Do you like Seafood? Fish Markets and Religion in Coquimbo, Chile
In the 1800s the export of natural resources from the region, mainly gold and copper, led to this city becoming a major port along the coast of Chile. Today the port of Coquimbo is mainly used to ship fruit around the world as well as natural resources from the mines of Chile.
The Coquimbo mosque, also called the Mohammed VI Center for the Dialogue of Civilizations, can be seen sitting on top of Dominante Hill. The mosque was built in 2007 by a Moroccan architect. The minaret is a replica of the largest and oldest mosque in Marrakech, Morocco. It's interesting that this mosque was built in a country where approximately 60% of the population belongs to the Catholic Church. The Muslim population in Chile is made up of only about 4000 people, or 0.1% of the total population.
The temperate waters of the Chilean coast are perfect for catching fresh fish and shellfish, which are often exported as canned fish.
Coquimbo's popular fish market looks like it would be paradise for any seafood lover. Although I bet the smell is overpowering!
Towering above Coquimbo is the Third Millennium Cross Monument, which was erected to honor the birth of Jesus and is the largest religious monument in South America. The cross is 83 meters tall and 40 meters wide. In comparison, the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro is only 30 meters tall and 28 meters wide. The Third Millennium Cross Monument is located on Lookout Hill, at least 150 meters above sea level, a part of the city historically considered to be the poorest. The construction of the cross was completed in a record breaking 10 months time.
The arms of the cross are fitted with large windows that provide a fantastic view on Coquimbo. The Francisco Sanchez Rumoroso Municipal Stadium, home of Coquimbo's soccer team, can be seen from the monument.
Coquimbo has approximately 150,000 inhabitants. During the 1800s many immigrants arrived from England and settled in Coquimbo. Chile is made up of immigrants from many different European countries.
The English district in Coquimbo includes a vintage car monument.