Quinta Vergara, Viña del Mar
Photos by Lois Porter (except one)

In the heart of Viña del Mar is the beautiful park Quinta Vergara. You can't miss the monuments near the entrance honoring the Chilean poets who won Nobel Prizes: Gabriela Mistral and Pablo Neruda. The park was the estate of the Vergara family, who resided in the Palacio Vergara -- rebuilt in its current form after the 1906 earthquake. The grounds include many wonderful trees, brought back from voyages abroad by Salvador Alvarez. His granddaughter, Blanca Vergara de Errázuriz, rebuilt the palace in 1906. Her father, Jose Francisco Vergara, founded the city of Viña del Mar in 1874. Quinta Vergara offers many acres of woods, with paths and stairs winding up the hill, in addition to the more organized gardens. And another part of the park is the site of the great amphitheater, home of summer concerts as well as the famous February International Festival of Song. Yet another part of the park featured an Arts and Crafts Fair when we visited. One woman was knitting finger puppets as we watched: Lois bought two of them.

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