The palafitos are present in the edges of lakes, ponds, rivers, wetlands of the sea of all the continents, although they predominate in Asia and South America. These constructions served to protect themselves from hostile animals and neighbors. The origin in Chiloe would be associated with the maritime history of native peoples such as the chono (sea nomads), and the huilliche (earth nomads), that settled in the coast land of Chiloe.
Architecture of the Palafitos of Castro, Chiloe
The stilt houses are of an architecture built with native woods from the evergreen forest of Chiloe, the piles on the water are from dense wood of luma or cypress from Guaitecas, and the wall and roofs coverings, such as tiles, are made of alerce wood.
They have two fronts, one facing the street and another towards the sea that serves as a terrace-dock where the boats are moored; they are often interconnected trough wooden bridges. These characteristics were forming a relationship between the sea and the land.
The constructions were located on fiscal lands. The gratuitousness of the illegally occupied land, made the cost was enormously cheaper. Is for this reason the inhabitants have historically been associated with poverty and precariousness.
Palafitos of Gamboa in Castro, Chiloé Island
On the Island of Chiloe, in the middle of the 19th century the stilt houses appear in many places.
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History of Castro, Capital of Chiloé, Los Lagos Region, Chile
Castro is the capital and heart of the Big Island of Chiloe, located in the Lake District, and is the third oldest city in Chile. The location, culture and history make the city an urban centre to know and discover activities.
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Municipal Museum of Castro, Chiloé Insland
This compact museum surveys Chiloé’s history dating back 6,000 years with the arrival of hunter-gatherers. Exhibits feature objects and texts illustrating the island’s settlement by the Chono and Huilliche populations, among other things.