Basílica del Salvador y de Nuestra Señora del Carmen – Architecture

The Basilica of the Savior was built with a clear influence of neo-Gothic style, which is inspired in large European cathedrals; as a matter of fact it resembles somewhat to the Milan cathedral. A 40-meter-high and 37-meter-wide big proportioned church, compared only to the Metropolitan Cathedral of Santiago, it was designed by architect Theodore Burchard, who is said to have introduced neo-Gothic style to Chile. The structure, built with lime mortar amalgamated bricks, has two levels; the lower level depicts three large archivolt-decorated entrance porches, which end in pointed arches and are ornamented with saint images and scenes on their spandrels.

The upper level comprises a series of narrow and long windows decorated with trifoliate ornaments, which also end in pointed arches, generating a continuous rhythm. The central entrance porch features a large pointed arch with a variety of lobed and ogival ornaments, keeping a formal unity associated to neo-Gothic decoration. Both sides depict a balustrade containing intricate architectural ornaments, along with foliate elements. The church structure has at-sight bracing as abutments and flying buttresses, decorated like gargoyles, spires and pinnacles, maintaining formal continuity of the original style.

Continuing with entrance structure, the church has inside three naves, each of similar height and separated by an arcade supported by high columns wholly decorated by amazing fasciculated pillars which end in impressingly embellished quadripartite rib vaults. Its surrounding walls are decorated by Gothic-styled chapels and niches, with beautiful pointed arches.