La Chascona is one of Pablo Neruda's residences. You can only explore the house on a guided tour but it's worth paying for. The house has a nautical theme throughout and the name, La Chascona, is named after Maltide, his wide, "the tangle-haired woman".
I paid around 3500 CLP (October 2007) for the guided tour.
Tours are given in english and spanish. While it's a short tour, around 45 minutes, it's packed full of information and the guides are great.
This particular house was made for his mistress and later wife, Matilde Urrutia.
If there might be one "must do" thing in Santiago, it would be a visit to Neruda's second home, built especially for his mistress. The tour guides know their stuff and will provide all sorts of insights into the habits and personality of Neruda and the many collectables that are contained here... and there are a lot of interesting and amusing curios to see. Some very interesting works of art are also on display, some by his close friend Diego Rivera. His library is also worthy of mention. His Nobel prize is on display but, unfortunately, only a partial collection of the many books he possessed are now available. When Pinochet came to power, Neruda was exiled and his home was trashed. Most of his immense library, one of the finest in South America, was torched and only a few items were saved. Definitely worth seeing!
Take a taxi to Pablo Neruda's house at the foot of the hill. There is a cafe within the house ---so once you've bought your ticket for a guided tour (in Spanish or English) relax with a coffee, sandwich etc.
The house itself is so interesting: it has been designed to look like a small ship in places and the many rooms are enchanting. There is so much to take in!
A guide is helpful and will give extra information if prompted ---our one seemed to avoid overloading us with too much until we kept asking about this and that.
The over-long shoes are in a studio, behind glass ---but they looked crazy! All very surrealist!
One thing: indoor photos are not allowed.
After the tour you can easily find the funicular railway to take you to the top of the hill ---or you may prefer to stop half-way to visit the zoo.
Whilst staying at Hotel Orly in Providencia we booked a half day tour around Santiago through About Tours. We drove through the different suburbs and saw Historical sights such as Santa Lucia Hill where the conqueror Pedro De Valdivia founded Santiago.
After that we saw The stock exchange, National Library , the court house, and former congress, the Town Square and the national Historical Museum.
We ended our tour by visiting neighbourhoods such as Vitacura,Las Condes and finally finished with El Pueblito de los Domininicos a beautiful village selling craft and art works.
Depnding on our many on tour what cost is. 2 US49
3 US40 and so on
A painting by Diego Rivera graces one of the walls, in one of the many rooms, of "La Chascona", Pablo Neruda's Santiago home. Rivera summed up Neruda's relationshop with Matilde Urrutia perfectly with this portrait of her. In it, she is a woman of two faces, one looking at the viewer, and one to the left, in profile. You must look carefully for the well concealed profile of Neruda, residing in her thick mane of red hair. The place is filled with art and artifacts. Here are three statues from Easter Island. They are eyeless, after Neruda pried their eyes out when islanders advised him that if he removed them from their island, whoever their gaze fell upon would be cursed. As an added safety measure, the wall opposite their sightless stare contains a stone to ward off evil, placed there by Neruda. He was a self proclaimed atheist, but possibly he wanted some insurance. I took a Saturday tour in English which began at 11:00AM. My guide, a young man named Francisco Mondaca, filled me in on the pertinent details. Here is Neruda's Nobel prize, along with awards from other countries. Bars abound, as Pablo was fond of wine and conversation with friends. Mondaca explained, "We Chileans like to drink wine very much, but Neruda was also a poet, so he had to drink even more!" Neruda served his friends only in colored glasses, as he said that color improved the taste of the drink. If you were not a friend and got a drink, it would be served in a clear glass! The ship like construction of the various rooms adds to the flavor of the "Captain's" story. Neruda had a fascination for the sea, yet he was unable to swim. During his life, a creek and waterfall ran alongside the house. Alas, the sound of running water is no more. During the coup of 1973, the military vandalized much of the house, and diverted the stream to flood the house. The creek now runs through a buried culvert. If your soul is that of a romantic, you must visit this home when in Santiago. As for me, when I return home, I'm going to buy some colored glassware!
I love my visit to La Chascona, in no small due to my adoration of Neruda and an excellent, enthusiastic English-speaking guide who was familiar with the arts, Gonzalo. The house itself is very quaint as it is built like a ship and showcases the various collections of Neruda. If you don't read Spanish, be warned that the gift shop does not carry English books of Neruda's poems except for one on his birds poems (!). I hope they stock up soon.
"Brunette and agile girl..." is the begining of Poem 19 by Pablo Neruda... The brunette and agile girl at the picture is just me, and I am not a "must see activity" at all, but Neruda's poetry is so, indeed.
"Niña morena y ágil..." es el comienzo del poema Nº 19 de Pablo Neruda. La niña morena y ágil de la foto soy yo, y yo no soy una actividad que deba verse, en lo absoluto, pero la poesía de Neruda sí que lo es.
"Juegas todos los días con la luz del universo.
Sutil visitadora, llegas en la flor y en el agua.
Eres más que esta blanca cabecita que aprieto
como un racimo entre mis manos cada d?a.
A nadie te pareces desde que yo te amo."
Pablo Neruda - Poema Nº 14 (fragmento)
El gran poeta Pablo Neruda tenía tres casas en Chile; esta, en Isla Negra, es probabemente la más encantadora e interesante. Aquí el vivió sus últimos días, y aquí murió. Su tumba y la de su última esposa, Matilde, se encuentran aquí.
"You play every day with the light of universe.
Sutil visitor, you come in the flower and the water.
You are more than this little head I take
like racemes in my hands each day.
You seem like no other since I love you."
Pablo Neruda - Poem 14 (fragment)
Great poet Pablo Neruda had three houses in Chile; this one, at Isla Negra, is probably the most charming and interesting one. There he lived his last days and died. His tomb, and Matilde's (his last wife) are there.
The Santiago house of Pablo Neruda, where he lived with his first wife.
another poem by Pablo Neruda:
Because of you, in gardens of blossoming flowers I ache from the
perfumes of spring.
I have forgotten your face, I no longer remember your hands;
how did your lips feel on mine?
Because of you, I love the white statues drowsing in the parks,
the white statues that have neither voice nor sight.
I have forgotten your voice, your happy voice; I have forgotten
Like a flower to its perfume, I am bound to my vague memory of
you. I live with pain that is like a wound; if you touch me, you will
do me irreparable harm.
Your caresses enfold me, like climbing vines on melancholy walls.
I have forgotten your love, yet I seem to glimpse you in every
Because of you, the heady perfumes of summer pain me; because
of you, I again seek out the signs that precipitate desires: shooting
stars, falling objects.
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