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28 de agosto de 2023 | 20:52

Chiloé, A Journey Through Time: Visit the Oldest Churches

The Chiloé Archipelago, a corner of the world where history, culture and faith are intricately intertwined in stunning architecture. In this landscape full of natural beauty, the oldest churches of Chiloé stand proudly, each one telling its own story through its wooden walls, tiled roofs and unique design. 

Some churches we recommend visiting in Chiloe:

Achao: The Cradle of Faith in Chiloé

A Journey to the Origin in the Church of Achao

The Church of Achao is the oldest witness of Chiloé’s wooden architecture. It was built around 1740 by Jesuit missionaries. 

As you walk through the Church of Achao, you will find a labyrinth of beauty. Its sober facade and rustic charm will immediately transport you to another era. Its walls have witnessed centuries of faith, resisting the passage of time and the inclement weather. The craftsmanship of its interior, with wood carvings made by Chilean hands, is a testament to the skill and dedication of its builders. The natural colors of the wood inside, the detail in each carving, the decorative patterns on the doors and windows, and the smell of old wood, all contribute to the feeling of being in a truly special place. 

Every detail has been carefully preserved, a testament to the collective effort of the community to keep its history alive. There is no better place to begin your journey through the churches of Chiloé than where it all began: in the Church of Achao.

Rilán: The Soul of Chiloé in Wood and Roof Tile

Tradition and Beauty in the Church of Rilán

Located in the small town of Rilán, this church is an excellent example of the evolution of Chiloé architecture. Built in the 19th century, the Rilán Church stands out for its splendid façade, its bright colors and its detailed woodwork. The Rilán Church is a place full of peace and spirituality, and offers a glimpse into the life of the local community. Beyond its splendid architecture, the Rilán Church represents the soul of the local community. Through its upkeep, the people of Rilán keep tradition and a sense of community alive. Every touch, every repair, every improvement is done with love and dedication. When visiting Rilán, one not only sees a church, but feels the spirit of a close-knit community.

Dalcahue: Where Paths Cross

A Meeting Point at Dalcahue Church

With its location at a strategic point on the island, the Dalcahue Church has for centuries been a meeting point for the inhabitants of Chiloé. This church, built in the 19th century, is famous for its impressive size and its double-pitched roof, a characteristic feature of Chiloé churches. But more than a place of passage, it is a meeting place, where the community gathers to celebrate and share. The interior of Dalcahue Church is equally impressive, with a cedar and cypress altarpiece that displays all its splendor in daylight. Visitors can explore the church at their own pace, taking time to appreciate the architectural details and feel the history that permeates this sacred place. In every corner of this church, there is a detail that captures the attention, a story to tell.

Chiloé: A Treasure of Faith and Tradition

“Visit the oldest churches of Chiloé”: this simple phrase hides a journey full of history, faith and culture. By visiting the Church of Achao, the Church of Rilán and the Church of Dalcahue, you are not only exploring ancient buildings; you are walking through centuries of history and tradition. The churches of Chiloé are much more than buildings; they are a journey through time, a reflection of the faith and history of a community. Each church has a story to tell, and each of those stories is a part of the rich and varied culture of Chiloé.

Each church is a testament to the faith and dedication of the people of Chiloé, and each has its own story to tell. There is no better way to get to know Chiloé than through its churches.

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