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El Via Christi

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El Via Christi

Most of what you need can be found within a couple of blocks of the central Plaza San Martín with its fine araucaria trees among mature alerces and cedars. The small Museo Salesiano (Ginés Ponte y Nogueira, Mon-Fri 0900-1230, 1430-1930, Sat 0900-1230) has a fine collection of Mapuche weavings, instruments and arrowheads, and you can buy a whole range of excellent Mapuche handicrafts in the Feria Artesanal behind the tourist office. There’s an impressive religious sculpture park El Via Christi (just west of the town, T02972-491684, http://www.viachristi.com.ar) from the plaza walk up Avenida Ant Argentina across the main road, Route 234, to the end. Situated among pine forest on a hillside, the Stations of the Cross are illustrated with touching and beautifully executed sculptures of Mapuche figures, ingeniously depicting scenes from Jesus’ life together with a history of the town and the Mapuche community. The sculptures are to be found along trails through the pine woods. A lovely place to walk, and highly recommended. The church, Santuario Nuestra Señora de las Nieves y Beata Laura Vicuña, also has fine Mapuche weavings, and is a pleasing calm space.

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