Churches in Chiloé

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The visitors centre of the ‘Ruta de Las Iglesias’ in Ancud. It is the old ‘Inmaculada Concepcion de Ancud’ building.

On the Island Chiloe there are 16 churches built from timber that are UNESCO heritage sites.  There are many other timber churches as well, but these sixteen churches as the most spectacular I assume.  In the interpretation centre in Ancud there are scale models of some of the churches.  The churches are mostly located around Castro and it’s an interesting display of how the Spanish Jesuits infiltrated the island from the Eastern side in the 1600s.

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Map of Chiloe. We went to churches in Ancud, Castro, Chonchi, Dalcahue and Achao.

The Church in Castro is the largest of the churches and at the moment it is painted bright yellow.

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Model of the Church in Castro

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Iglesia San Francisco de Castro

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Model of the church in Chonchi

As we arrived at the church in Chonchi (about 20mins. busride from Castro) it started to rain (big surprise), so we had time to take a quick picture of the church facade and then had to hide inside the church for a while.  Around the church there are craft markets where I tasted Chonchi’s famous ‘Liqor de Oro’, a very sweet alcoholic drink that tasted like honey and bananas in my opinion.

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The church in Chonchi

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This church in Chonchi is the only one that we entered. The timber columns were originally painted to look like marble. The blue ceiling had stars painted on.

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Timber craftsmanship

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Another model in the visitor’s centre. Unfortunately we didn’t get to see this church in person.

On our last day in Chiloe, we decided that we had to make an effort to see one or two more of the churches, since it is such a big tourist attraction.  So, we hopped on to a bus (which included a ferry ride) from Castro (via Delcahue) to the Quinchao Island  to see the oldest church in Achao.  (Whoever gave names to the towns on the island just made up combinations of Q, C, H and A.  All the names are very similar and it gets very confusing to remember if you’ve been in Quellon or Queilen!)  A note to tourists: most of the churches are closed on a Monday.

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Iglesia de Santa María de Loreto de Achao

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The church in Achao

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The church in Achao.

On the way back from Achao, we stopped in Dalcahue.

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The Nuestra Señora de Los Dolores Church in Delcahue is undergoing renovation at the moment.

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Nuestra Señora de Los Dolores Church

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From Dalcahue we took the ferry to Quinchao Island to see the church in Achao.

During the six days we spent on the Chiloe island, it rained a lot.  As we left the island, the rain stopped and a beautiful rainbow appeared as we drove away in the bus.

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Goodbye Chiloe!

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