San Bernardo (Spanish pronunciation: [sam beɾˈnaɾðo]) is a city of Chile, part of the Greater Santiago conurbation. Administratively, it is a commune and the capital of the Maipo Province in the Santiago Metropolitan Region. It is the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Bernardo.
The Festival Nacional del Folklore de San Bernardo has been held at the end of February since 1972 and draws participants and spectators from all around the country. The festival consists performances of traditional and folkloric Chilean music, dance, and singing, as well as competitions held at school, corporate, and community levels. It also features participants from other countries who are invited to showcase their respective folkloric traditions. An additional part of the festivals is the "Feria de Artesanía Tradicional" (english: Traditional Crafts Fair”), which centres around showcasing and promoting traditional artisanal gastronomy, arts and crafts from Chile and other Latin American cultures.
The Alto Maipo sub-region is located in the foothills of the Andes, rising from 400 m.a.s.l. to 800 m.a.s.l. (1,300 to 2,600 feet), and is strongly influenced by the mountainous climate. The mountains make the zone particularly good for viticulture because they produce a great variation in temperature between day and night. This is because the sun must first rise above the Argentinean side of the Andes before reaching the western Chilean slopes, creating cold mornings, and then sets on the western side, leading to hot, sunny afternoons. The climate, combined with the poor, porous and rocky soil, puts the vines under stress which in turn produces a characteristically bold, elegant Cabernet Sauvignon.
The climate of the Metropolitan Region is temperate Mediterranean cold, of the kind called continental. Precipitation is concentrated in the winter months, generally as snow over 900 m above sea level and, in colder years, over the city of Santiago. Winter tends to be cold with frequent frosts during which temperature drops below 0 °C (32 °F). The summer months are usually dry and hot. The Cordillera de la Costa acts as a climate screen and reduces marine influence, which makes the climate more continental. This situation becomes apparent when comparing precipitation from a coastal location such as Valparaíso (460 mm) with that of Santiago de Chile (360 mm).
The annual median precipitation reaches 367 mm on average. The annual median temperature comes out to 13.5 °C (56 °F), with a median high of 21 °C (70 °F) and a median low of 6 °C (43 °F) in urban areas. Rural areas tend to be colder, as temperature reaches −10 °C (14 °F) in the coldest months (July, August)
Most of the region is made up of an extremely fertile, level prairie that the locals call la Depresión intermedia (Intermediate Depression). The terrain is known for its low elevation in relation to sea level and for being surrounded by hills, as well as emergent so-called island hills, such as Santa Lucía (an ancient extinct volcano), Blanco, and Renca, present today in the city of Santiago.
There is some occurrence of the endangered Chilean Wine Palm, Jubaea chilensis within the Santiago Province; this iconic tree of central Chile had a much larger range prehistorically, before the decimation of much of its habitat by the expanding human population.
A series of disasters impeded the development of the city during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries: an earthquake, a 1575 smallpox epidemic, in 1590, 1608, and 1618, the Mapocho River floods, and, finally, the earthquake of 13 May 1647, which killed over 600 people and affected more than five thousand others. However these disasters would not stop the growth of the capital of the Captaincy General of Chile at a time when all the power of the country was centered on the Plaza de Armas santiaguina.
In 1767, the corregidor Luis Manuel de Zañartu, launched one of the most important architectural works of the entire colonial period, Calicanto Bridge, effectively connecting the city to La Chimba on the north side of the river, and began the construction of embankments to prevent overflows of the Mapocho River. Although its builders were able to complete the bridge, the piers were constantly being damaged by the river. In 1780, Governor Agustín de Jáuregui hired the Italian architect Joaquín Toesca, who would design, among other important works, the façade of the cathedral, the Palacio de La Moneda, the canal San Carlos, and the final construction of the embankments during the government of Ambrosio O'Higgins. These important works were opened permanently in 1798. The O'Higgins government also oversaw the opening of the road to Valparaíso in 1791, which connected the capital with the country's main port.
In the airport area of Pudahuel, mean rainfall is 282 mm (11.10 in) per year, about 80% of which occurs during the winter months (May to September), varying between 50 and 80 mm (1.97 and 3.15 in) of rainfall during these months. That amount contrasts with a very dry season during the summer months between December and March, when rainfall does not exceed 4 mm (0.16 in) on average, caused by an anticyclonic dominance continued for about seven or eight months. There is significant variation within the city, with rainfall at the lower-elevation Pudahuel site near the airport being about 20 percent lower than at the older Quinta Normal site near the city centre.
Santiago's rainfall is highly variable and heavily influenced by the El Niño Southern Oscillation cycle, with rainy years coinciding with El Niño events and dry years with La Niña events. The wettest year since records began in 1866 was 1900 with 819.7 millimetres (32.27 in) – part of a "pluvial" from 1898 to 1905 that saw an average of 559.3 millimetres (22.02 in) over eight years incorporating the second wettest year in 1899 with 773.3 millimetres (30.44 in) – and the driest 1924 with 66.1 millimetres (2.60 in). Typically there are lengthy dry spells even in the rainiest of winters, intercepted with similarly lengthy periods of heavy rainfall. For instance, in 1987, the fourth wettest year on record with 712.1 millimetres (28.04 in), there was only 1.7 millimetres (0.07 in) in the 36 days between 3 June and 8 July, followed by 537.2 millimetres (21.15 in) in the 38 days between 9 July and 15 August.
Precipitation is usually only rain, as snowfall only occurs in the Andes and Precordillera, being rare in eastern districts, and extremely rare in most of the city. In winter, the snow line is about 2,100 metres (6,890 ft), and it ranges from 1500 metres (4900 feet) up to 2900 metres (9500 feet). The city is affected only occasionally by snowfall. The period between 2000 and 2017 has been registered 9 snowfalls and only two have been measured in the central sector (2007 and 2017). The amount of snow registered in Santiago on July 15, 2017 ranged between 3.0 cm in Quinta Normal and 10.0 cm in La Reina (Tobalaba).
The building of the Justice Palace (Palacio de Tribunales) is located on the south side of the Montt Square. It was designed by the architect Emilio Doyére and built between 1907 and 1926. The building is home to the Supreme Court of Chile. The panel of 21 judges is the highest judicial power in Chile. The building is also headquarters of the Court of Appeals of Santiago.
Bandera street leads toward the building of the Santiago Stock Exchange (the Bolsa de Comercio), completed in 1917, the Club de la Unión (opened in 1925), the Universidad de Chile (1872), and toward the oldest churchhouse in the city, the San Francisco Church (constructed between 1586 and 1628), with its Marian statue of the Virgen del Socorro ("Our Lady of Help"), which was brought to Chile by Pedro de Valdivia. North of the Plaza de Armas ("Square of Arms", where the colonial militia was mustered) are the Paseo Puente, the Santo Domingo Church (1771), and the Central Market (Mercado Central), an ornamental iron building. Also in downtown Santiago is the Torre Entel, a 127.4-meter-high television tower with observation deck completed in 1974; the tower serves as a communication center for the communications company, ENTEL Chile.
The Costanera Center was completed in 2009, and includes housing, shopping, and entertainment venues. The project, with a total area of 600,000 square meters, includes the 300-meter high Gran Torre Santiago (South America's tallest building) and other commercial buildings. The four office towers are served by highway and subway connections.
Chile: San Bernardo