Saltpeter Offices

Saltpeter Offices

Saltpeter Offices

The saltpeter offices declared National Monument (Monumento Nacional) is one of the many stroll that can be done from Iquique.

The Saltpeter Office Santa Laura. This saltpeter office worked between 1872 and 1960 and is one of the few that have not been totally taken apart. The House of Administration (Casa de Administración) is conserved; a few buildings and the industrial structures. Vestiges of the Iodine House (Casa de Yodo) are conserved – operation derived from the processing of the Saltpeter .

This saltpeter office worked between 1372 and 1960 and is one of the few that have not been totally dismantled. The dismantling of the numerous saltpeter offices was originated after the closing of the tasks and the evacuation of its inhabitants. During World War II (1939-1946), an important part of the industrial structures was dismantled due to the big demand and good price of the old iron; the wood, of Oregon pine, was sold in the city of Iquique.

In the House of the Administration (Casa de la Administración), recovered by Municipality Pozo Almonte, is exhibited a peculiar collection of historical objects relative to the daily life and the tasks in the saltpeter offices. In addition, it counts on a dining room, room of cinema and auditorium opened to the community.

Saltpeter Office Santiago Humberstone which has been transformed into a museum of the site, was inaugurated in 1862 with the name of the Palm (La Palma); in 1933, it changed of proprietor being re-baptized in honor to English saltpeter Chemist, James Humberstone. In those years, it was reconstructed and the new camping rose and it survives until today.

The saltpeter office of Humberstone stopped its operations and was evacuated in 1960. The buildings around the plaza are conserved in good state. Of this saltpeter office stand out the Theater, with its armchairs recently recovered, the Pulpería with a small museum, the House of Administration (Casa de la Administración), the swimming pool with a sunshade of cane and a pool constructed with riveted iron plates, the Church, the hotel and the market. Besides, it is tried to construct a restaurant and a hotel.

In the saltpeter office of Humberstone, the constructions are built up mainly lined or united with fencing and filled up wood partitions with concrete, made on the base of industrial remainders. The industrial sector of the saltpeter office of Humberstone was partly dismantled; it only remains some constructions, as the arsenal, the smelting, the warehouse, the house of force and the chimney.

In order to visit both saltpeter offices, the schedule is from Mondays to Sundays, except for the 1st of January. It is open from 09:00 AM to 19:00 P.M. in summer and until 18:00 in winter. It counts on parking service in front to the access, monitoring, guides, bathrooms.

** Information related to Hours, Rates and Dates might change without any previous notice **