The funiculars of Valparaiso: a legacy of Chilean historical heritage
Funiculars are a must at Vaparaiso!
Formerly numbering 27, the funiculars were used by the inhabitants living on the cerros (peaks) slopes to go downtown further down the coast and especially for the return trip! These funiculars move along oblique rails except for the Paulanco elevator which moves vertically. Symbols of the city they have been declared National Monuments.
Not to be missed: that of the Reina Victoria, Cerro Concepción and Cerro Alegre (El Peral).
Among the 27 originals, 8 are still in activity. Coming from Germany and England, many of them have kept their original pieces.
At the time of their inauguration, they were working uphill thanks to a mechanism of hydraulic counterweights and water tanks located at both ends of the route. Later, coal and steam came to replace hydraulic power. And it was not until 1906 that the current electric motors were installed.
In 2012, due to the success of these funiculars, which are part of the cultural and social heritage of the city, the government decided to buy 11 more: Mariposas, Monjas, Artillería, Cordillera, Concepción, Laraín, Espíritu, Santo, Villaseca, Reina Victoria and Lecheros. Some are municipal like Barón, El Peral, Polanco, Reina Victoria and San Augustín.
Today 12 funiculars have been destroyed but 8 are still working.