- 1 hour (Approx.)
- Mobile ticket
In 1953, Pablo Neruda started to build a house in Santiago, for Matilde Urrutia, his secret love in that time. He called the house “La Chascona” in her honor, that was the nickname he gave her due to her abundant red hair. Matilde remembers an afternoon in which they were walking by the neighborhood, that today is called Bellavista, they found a property for sale, at the bottom of the San Cristobal hill. Both of them were filled with enthusiasm and decided to buy it. The construction was handed over to the Catalan architect German Rodriguez Arias. When he saw such a steep terrain, he predict that the inhabitants of the house were condemned to live going up and down the stairs. He projected the building oriented towards the sun, it meant facing the city. But, Neruda wanted the view towards the cordillera, so he turned around the house in the plan. German Rodriguez had to acknowledge the house ended up being more a creation of Neruda than his own.
- Audio-guide system available in English, French, German, Portuguese and Spanish
- Entry/Admission - Casa Museo La Chascona
- Food and drinks
- Hotel pickup and drop-off
March to December: Tuesday to Sunday 10am to 6pm January and February: Tuesday to Sunday 10am to 7pm Monday closed
Visit: Casa Museo La Chascona, Santiago, Santiago Metropolitan Region
Many of Neruda’s friends were participants of the guarded secret of “La Chascona”. Among them the Mexican muralist Diego Rivera, who painted a portrait of Matilde with two heads. If you pay attention to her hair, you could see to appear the diffused profile of Neruda, the lover who was still remained hidden. This is one of the pieces shown in the house – museum today.
In February 1955, Neruda was separated from Delia del Carril and he moved in to “La Chascona”. The house had kept growing with the addition of a kitchen and a dining room. Afterwards a bar and a library were built. The architect Carlos Martner was in charge of the latest additions in 1958. For then Rodriguez Arias had returned to Europe.
Martner have commented the singularity with which Neruda constructed his houses. He didn’t do it accordingly to the conventional procedures, starting with the design of function, space and structural plans: “In one occasion he had a window, a picture and an armchair he liked a lot, and he wanted to create a corner were they were included” – then, the poet conditioned the space to the object, the whole to the part.
At “La Chascona” is fulfilled what Miguel Rojas Mix observed when he made note that Neruda modeled his spaces far from the bourgeoisie pleasure: More than the ostentatious fronts, he had interest in the intimacy of the interior ambient.
“La Chascona” Had its death and resurrection. On September 23rd, 1973, days after the military coup which overthrow President Salvador Allende, Neruda died at the Santa Maria Clinic of Santiago. “La Chascona had been object of vandalism acts. The ditch so loved by the poet was obstructed and the house was flooded, it had to be placed some wood slabs over the mud in order to make possible the entrance of his remains, since Matilde Urrutia insisted to have his funeral in there. She together with a few friends spent that night in the broken windows living room.
Matilde made a big effort to fix the damages of the house she had built with Neruda, and she continued living in it until her death in 1985.
- Confirmation will be received at time of booking
- Not wheelchair accessible
- The Pablo Neruda Museum Houses have a limited daily capacity and access is first-come, first serve.
- Most travelers can participate
- This tour/activity will have a maximum of 15 travelers
All sales are final and incur 100% cancellation penalties.