Visit Pablo Neruda’s Casa Museos as part of your Chile travel

Apr 30 21:16 2012 Matthew Barker Print This Article

Pablo Neruda is a Nobel Prize-winner and one of Chile’s best poets. Read about his unique houses, now museums, which you can visit on your Chile travel.

Pablo Neruda is a Nobel Prize winning poet. He lived in Chile in the 20th century (1904-1973),Guest Posting became a poet at a young age, and was a leading intellectual of his time. His oeuvre included epic poems, political manifestos, prose, and most famously, love poems. He won the Nobel Prize in 1971. A long time Communist, Neruda went into exile in the late 1940s, and later became a target of political persecution under the Pinochet government in 1973. His house on the Chilean coast was raided and Neruda later died of heart failure in September of that year.

During his lifetime, he maintained three houses in central Chile, called La Chascona, La Sebastiana, and Isla Negra. Each of these has been converted and travelers can visit them in order to gain insight into the poet’s life and the history of Chile.

La Chascona is Pablo Neruda’s house in Santiago. It is in the bohemian neighborhood of Barrio Bellavista, at the foot of San Cristobal hill, host to Parque Metropolitan and a Virgin Mary statue. This is the house that Neruda built for his then lover, Matilde Urrutia, who had abundant red hair, the source of the houses name. The house was built on a steep slope of the hillside facing toward the Andes, rather than the sun. This house was also raided and vandalized by military soldiers in 1973. A waterfall than ran through the property was diverted to flood the house. After Neruda’s death, Matilde restored the house and lived there until her death in 1985. Today, the house exhibits art work collected by Neruda, such as a portrait of Matilde with two heads painted by Diego Rivera, as well as household objects and furniture.

Visitors to Valparaiso can visit Neruda’s house there, called La Sebastiana. This was Neruda’s escape from Santiago. Neruda shared this house with friends, but he lived on the third and fourth floors and the tower. He decorated the house with old pictures of Valparaiso and a portrait of Walt Whitman. The windows were fashioned in the style of a ship’s skylights. This house, also looted during the military coup, was restored in 1991. The house includes a collection of old maps, paintings and other relics.

The Isla Negra House Museum is located in El Quisco, on the coast south of Valparaiso. This house most fully reflects Neruda’s passionate love for the sea as well as his unique collection of relics and objects. It was in this house that Neruda spent his last hours before being hospitalized in Santiago. In 1993, his remains were exhumed and transferred to the Isla Negra house. 

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Matthew Barker
Matthew Barker

This article was written by a Chile travel expert at Chile For Less who specializes in helping you organize fully customizable trips to South America. Chile For Less is part of the Latin America For Less family, a company unique in its ability to offer a price match guarantee as well as the highest standards in quality and customer service.

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