La Chascona (Pablo Neruda’s house in Santiago) is the epitome of modest creativity. Located on a slope in the Bellavista neighbourhood, part of the house is based on the design of a ship, complete with sloping wooden floors and low, narrow passageways. Another part of the house is based on the design of a lighthouse, and is raised higher to provide views of the garden and mountains through the wide glass panels. Captivating art fills the gardens and each room – my favourite is one of galloping horses that was gifted to Neruda and his lover, Matilde by the Brazilian artist Carybé. You can see an example of Carybé’s style here.
Unfortunately no photos were allowed inside but the tour of the house gave me several ideas for my own future home:
A bronze sculpture of a loved one’s hand makes an excellent paperweight
Tree trunks inside the house are lovely and branches make good coffee tables
Amethysts or other pretty stones look pleasant when embedded in a stone wall
If someone builds too close or you don’t have a nice view in a certain direction, just put up a giant picture of a beautiful scene on the wall instead
Naturally, my visit was not complete without purchasing some postcards of Neruda’s poetry, including one called “Oda a la alcachofa” (Ode to the artichoke) which you can see here if you can read Spanish, and here if you do not.
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