The Hills of Valparaiso, Chile – UNESCO City of Colour and Steps

In the Late 19th and Early 20th Centuries, Valparaiso was the most important port on the Pacific coast of South America. However, the completion of the Panama Canal in 1914, changed all that.

Valparaiso Bay from Baron Hill

Valparaiso Bay from Baron Hill

As Valparaiso’s commercial significance faded, its economy also suffered. Ironically, this resulted in the survival of an incredible amount of the colonial architecture from the city’s heyday, which might otherwise have been replaced had the port prospered.

In 2003, a significant portion of the historic heart of Valparaiso was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This includes sections of the Upper Town, the Lower Town and part of the actual port.

The port and hills of Valparaiso from the sea

The port and hills of Valparaiso from the sea

The lower town, or ‘Plan’ as it is sometimes called, is built on the flat, partially reclaimed land between the cliffs and the port. This allowed the lower part of Valparaiso to be laid out in a very regimented fashion, with straight streets and impressive buildings.

View of the lower town from Artillery Hill

View of the lower town from Artillery Hill

But for me, it was the upper town on the hills behind that really captured my imagination. The winding streets, interconnected with steep stairways and crammed with colourful buildings have a old-fashioned charm with which the orderly lower town simply can’t compete.

Baburizza Palace on Alegre Hill, which is within the UNESCO World Heritage Site

Baburizza Palace on Alegre Hill, which is within the UNESCO World Heritage Site

Concepción Hill is also part of the UNESCO WHS - the yellow building with the red roof is our hotel

Concepción Hill is also part of the UNESCO WHS – the yellow building with the red roof is our hotel

A closer look at our lodging, the Grand Hotel Gervasoni

A closer look at our lodging, the Grand Hotel Gervasoni

The houses on Concepción Hill cover every colour of the rainbow.

DSC_0989DSC_0980And many of them are pretty steep.

DSC_0984DSC_0991DSC_0989DSC_0730DSC_0732Although it is possible to find level-ish ground… if you follow the contours.

DSC_0951DSC_0960DSC_0990But eventually you have to face the stairs.

DSC_0733DSC_0734

A local boy showing that you don't always have to use the steps!

A local boy showing that you don’t always have to use the steps!

The houses of Concepción Hill often provide a canvas for local artists.

A new mural being painted

A new mural being painted

DSC_0973

This piece of 'street art' (pun intended) was one of my favourites... especially the way it continued across the actual street...

This piece of ‘street art’ (pun intended) was one of my favourites… especially the way it continued across the actual street…

...and into the gutter

…and into the gutter

Although many of the buildings are colourful works of art all by themselves.

The Brighton House

The Brighton House

The Atkinson House

The Atkinson House

Even the poorer areas outside the area covered by the UNESCO designation are a riot of colour.

DSC_0681DSC_0712

Grand old houses along Avenida Gran Bretaña (Great Britain Avenue) on Playa Ancha Hill

Grand old houses along Avenida Gran Bretaña (Great Britain Avenue) on Playa Ancha Hill

DSC_0702DSC_0701Thanks to Antonio and John of AFIServices for being our guides and showing us around this amazing city. I can’t believe I’m lucky enough to be returning next February!

Hopefully I'll get to stay in the Grand Hotel Gervasoni again...

Hopefully I’ll get to stay in the Grand Hotel Gervasoni again…

...And enjoy this view each morning

…And enjoy this view each morning

This post was inspired by the photo themes ROY G. BIV from Michelle (Daily Post), Old-fashioned from Ailsa (Where’s My Backpack?), Street Portraits from Yvette (guest on Lost in Translation) and Jo’s Monday Walk.

While you’re contemplating the charm of Valparaiso’s hills, not to mention all those steps, why not sign up and follow my continuing Journeys here at Jaspa’s Journal (on WordPress or Bloglovin’), or through my website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr?

And if that’s not enough for you, the first three Jaspa’s Journey novels will soon be available to enjoy, both as ebooks and in paperback! Perfect for Kids 8 – 80!

Jaspa's Journey Logo (Bigger Bucket)

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About Jaspa

Star of my own award-winning adventure novels, Jaspa's Journey. Geocaching addict & F1 fan. Adventure Journeyer & blogger extraordinaire. Check out my website: www.jaspasjourney.com And don’t forget to download the books and see what the buzz is all about!
This entry was posted in History, Jaspa's Journey, Photography, South America, Travel and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

30 Responses to The Hills of Valparaiso, Chile – UNESCO City of Colour and Steps

  1. Paula says:

    🙂 I hope you’ll get a bigger bucket 🙂 This post is marvelous, Jaspa, panoramas, vistas, streets, night shots, children, murals – you have everything. Thank you for linking to my challenge. Best, Paula

  2. Pingback: Thursday’s Special: Street Portraits (response to Guest Challenge) | Lost in Translation

  3. Sue says:

    What a great place, Jaspa!

  4. I’ve always wanted to go to Chile. Wonderful photos!

  5. Pingback: Photo Challenge, ROY G. BIV | tnkerr-Writing Prompts and Practice

  6. Love that you shared these very colorful photos of Chile. I have never visited and had no idea of the creativity. Beautiful photos.

  7. restlessjo says:

    This place was tailor made for me, Jaspa. Even the name gladdens my heart! I love those steps with the colour stripes to take your mind off the climb 🙂 You can always pause and look back down. Everywhere a picture. I absolutely love it! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  8. Good for the challenge
    i like your point of view

    come to see mine and tell me what you think about
    http://www.sylvain-landry.com/challenge/roy-g-biv-the-daily-posts-weekly-photo-challenge.html

  9. Pingback: ROY G. BIV : The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge - Sylvain LANDRY

  10. Pingback: Travel Theme-Old-Fashioned | WoollyMuses

  11. Pingback: Travel theme: Old-fashioned (vorgestrig) | cubusregio

  12. Pingback: Jo’s Monday walk : City of Norwich | restlessjo

  13. Heyjude says:

    Fabulous street-art and what a colourful place! Not so keen on all those steps and steep hills though 😦

  14. Lucid Gypsy says:

    Goodness you’d need to be fit to live up those hills!

  15. colibrist says:

    I was there one month ago, I loved the colors, the street art and the old “ascensores” (funicular/lifts). Nice photos!

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