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article imagePhoto Essay: Handicrafts and sweet delights in ‘La Recova’ market Special

By Igor I. Solar     Aug 5, 2013 in Travel
La Serena - “La Recova” in the city of La Serena, Chile, is one of the most attractive municipal markets in the country where visitors may buy indigenous handicrafts and enjoy regional delicacies.
The origin of this market and supply center dates back to colonial times. In 1698, the town board established the city’s main square as the only place for the sale of food products. Later in 1758, a new regulation restricted the sale of meat and fish products to another place, a few blocks away from the main square. The new market, called “La Recova”, was built in 1795. Over time, fresh merchandise stalls were gradually replaced by shops selling products handcrafted by indigenous artisans of Chile’s northern regions.
Evening at La Recova Market in La Serena  central-northern Chile.
Evening at La Recova Market in La Serena, central-northern Chile.
The market has two courtyards and two levels. The second level houses several restaurants offering r...
The market has two courtyards and two levels. The second level houses several restaurants offering regional gastronomy.
La Recova market. Colourful wicker baskets  Andean pan flutes and other musical instruments.
La Recova market. Colourful wicker baskets, Andean pan flutes and other musical instruments.
In this market one may find an amazing range of handicrafts: carved stone utensils, pottery works of pre-Columbian cultures inspired in Diaguita designs, craft works of Combarbalita stone, semi-precious Lapis-lazuli jewelry, wicker baskets, alpaca wool items, native musical instruments, Peruvian and Bolivian textiles (tapestries), and more. Furthermore, there are many shops selling a wide variety of confections, mainly using the mountain papaya (Vasconcellea pubescens) in several varieties, from fresh fruit, candied or preserved in jars. Other appetizing products available in La Recova market are semi-tropical fruits in syrup, dulce de leche (caramel) with walnuts, and goat cheese.
A visit to the market of La Recova is an adventure of colors and flavors, and a great place for interesting photography.
La Recova market. Indigenous Diaguita handmade rag dolls with baby  wearing typical native attire.
La Recova market. Indigenous Diaguita handmade rag dolls with baby, wearing typical native attire.
La Recova handicraft market.  Several shops sell a wide range of confections  mainly using the mount...
La Recova handicraft market. Several shops sell a wide range of confections, mainly using the mountain papaya including fresh fruit, jams, candied or preserved in jars. This store also sells olive oil and musical instruments.
La Recova handicraft market. Large Bolivian textile showing an Andean flute player and woman dancer.
La Recova handicraft market. Large Bolivian textile showing an Andean flute player and woman dancer.
La Recova handicraft market. Peruvian tapestry showing a market scene in a Peruvian Andean village.
La Recova handicraft market. Peruvian tapestry showing a market scene in a Peruvian Andean village.
Related articles on travel around La Serena, Chile:
Review: ‘Garden of the Heart’ — Japanese meditation scenery in La Serena
Review: La Serena Sculpture Park — Bringing art to public spaces
The Cross of the Third Millennium and its life-size ‘Via Crucis’
More about La Recova, Handicrafts, Market, Chile, papaya fruit
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