Churches of Chiloé

Isla Grande Chiloe and its archipelago, is famous for its churches as 16 have been heritage listed by UNESCO.

As in many parts of the world, many of the first settlers came as evangelists to save the indigenous peoples (from themselves).

In this area of Chile, some of the first Europeans to come were Jesuits. The history of the churches is interesting and their value is in both architectural and cultural heritage.

As with many Catholic churches around the world, the buildings are open every day and visitors of all persuasions are welcome to enter, explore and also to take photographs.

In Ancud, at the northern end of Isla Grande Chiloe we visited the Centro de Visitantes, housed in an 1875 convent, where scale models of some of the churches and their internal structures are on display. For woodworkers, the fine work, range of timbers and unusual joint constructions are fascinating. Included in this small museum were original pieces of each building including some windows & crosses.

We thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to focus on the churches as we travelled around Chiloe and Quinchao, visiting 7 of the 16 listed with UNESCO plus several other smaller churches. We hope you enjoy our photos of some of the churches which are a change from our fascination with mountains, lakes, rivers, glaciers and volcanoes.


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