Memory Monday: A South American Tour… Three cities

View from Philippi Park

The cities of Puerto Varas and Frutillar sit along the shores of Lake Llanquihue, the second largest lake in the country, some 900 km (559 miles) south of Chile’s capital, Santiago. Like the Puerto Montt region, the area was developed by German immigrants in the mid 1800s. Puerto Varas was founded in 1853, and Frutillar in 1856. Of course, the history of these lands goes back much further than that, but the German influence is clearly visible in the architecture and the cuisine. The Osorno Volcano is also on clear view, across the lake on the eastern shore.

Views of the German Museum in Frutillar

By contrast, the history of Valdivia, roughly a 2-hour drive north from Frutillar, can be traced back to its founding by the Spanish in 1552. This region has recorded a much more colorful past, with invasions, occupations, major earthquakes, and the city’s abandonment around 1600.

Castile San Sebastian de la Cruz, part of the Valdivia Fort System, dating from the 1600s

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