Puerto Varas or Little Germany
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Could be a Little Germany
Puerto Varas and its surrounding rolling farmland treat you to breathtaking views of valleys, vineyards, productive farms and of course the volcanoes. As most of you know the most active volcano, the 6,500 foot Calbuco has erupted again after 50 years of inactivity. Fortunately for Chileans and unfortunately for Argentines the Westerly winds blow most of the Ash over Argentina leaving this beautiful town unaffected. Those villages closer to the epicenter are not so lucky.
Strolling from one end of the Paseo Patrimonial to the other side of town is the best way to see picturesque Puerto Varas, a place where roses and wine abound. Amid lush surroundings, you can trace the steps of immigrants who long ago arrived from Germany, colonizing the Lake District of Chile and expanded their territory all the way across the border to Bariloche in Argentina.
Puerto Varas is on the shore of Llanquihue Lake, the second-largest lake in Chile. It is overflowing with German architecture and traditions, starting in 1853 during Manuel Montt’s presidency, when the government invited German Catholic immigrants from the Bavarian region to found the city at a time of the revolution in Germany.
This was part of the Law of Selective Immigration of 1845, lobbied by a German expatriate in Chile. Its objective was to bring people of medium to high level of culture to populate the south of Chile in order to revive the domestic economy. The Lutherans, who were wealthier, came on another later wave of immigration and were said to have competed with the poorer Catholics in the construction of their churches and parochial schools.
Germanic architecture everywhere in Puerto Varas literally transports one into a completely Bavarian village. Even the streets are named after German Chileans.
Oh, did I say “completely Bavarian”? Not when you hear the passersby speaking entirely in Spanish. Still, they are Germans at heart and many still speak German and will root for any German football team even if it is up against Chile!
Don’t be surprised if you come face to face with locals wearing traditional Bavarian clothing from time to time.
It is proven in this city that the conservation of colonial architecture with incentives from government significantly brings up the market value of the place, because it is a destination for people to observe culture and relive a bygone era.
Notable Puerto Varas homes display early 20th century architecture, such as Casa Hitschfeld, Casa Wetzel and the Iglesia del Sagrado Corazon de Jesus, which is almost architecturally copied from the Marienkirche Church in the Black Forest, Germany.
All in all if you enjoy peace and order and the beauty of the Lakes District you will love this region.
One must not forget the reason I was there. Showing farms to foreigners who were captivated by its beauty and rich, productive soils. The super friendly locals made the task a pleasure.
Contact the Gateway to South America team to learn about the best investment opportunities in the region. The company is a benchmark for foreign investors wishing to invest in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay, providing expert advice on property acquisition and investment tours.
Post available in: English