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The Former National Congress
Building (ex Congreso Nacional
) is the former home of the Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...
an Congress. Congress met in this building in central Santiago
Santiago , also known as Santiago de Chile, is the capital and largest city of Chile, and the center of its largest conurbation . It is located in the country's central valley, at an elevation of above mean sea level...
until Salvador Allende
Salvador Allende Gossens was a Chilean physician and politician who is generally considered the first democratically elected Marxist to become president of a country in Latin America....
's socialist government was overthrown by Augusto Pinochet
Augusto José Ramón Pinochet Ugarte, more commonly known as Augusto Pinochet , was a Chilean army general and dictator who assumed power in a coup d'état on 11 September 1973...
's military coup d'état
The 1973 Chilean coup d'état was a watershed event of the Cold War and the history of Chile. Following an extended period of political unrest between the conservative-dominated Congress of Chile and the socialist-leaning President Salvador Allende, discontent culminated in the latter's downfall in...
on September 11, 1973.
During the Pinochet dictatorship, Congress was moved to new premises in Valparaíso
Valparaíso is a city and commune of Chile, center of its third largest conurbation and one of the country's most important seaports and an increasing cultural center in the Southwest Pacific hemisphere. The city is the capital of the Valparaíso Province and the Valparaíso Region...
; the old building was declared a national monument in 1976 and between 1990 and 2006 housed the ministry of foreign affairs. The Senate moved its offices in Santiago to this building in December 2000. On January 26, 2006 the Chamber of Deputies recovered its old offices.
Work began on the original building under President Manuel Montt Torres (1851–1861), but the construction was not completed until 1876, during the presidency of Federico Errázuriz Zañartu
Federico Marcos del Rosario Errázuriz Zañartu was a Chilean political figure. He served as the president of Chile between 1871 and 1876. He was born in Santiago in 1825 and died there in 1877. Errázuriz was of Basque descent....
. The building was destroyed by fire in 1895, rebuilt, and reopened in 1901, during the Parliamentary Era. It stands on Morandé 441 near the Blvd. Liberador Bernado O'Higgins, amidst a remarkable garden that contains a variety of exotic trees and plant life.
The building is open to the public on a limited basis.