“Cardonal” Farmers Market, a large yellow and green metal frame earthquake-proof structure, has been for over a century one of the main sources of fruits and vegetables for the residents of Valparaiso, Chile.
The great earthquake that struck central Chile in 1906 (8.2 Richter) lasted nearly 4 minutes and destroyed almost the entire city of Valparaiso. Many buildings collapsed and great fires ravaged the city. About 4,000 people were killed and over 20,000 were injured. Among the tasks of reconstruction, the city assigned architect Eduardo Feureisen the design and construction of a new building to house the town’s main market. An essential requirement was that the new structure should withstand earthquakes.
A visit to the colourful Cardonal farmers market is a delight to the senses.
The construction of the market began in 1907 and five years later the municipal authorities inaugurated the two-story building occupying an entire city block at the intersection of Brazil and Uruguay Avenues. The symmetric construction is based on steel beams and columns joined by bolts, similar to a meccano set.
Decorative display of apples, pineapples, picked chilies, pearl onions and olives.
On the first floor there are stalls selling fruits and vegetables and on the second floor there are numerous restaurants that offer inexpensive meals mostly based on typical Chilean cuisine rich in seafood products; take a look at the comments and pictures in this link.
For over a century this place has been the main supply center for fruits and vegetables in the city. The market was owned and operated by the city until 1988 when it was acquired by the tenants. About 200 stalls operate in the market mostly for retail sales, however there are several dedicated to wholesale.
This merchant (Ricardo Valdes) owns several retail and wholesale stalls in the market.
Each day, except Sundays, large crowds including sellers, buyers, visitors and tourists, come to this place causing serious traffic jams. The congestion is aggravated by lots of street vendors that take advantage of the large number of people coming to the market, to sell everything from vegetable seedlings to folk art.
Stalls in the main floor of the market display their products occupying nearly the whole sidewalk.
To this date Cardonal Market has met the requirements of its design and construction. Since it opened in 1912, there have been no less than 5 major earthquakes in the region and, though the building has suffered some damage, it still remains almost intact.
Busy intersection next to the market. A couple of policemen attempt to bring some order to the chaotic traffic. On this day the students of the University nearby had taken the day off from protesting against the government's limited educational funding.