Museo Palacio Rioja
After the massive 1906 earthquake, Spanish banker Fernando Rioja hired French immigrant architect Alfredo Azancot to build this French neoclassical mansion, now a national historical monument, as his Viña residence.
Surrounded by sprawling gardens (since substantially reduced) of exotic trees from around the world, embellished with pools, tennis courts, stables, and a riding arena, the 1620-square-meter palace also included a private theater, now used as a cinema.
Now municipal property, the Museo Palacio Rioja (Quillota 214, tel. 0322/483664) also hosts musical events at its Conservatorio de Música Izidor Handler. It’s open 10 a.m.–1:30 p.m. and 3–5:30 p.m. daily except Monday; admission costs US$1.20 for adults, US$0.60 for children.
© Wayne Bernhardson from Moon Chile, 2nd edition