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The Houses in the Sea

 Estimated reading time: 1 min. Texts Karina Jozami   Photos Eduardo Epifanio
Palafittes on Chiloe Island

The singular palafittes of Castro are one of the urban attractions in this seaside city.

Along with its churches, the architecture of Castro shows another typical expression of the island: the palafittes. These constructions, very well-known in the seaside areas, have their southernmost representative in Chiloé.

These houses are made of wood and larch tiles and they sit on a pier with thick stilts. They have two façades, one facing the street, to which they are joint through a bridge, and another one facing the channel, which includes an upper terrace generally used as a yard, and a lower level that, according to the tide, is used for the typical fishing tasks. The barges waiting to go out in search for seafood and fish are moored in this sector.

Beyond their attractiveness, the colorful palafittes offer islanders a cozy home near the shore, safe and free of humidity, quite appropriate for those whose life revolves around the sea.
Palafittes on Chiloe Island
Not only Castro, but Ancud, Quemchi and Chonchi, amongst other ports, have adopted this way of using the coast during the commercial expansion of the XIXth century.

To have a good sight of this picturesque hamlet, visitors should walk along Blanco Street up to the seafront and the port and head for the coastline in Pedro Montt and Aguirre Cerda Streets, where the palafittes are located. A clear expression of sea architecture.
Palafittes on Chiloe Island
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