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Iglesia San Francisco, Isla Chiloe

4.6
#3 of 6 in Historic Sites in Isla Chiloe
Religious Site Tourist Spot
The Church of San Francisco, located on one side of the Plaza de Armas of Castro, Chile, is the main Catholic church of Chiloé’s capital. It has a surface area of 1,404 m2, a width of 52m and a height of 27m. The dome above the church's presbytery is 32m high and the height of its towers is 42m. The church is also known as the Iglesia Apóstol Santiago and erroneously as the “cathedral”, which is actually to be found in Ancud, headquarters of the diocese of the same name. The Church of San Francisco does however lead one of the 24 parishes that form this diocese.The church was declared a Chilean National Monument in 1979 and UNESCO World Heritage Site on 30 November 2000.HistoryCastro is Chile's third oldest city in continued existence. It was founded in February, 1567 by Martín Ruiz de Gamboa, who was sent by his father-in-law, temporary governor of Chile Rodrigo de Quiroga, to establish a city on the Chiloé Archipelago called Santiago de Castro. That same year, a church was built with the name of the apostle James (Santiago in Spanish), which was to be used in the evangelization of the indigenous peoples of Chiloé. The church was burnt down and rebuilt a number of times until its definitive reconstruction in 1771, and used thereafter as a parish administered by the Jesuits.
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Where to stay in Castro

As a major tourist hub, Castro boasts a variety of economical lodgings, mostly located along the two main thoroughfares and their side streets. A range of hotels offer rooms suitable for most budgets, while hostels ensure plenty of beds for visitors interested in spending most of their vacation outdoors, island hopping across the Chiloe Archipelago. Architecture buffs can also explore the waterfront houses on stilts, many of which rent rooms with bay views.
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4.6
  • A striking building clad in yellow sheeting of some form. The inside is busy without being gaudy. A few photos of how it was in the old days are interesting  more »
  • You’ll rarely, if ever, see an entire church done in wood. Usually stone is thought appropriate. Not here in this beautifully done Franciscan mission-turned parish turned cathedral (I think; not sure)...  more »
  • The Iglesias San Francisco dominates the main square Plaza de Armas of Castro. Painted in brilliant yellow and gaudy purple, it is a sensational church, almost Lutheran in style. Due to the salty wind...  more »
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  • Chilean National Monument since 1979. Made mostly from native wood and a very vivid facade painted with bright colors makes it very distinguishable
  • You'll rarely, if ever, see a church done wholly in the local lumber and this Franciscan mission-turned-parish is beautiful. A must-see if you're in Castro.
  • A lovely little church with some wonderful items inside. This is a very important site for the local community and so a good way to get a better understanding of the people who live here. It's also part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site listing.
  • Well worth a look both inside and out when visiting the nice little town if Castro
  • Beautiful in its outside and inside , an UNESCO World Heritage Site mention absolutely deserved