior, General Secretariat of the Presidency, and General Secretariat of Government.
The building has undergone significant renovations, upgrades, and improvements since it was first opened in 1805.
La Moneda Palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its architectural and cultural significance.
Facts About Chilean Music and Dance
Chile’s National Dance La Cueca didn’t originate in Chile.
La Cueca originated from a regional dance in the early 19th century and incorporates Spanish, indigenous, and African influences. La Cuenca was originally danced in Peru before migrating south into Chile.
La Cueca is expressed in various ways and different parts of the country and is a representation of romantic courtship and symbolic of the mating ritual between rooster and hen.
The dance became Chile’s National Dance on September 18th, 1979.
Chile’s diverse musical heritage has been influenced by various origins and influences over the centuries.
Pre-Columbian music comes from the indigenous groups of the region with a majority coming from the Mapuche people, their music is mainly religious and performed with traditional instruments.
Whereas, folkloric music is mainly centered around the Cueca. Chilean music has evolved to include such genres as jazz, pop, boleros, and rock.
Chilean music is as diverse as the people and geography that occupy the land.
Interesting Facts About Chile
As Chile’s culture continues to evolve and spread around the world, the Chilean people are holding firm to their traditions and customs.
Influenced largely by its geographical isolation and homogeneous population Chilean culture is unique to South America.
Due to its strict customs and geographical isolation, Chile is free from many agricultural diseases, such as mad cow, fruit fly, and phylloxera.
Chile’s main comparative advantage is its various agricultural conditions found throughout the country.
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