Cerro Polanco

14 Mar

DSC06484Cerro Polanco is one of the forty-two hills of Valparaiso and its own small community. It is notable for two major reasons. One is the funicular that serves the neighborhood. (A funicular is an ascensor in Spanish.) “Ascensor Polanco” is a long tunnel with a three-story elevator that lifts people from “El Plan,” the business district on the flats, to the enclave of Polanco.


The funicular tunnel reminded me of the catacombs in Sicily.  You enter the dark passage from the bright sunshine to the sound of water trickling into runnels lining the tunnel walkway. At the end of the tunnel is a modern steel elevator taking you up to the surface. You exit onto the streets of Polanco.

The other reason that Polanco is known is its outstanding graffiti.

DSC06460Neighborhoods like Cerro Polanco are an amalgam of  buildings made of corrugated metal mixed with wood, and stucco with stone walkways and dirt streets tying the raw architecture together.


This jumble of humanity is the perfect bare canvas for graffiti artists.

DSC06438In the next post you will see Cerro Polanco in all of its artistic glory with the brilliant colors of graffiti art painted across its face.

2 Responses to “Cerro Polanco”

  1. Neil Freer March 14, 2013 at 6:18 pm #

    Have you had a chance to visit Vina Del Mar ? Do the swanky grafitti their houses? Or the Fonk Museum? Strange name…….
    Great pix, thanks!

    • Jill March 14, 2013 at 9:44 pm #

      We did go to Vina del Mar…little to no graffiti. And the Fonk is an interesting natural history museum. We enjoyed it.

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