It may seem strange to visit a former torture center while on vacation, but this park is special. My husband and I were led by a knowledgeable guide who was patient with our many questions, although our particular guide spoke only Spanish. Most of the original buildings were destroyed at the end of the dictatorship, so little remains of the holding cells and torture chambers. Rather, the park is designed to be more like a metaphor for the horrors that took place there. For example, there are birch trees planted to mark the locations of cells, the trees symbolic of the people who were detained there. There is a rose garden with ceramic markers that give the names of women. There is a memory wall with the names of those known to have passed through the park. There is a serenity there that invites visitors to meditate on this sad chapter of Chile's history. It is to the country's credit that these memory sites exist. I highly recommend a visit.
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