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The city would be slowly rebuilt, giving prominence to the newly founded Concepción, where the Royal Audiencia of Chile was then founded in 1565.However, the constant danger faced by Concepción, due partly to its proximity to the War of Arauco and also to a succession of devastating earthquakes, would not allow the definitive establishment of the Royal Court in Santiago until 1607.Santiago is the cultural, political and financial center of Chile and is home to the regional headquarters of many multinational corporations. The Commune of Santiago, sometimes referred to as "downtown" or "Central Santiago" (Santiago Centro), is an administrative division that comprises roughly the area occupied by the city during its colonial period.The Chilean executive and judiciary are located in Santiago, but Congress meets mostly in nearby Valparaíso. The commune, administered by the Municipality of Santiago and headed by a mayor, is part of the Santiago Province headed by a provincial governor, which is in itself a subdivision of the Santiago Metropolitan Region headed by an intendant.The city is entirely located in the country's central valley.Most of the city lies between 500 m (1,640 ft) and 650 m (2,133 ft) above mean sea level.On 12 February 1541, Valdivia officially founded the city of Santiago del Nuevo Extremo (Santiago of New Extremadura) in honor of St.James, patron saint of Spain, near the Huelén, renamed by the conqueror as "St. (The name Santiago is the local Galician evolution of Vulgar Latin Sanctu Iacobu, "Saint James".) Following colonial rule, Valdivia entrusted the layout of the new town to master builder Pedro de Gamboa, who would design the city grid layout.
The groups were mainly nomadic hunter-gatherers, who traveled from the coast to the interior in search of guanacos during the time of the Andean snowmelt.
These mountains contribute to a considerable smog problem, particularly during winter.
The city outskirts are surrounded by vineyards and Santiago is within a few hours of both the mountains and the Pacific Ocean. In Chile, there are several entities which bear the name of "Santiago" that are often confused.
Despite these classifications, when the term "Santiago" is used without another descriptor, it usually refers to what is also known as Greater Santiago (Gran Santiago), a territorial extension defined by its urban continuity that includes the Commune of Santiago in addition to 36 other communes, which together comprise the majority of the Santiago Province and some areas of neighboring provinces (see Political divisions).
The city and region's demonym is santiaguinos (male) and santiaguinas (female).