The Plaza de Armas is both the heart of Santiago and the
historical centre, a square hemmed in by impressive Spanish
colonial public buildings, including the 18th-century Cathedral and
elaborate main post office that was once the Spanish governors'
residence. The square became the hub of administrative, commercial
and social life when the city was founded in 1541 and today it
remains the centre of life in the city. Never a dull place to be by
day with its constant activity and throngs of people entertained by
buskers and local artists, the evenings are just as lively when
passers-by can become embroiled in chess games on temporary tables
set up under the trees.
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