To go deep into Hacienda Los Lingues® is like being taken back in time. It is not only a typical big house of the Chilean countryside but it is a living testimony of the colonial times. Everything is kept out as in those days…buildings are made of mud and straw, walls are painted in colonial red and when remodelling or restoration is needed, it is done with historians to preserve the original architecture. Trees decorate courtyards and parks. Among boldos, quillayes, hawthorns, eucalyptus, lingues and olm oaks, typical Chilean animals are found: ducks, quails, ringdoves, foxes and chillas (Chilean foxes).
Los Lingues® also has a breeding stable of superior registered “Aculeo” horses, which is considered one of the best stables in America. It was founded in 1760 and its origins date back to Berber and Numidian horses in the north of Africa, which were brought to Spain by the Moors and finally brought to “the new world” by the Spanish conquistadors.
Aculeo horse (Aculese, which formed and credited the Spanish Riding School guano) is also the first cousin of the Lipizzaner horin Vienna, Austria since 1835. The floor of the stables that reaches 3500 m2 is completely covered by handmade pink stones. Just a few steps away, in the traditional rodeo-ring it is possible to attend to a popular spectacle. Huasos (Chilean cowboys) use harnesses and demonstrate dominating and taming skills with young bulls and stallions, using rein manoeuvres. It can be enjoyed with background Chilean music accompanied by typical delicious dishes and drinks of the zone.
Nevertheless it is not possible to speak about Los Lingues® without mentioning its deeply rooted Spanish tradition among Chilean peasants. It is noticed not only in housing architecture but also in their customs and life habits… their traditional hospitality, religious faith, simplicity and kindness, permanent symbols of "Chilean-ness" are virtues inherited from Spain.
Present owner of Los Lingues®, Mr. Germán Claro Lira, has restored old houses of the estate, both exterior architecture and interior decoration and he presents them as they were in the period of their primitive construction. Architects and historians have advised him on this task who have guided Claro`s purpose to respect those features that rural houses of the central valley had during the Hispanic colonial period and, at the same time, to be faithful to changes that they experienced as a result of Independence.
Hacienda"Los Lingues®" in this way, is shaping up as an appealing educational, historic and cultural center that, in a tangible way, contributes to spreading national values through generations of today and tomorrow.
At the end of the Sixteenth century, Don Melchor Jufré del Águila, settled in Santiago valley; he was an Extremaduran nobleman, son of a knight of the military order of Santiago who held the rank of major in 1599. As a successful writer and chronicler he won prestige in the Santiago’s society and was awarded by the King of Spain with the Estate of Angostura (Estancia de la Angostura) located in the central valley. His daughter Doña María del Águila, wife of the Chilean governor Don Diego González Montero (1669-1670), inherits his father’s house that later would be called Hacienda Los Lingues®. Both are ancestors of the national independence hero Don José Gregorio Argomedo y Montero del Águila, who was born there in 1767. Since then, Los Lingues® has continuously belonged to their descendants for generations. Thus it has managed to stay in the same family for more than four centuries.
In this way it has been possible to show a living testimony of the past, which enables us to better know in the present time the historic reality of a typical Chilean agricultural property. Family houses, for example, built between 1690 and 1700 by the Argomedo family. The big house contains a series of surprises. The famous Bavarian Jesuits of Calera de Tango made some doors and some of their work is kept in Palacio de la Moneda (the Chilean presidential palace) and Catedral de Santiago (cathedral) as pieces of incredible historic value.
The basement, with thick walls made out of "cal y canto" (characteristic building material of that period, made mostly out of lime and egg white), the same material used in the legendarily bridge that crosses the Mapocho river (in Santiago), is transformed in huge winter dining rooms that can hold hundreds of guests. In this place it is possible to taste some of the 150 varieties of Chilean wines that are stored in our wine cellars.
Family houses cover an area of more than 5000 square meters. Most of the pieces of jewelry are still kept: ornaments, fine silver dinner cutlery, game tables, and lamps. Each object has its own history: some of them belonged to distinguished figures of the Chilean aristocracy like Mateo de Toro y Zambrano, Count of the Conquest, who presided in the First National Government Board; there are remembrances of Gaspar Marín and José Gregorio de Argomedo, Ramón Freire, José Victorino Lastarria, among others. A Florentine Christ from the XVII century, made of ivory and that is 72 cm high, which belonged to Pio IX Pope, stands out. It is currently in the estate chapel.
•Don José Gregorio Argomedo y Montero de Aguila,