Plaza de Armas is the main square of Santiago, the capital of Chile. When the urban design of Chile was created by Pedro de Gamboa in the mid 16th century, the square was put at the centre of the grid pattern of the city’s layout. Here we see its northern side and a row of three important buildings.
On the left we see the Correo Central building, next to Puente Street (Bridge Street). The building serves as the central post office of Santiago and was built in 1882 by the architect Ricardo Brown with a neoclassical facade created by Ramón Fehrman in 1908. The central building is the Palacio de la Real Audiencia de Santiago, which today houses the Museo Histórico Nacional (MHN – National History Museum of Chile). It was built 1804-07 by Juan Goycolea for the Royal Courts of Justice of Chile. Later it also served as the seat of the government of Chile. The third building is the seat of the municipality of Santiago – the city hall – at the corner of the 21 de Mayo Street. It was built 1785-1790 by the italian architect Joaquín Toesca. First it was the seat of the cabildo, the colonial administrative council of the city, while it also served as the prison of the city.