In 1557 the fist temple consecrated to Our Lady del Rosario de los Dominicos is built. This original construction that is accessed through Puente Street was built with brick and whitewash, and was the work of Juan de Lepe and Anton Mallorquín. The humble chapel of los Dominicos was completely destroyed in the 1595 earthquake.

The second building was directed by Padre Martín de Salvatierra and its structure was in charge of Juan González, master quarryman of the time. This construction, which is outstanding for its noticeable colonial nature was formed by three naves, separated by twelve brick arches, six on each side, a main arch in the central chapel, girth in stone and excellent wood work on the roof and in the choir. Additionally, it had a two story cloister. Once again an earthquake, in May 1647 destroys everything that was built.

The third church, designed in the same site, directed by Padre de Castillo and finished in 1677 was formed by three naves separated by arches, built in brick with an expensive bell tower having a curious style. Similarly to the other works, they were completely destroyed in the 1730 earthquake.

The fourth and last construction is built in the current Santo Domingo with 21 de Mayo Streets in 1747. Work by the master quarryman Juan de los Santos Vasconcellos, who hires some Portuguese quarry men, among them Pedro Amado and Mateo González, and builds the church in a Basilica-type floor layout, with an ample central nave, apse and transept, and two lateral naves separated by semicircular arches sustained by pillars.

In 1771, although the construction has not concluded, the temple was inaugurated and between 1795 and 1796 the work is headed by Joaquín Toesca to carry out the terminations.

The church is built with on-sight lipped stone, extracted from Cerro Blanco and it is of a Neoclassical Doric style with Baroque reminiscent hues. Some mention the Cuzqueño Baroque or Mexican style as an influence, particularly in some of the ornaments and crowning.

The front is formed by a set of moldings and pilasters, completed with some sculptures in niches and in the attic there are another three statues, culminating with two towers on both sides. The access is formed by three doors with semicircular arches, and it can also be observed that there are three openings in the main façade, one is rectangular and centrally placed and there are two lateral ones are formed like a dodecagon. In the lateral façade buttressed ramparts and openings with semicircular arches can be observed.

The roof structure is made with iron covered in tiles and the towers are made with stucco bricks. The ceiling of the central nave is formed by a false vault made of boards and the one in the lateral naves is flat with coffered wood ceiling. In the interior buttresses can be observed.

In 1897, the stone walls were covered in plaster, however, the September 1963 earthquake considerably damaged the temple, the interior was completely destroyed and only the walls were left. A restoration project in charge of Carlos Cruz Montt and Escipión Munizaga, leaves, once again the uncovered ashlar in the perfectly styled stone.


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