Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Pablo Neruda (Valparaiso, Chile)

Just a short walk from our hostel in Valparaiso, Chile, we came upon La Sebastiana, one of the three homes owned by the Chilean poet and Ambassador Pablo Neruda. A poet, literary romantic, and socialist, Neruda was awarded a Nobel Prize in literature in the 1960’s for his poetry, which is well represented in Chilean bookstores even today.

The home has a wonderful view of the bay and (if you look closely and maybe use a little imagination) resembles a ship. The interior was also designed like a ship with narrow hallways broken by "port hole" windows. We entered Neruda's top floor study by ducking our heads under the lintel and stepping over the raised threshold -- similar to some portions of our ship voyage. The home is incredibly unique, filled with Neruda's treastures and art, which he placed in unusual places. He chose to adorn the wall of his study with a lovely blue porcelain sink salvaged from another house and bought at auction. The fixtures are still attached, but not plumbed.

The gardens surrounding his house were in full springtime bloom!

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