Palacio de La Moneda or simply La Moneda, is the seat of the President of the Republic of Chile. It also houses the offices of three cabinet ministers: Interior, General Secretariat of the Presidency and General Secretariat of the Government. It occupies an entire block in downtown Santiago, in the area known as Civic District. La Moneda, originally a colonial mint (moneda means coin), was designed by Italian architect Joaquín Toesca. Construction began in 1784 and was opened in 1805, while still under construction. The production of coins in Chile took place at La Moneda from 1814 to 1929.
During the military coup d'état on September 11, 1973, the palace was partially destroyed by aerial bombing by the Chilean Air Force as requested by the army when it was assaulting the said palace when then Socialist President Salvador Allende rejected the military's ultimatum for him to step down. It has been accepted in some quarters that Allende actually killed himself in the palace as it was under assault by the armed forces. Modern forensics has suggested that it is questionable whether this actually happened. Chile has exhumed the remains of former president Allende to try to resolve the issue over whether he killed himself or not.