Chiloé Churches

The churches of Chiloé, both those declared World Heritage by UNESCO in 2000, as well as those belonging to the Chilota School of Architecture in Wood, possess elements and particular characteristics that have earned them worldwide appreciation.

They were built with an exquisite architectural technique born from the work of the riverbank carpenter and the influence of techniques contributed to the process of evangelization, and the result is a unique architecture in America. They have a series of techniques of assemblies, joints and joints of wood, which were reinforced with plugs and clavicotes.

The current churches are centenarian but in many cases represent a building of third or fourth generation, because when they collapsed or burned, they were rebuilt in the same place with the contribution of materials and work of the community. Currently some of these churches have been restored in their weakest structures to prevent them from collapsing over time. The work has been undertaken by the Friends of Churches Foundation of Chiloé and all the construction systems of the Chilota School of Architecture in Wood are respected. In each intervention works as it was originally done, with Chilote carpenters crews and the use of ancestral techniques with wood from the area.

The temples are still used today by the communities, with a majority believing population and that preserves centuries-old traditions. This is why churches are valued for what they represent as Living Heritage, transcending the architectural value.

Of the sixteen heritage churches, nine are on the east coast of the Big Island, three in Lemuy, two in Quinchao, one in Caguach and one in Chelín. If the administrative divisions are considered, they are all in the province of Chiloé and from north to south they are divided by commune as follows: the church of Colo in Quemchi, those of Tenaún, San Juan and Dalcahue in Dalcahue, those of Caguach, Achao and Quinchao in Quinchao, those of Castro, Nercón, Rilán and Shilling in Castro, those of Vilupulli and Chonchi in Chonchi and those of Aldachildo, Ichuac and Detif in Puqueldón.