On Tour... Isla Grande de Chiloe Chile
The Isla Grande De Chiloé is located off the west coast of southern Chile in
the Pacific Ocean. It features amazing timber-built churches, an undulating
landscape and villages supported by posts.
In the small village of Chacao there is a large wooden church one of more
than a hundred and fifty that are scattered across the island. Two wooden
towers with blue peaks flank the main entrance gate. Striking architecture
that unites European design with that of this region. Everything is made of
wood with not a single nail used. Fourteen of the churches have been
designated as UNESCO World Heritage sites since the year 2000.
When in 1567 the Spaniard, Francisco De Ulloa, discovered the island, he
founded Castro, its imposing cathedral having been built in 1906. It has
two pointed towers on its façade and the main building is coloured salmon
pink. The church’s interior contains brownish colours with circular wooden
columns and a beautiful, carved altar.
Castro is the island’s oldest town and also the capital of Chiloé
Province. Along the waterfront are numerous colourful wooden houses on
posts, the Palafitos. When viewed from the street, the houses look like
normal buildings but from the coast it can be seen that they are supported by
wooden posts. At high tide the fishermen are able to land by boat directly
beneath the houses and at low tide the posts are exposed in full.
Today the people of Chiloé live from agriculture and fishing and tourism is
also becoming increasingly important.