Landmark n°14. Catedral Metropolitana (Metropolitan Cathedral)
The Metropolitan Cathedral is part of an architectural ensemble, along with the Archbishop Palace and the “Parroquia del Sagrario” (Parish of the Shrine).
The conqueror Pedro de Valdivia oversaw the allocation of the land on the west side of “Plaza de Armas” to build the “Iglesia Mayor” (Main Church). The name was later changed to Metropolitan Cathedral when Pope Pius IV named the entire city as a vast Diocese.
The magnificent building held for three centuries, but it had to be rebuilt five times, because of fires and earthquakes. The current building was last rebuilt in 1748.
The renowned architect Joaquín Toesca was responsible for building the front of the Cathedral, which was inspired by the façade of the church of San Juan de Letrán.
Archbishop Monsignor Mariano Casanova was given the task to give the Renaissance modern character that it maintains to this day.
It is divided into 3 sections: a taller central section and two sides that communicate with each other behind the altar. Its interior decor dazzles for the paintings on the ceilings and 18 Munich-style stained glasses.
In the cathedral lie the remains of important people in the history of Chile: heroes of independence, bishops and governors.
The Metropolitan Cathedral was declared a National Monument in 1951.
On the floor, there are 10 tiles engraved with a number indicating the place where unidentified people were buried.
Address: Plaza de Armas 444
Hours : Mondays through Sundays, 10:00 am to 7:30 am
Services: Access for people with reduced mobility.
Inside the cathedral there is a map of the premises. Audio guides are available in Spanish, English and Portuguese, by downloading an app. Each one of the altars has information about the altar, the prayer and a QR code for the app. And two panoramic viewpoints.