[as of 2015 ]
Population (city): 284 630 (2012)
Population (metro): 930 220 (2012)
The second largest metropolitan area in Chile. A major seaport. The city is built on steep hillsides overlooking the bay of the Pacific Ocean. The old town is protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Valparaíso is known for a rough urban subculture, even though urban dangers are somewhat overstated. The city is vulnerable to earthquakes.
Valparaíso funiculars are a renowned local attraction. Even though called locally “ascensores” (or “elevators”), these are technically cable car funicular railways. Ascensor Palanco, which is actually a true vertical elevator, is the only exception. 30 such funiculars operated in Valparaíso at different times, plus one funicular in the adjoining city of Viña del Mar. Most of the funiculars were installed at the turn of XIX-XX centuries, with the first one, Ascensor Concepción, dating back to 1883. Consecutively, the funiculars were considered the engineering marvels of their time. 19 installations survive to this day, with 15 officially declared National Historic Monuments. 10 funiculars were operational in 2015, with most of the rest slated for restoration. Some funiculars are publically owned, but most are operated by private companies.
List of ascensores:
Map with ascensores' locations: 2015
Photos on map