Las Condes - Santiago - Chile
Escuela Militar = Military School.
The Escuela Militar, almost 200 years old, is where the Chilean army officials are formed.
When to visit Escuela Militar
Unfortunately Escuela Militar is not open to the public.
There is however one day a year where the public is allowed to enter the premises of Escuela Militar (without being shot, tasered or mauled by dogs ... just kidding) which is the Día del Patrimonio Cultural day. This culutrual day happens the last Sunday of every May where most national monuments are open to the public with guided tours. The Escuela Militar is a part of this (though I recommend arriving as early as possible). One of the interesting parts of the school is its small museum on the top floor of the main builidng. As you enter the Hall of Honor, go up the stairs on the right and once at the top go through the door to the right.
Short History of Escuela Militar
The history of Escuela Militar is intertwined with that of Chile. It was Bernardo O'Higgins who on 16th of March 1817 signed a decree to build "a place where officials can be formed and instructed to fill the spaces in the regiments and raise a new army (for Chile)". Two officials from the Napolean wars were brought in to organise the theoretic/practical teachings of the academy according to French methods.
The first official "baptism" of war for its members was the Battle of Maipú on the 5th of April 1818.
The institution was called the Academia Militar (Military Academy) until 1843 where it became called the Escuela Militar (Military School), a name it has kept since then.
In 2001 Escuela Militar began to offer 4-year degrees in Military Sciences.
The Alpatacal Tragedy
The patio that appears in the photo above is Patio Alpatacal. It was named so in memory of the cadets and officers that died in a train crash at Alpatacal on 7th of July 1927. They were on their way to Buenos Aires to parade in Argentina's Independence day celebrations. Even though 12 people were killed,the rest of the delegation continued to fulfil their commitment. While they marched in the parade, the Chileans were showered with flowers by the people of Buenos Aires out of recognition or their spirit. This has been the only time the Chilean army has not marched with their Prussian-style helmets (see photos of them at the bottom).
The following statue was made out of the locks of the cadets. Locks are not used in the dormitories to show trust amongst their peers.
Daily Life at Escuela Militar
How to arrive
Address: Av. Presidente Riesco 4601. Las Condes, Santiago Phone:(56-2) 661-5000
There are two entrances. Check the map at the bottom of the page where it says Guardia 1 (Riesco Entrance for vehicles) and Guardia 2 (Los Militares entrance).
Escuela Militar is just outside the Escuela Militar Metro (subway) coming out on the north side on Avda Americo Vespucio. Seriously, you can't miss it. If you do, head towards the bridge and you'll see it to the north.
More photos of Escuela Militar
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