The last time I went to La Moneda it was just my aunt and me. And because of language barriers I had only a vague idea of what I was looking at. This time we had a English speaking tour guide. Not to mention the added bonus of 9 students and their professor on a school trip from a Pennsylvannia university.
It was the professor who provided the most entertainment on the tour. While in the Patio de los Canelos, as the tour guide was explaining to us about the indigenous people of Chile, the professor decided it was an appropriate time to let everyone know that one of his students was half-Chilean. I had to suppress the urge to one-up him by letting everyone know that my mom is two-halves Chilean.
In the center of Patio de los Canelos is a Canelo tree. The tree is sacred to the Mapuche, one of the indigenous groups in Chile. Around the tree are statues representing the different indigenous groups.
The tour concluded with a question and answer session with the professor. Not the professor and the tour guide. Just the professor. After the tour guide asked if anyone had questions, the professor proceeded to ask her questions and then answer them himself. At one point I actually thought I would lose it and burst out laughing.
Okay so after the first tour finished and the professor and his students left, we began the second tour . This time our tour guides were my aunt and a La Moneda carabinero (police officer). Before we began we made a quick stop to the infirmary. Joe was having pretty bad back pain, so my aunt had the nurse give him an injection of pain medicine. I can't imagine that happening at the White House.
|Joe and the nurse.|
On the second floor, we went into several different salons. I'm not sure what each room is used for, but they're all incredibly decorated, usually based around one color scheme. I'm sure the rooms have official names, but I don't feel like looking them up on the internet.
After seeing all the colored rooms, we visited Allende's office. Salvador Allende was the 29th president of Chile. He died while the military overtook La Moneda on September 11, 1973. There has been controversy over the cause of death. It was initially reported that Allende commited suicide. However, many people doubted this and about three weeks ago his body was exhumed after new evidence had surfaced.
In the last photo you can see the phone that Allende used to make his now famous, farewell speech to the citizens of Chile on live radio.
|The Red Room|
|The Yellow Room|
|The Green Room|
|The Blue Room....also known as the President's office!|
|Sitting at the President's desk...no big deal.|
|Inside his office.|
|A statue in his office with bullets and bullet holes.|
|The adjoining room to his office where Allende died.|
The last room we visited was, by far, the most exciting place in all of La Moneda: the presidential kitchen. Someone left an apple core on the kitchen counter. I can only assume it was the president's, seeing how it was his kitchen.
|a presidential apple core|
Okay, the President was in France, so it probably wasn't his.