SAINT AGUSTIN CHURCH – History

Tornero, Recaredo. Chile Ilustrado: guía descriptiva del territorio de Chile, de las capitales de Provincia, de los puertos principales. Valparaíso, 1872. Sitio web: www.memoriachilena.cl/602/w3-article-8381.html

In 1595 the first Agustin friars arrive in Santiago from Peru after disembarking in Valparaiso. On their arrival, they were welcomed in the La Merced Convent; it is important to remember that the Mercedarians were already settled in Santiago, as well as the Jesuits, Dominicans, Franciscans and Augustinian Canonesses.

A few days later they got a homestead on the block from the Plaza Mayor (Arms Square), which profoundly bothered the Dominicans, calling on the fact that the distance there must be between one convent and the other was not being respected, a provision of the canonic law expressed in the Laws of the Indies, before which the Provincial of the Dominicans, managed to have the Agustin priests leave the place, thus returning to the Mercedarians Convent.

Afterwards, Don Francisco Riveros offered the homestead corresponding to the front of the current Moneda Street, between Estado and Saint Antonio for sale. These houses, it is said, were two story buildings, where the Agustin priests settled, adapting one of the rooms as a church.

Due to this, the upset Franciscans (for the same reason as the Dominicans), history states, harassed the Agustin priests, on a certain day, flooding the installations and later on setting fire to them. Finally, the Royal Audience, with the arbitration of the Jesuit father Luis de Valdivia, resolved the conflict in favor of the Agustin priests.

The small haphazard church and, later, damaged by the fire was restored in a precarious manner, to which Padre Juan Vascones travelled to Peru to ask for help to the Provincial Office and to collect some donations. Four years later he returned to Chile and the church was completely remodeled, where religious services were held until the lateral nave of the new church was being built, created by a Peruvian architect, which was completely destroyed after the 1647 earthquake.

Over the same floor plan, in 1665, Juan de Lepe re-built the brick church, which is inaugurated in 1707. But, the 1730 earthquake once again seriously damages the church, being restored in 1738 and embellished, from 1799 to 1803.

In 1850, Fermín Vivaceta takes on the works and, thanks to his interventions that have remained through time; the Saint Agustin Church is the one remaining today.

 

Be Sociable, Share!