Basilica of Lourdes (Santiago, Chile)

Basilica of Lourdes , also called the Basilica of Our Lady of Lourdes . Chilean Catholic building located in the Quinta Normal commune . This temple is administered by the religious Assumptionists. It is part of the homonymous sanctuary together with the Lourdes Grotto.


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  • 1 Location
  • 2 History
  • 3 Festivities
  • 4Arquitectura
  • 5 See also
  • 6 Image Gallery
  • 7 sources


Located at Paseo Lourdes No. 645, Quinta Normal commune, Metropolitan Region of Santiago in Chile .


In the year 1858 , Bernadette Soubirous experienced a series of apparitions of the Immaculate Conception in the Massabielle grotto, located in the city of Lourdes in France , where she ordered Bernadette to build a chapel in her name so that the pilgrims would go in procession.

On July 20, 1876 , a devotee of Lourdes and fervent priest, Father Jacinto Arriagada, gets the Ecclesiastical Authority to sign a decree authorizing the construction of a temple in honor of the Virgin of Lourdes .

Alejandro Vigouroux, a wealthy neighbor, donates the land, adjacent to the Quinta Normal, to establish the Church and build an exact replica of the original Grotto of the historic Massabielle Grotto in France. In 1880 the construction of the first church dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes in Santiago de Chile began .

The Lourdes Grotto in Santiago was inaugurated on February 11 , 1908 .

On August 6, 1923 , the then Archbishop of Santiago, Monsignor Crescente Errázuriz, elevated the Church of Lourdes to a Parish.

Over time, devotion to the Virgin expanded, causing an increase in pilgrims visiting the sanctuary, so the old temple was reduced and it was decided to replace it with a larger one.

In the year 1929 the construction of the new temple begins and it is possible thanks to the help of humble donations from the people towards the church and the publication of the magazine “El Eco de Lourdes” (since 1901 ) that served as a means of dissemination by the whole country to collaborate. The Basilica was completed in 1958. It is the second tallest religious temple in the country, after the Votive Temple of Maipú, being in turn one of the 400 tallest churches in the world. Its inauguration was presided over by Monsignor Alfredo Cifuentes, Archbishop of La Serena .

The Basilica of Lourdes was proclaimed a “minor basilica” in 1992 by Pope John Paul II , later in 2000 it was named “Permanent Jubilee Temple” of the western area of ​​the Archdiocese of Santiago by the Cardinal Archbishop of Santiago, Monsignor Francisco Javier Errazuriz.

In 2005 , the Lourdes Pedestrian Walkway was inaugurated, designed for the 2010 Chile Bicentennial , thanks to the initiative of the Illustrious Municipality of Quinta Normal.

The earthquake of February 27, 2010, caused damage to the interior of the Basilica, to the stained glass windows and to the dome , as well as the Grotto , which presented damage to the bell tower and niches that tell the story of the apparitions of the Virgin to Bernadette and part of the Convent that is next to the Basilica.

The restoration of the Basilica, grotto and convent was managed by the Cultural Corporation of Rengo, the Coordinator of Infrastructure and Heritage, also attended by Constructora Ingal S. A, the Assumptionist community and restorers of monuments and stained glass.

Since March 2020 , Fr. Pedro Pedraza Zorro has been the Pastoral Manager of the Basilica Sanctuary and Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes in Santiago and Superior of the local Assumptionist Community.


The great basilica of Our Lady of Lourdes celebrates various events, especially every February 11 in commemoration of the apparition of the Virgin of Lourdes in France and on December 8, the day of the Immaculate Conception. Other activities are also carried out, the most traditional being the Lourdes novena, Eucharist , divine singers, religious dances, masses and confessions, among others. In addition, there is an interesting contingent of priests and religious from other congregations or diocesans who offer their services in the Sanctuary.


The Sanctuary of the Virgin of Lourdes is a beautiful Byzantine-Gothic style temple. Its domes, gargoyles , the floor plan in the shape of a Latin cross, stained glass windows, openwork and bell tower decorations stand out. It also has a replica of the Lourdes Grotto in France, which was built on November 21 , 1903 .

Its initial construction was completed in 1893, this part constituted the lateral axis, which is currently the transept of the Basilica. This began its expansion in 1929, being complemented with a vertical axis corresponding to the central nave and aisles. This expansion was possible thanks to donations and the participation of the architects Andrés Garafulic Yancovic and Eduardo Costabal Zegers. The texture of the building is refined and geometrized in the art deco style. It presents Byzantine elements that incorporate mosaics as ornaments and structural strength, which can be seen at the entrance, similar to a fort. It also presents Gothic contributions, with high-rise sculptures in the central nave, although in evidence of geometrization; and pointed arches in the lateral naves, or also called pointed arches and ribbed vaults. Also,concrete with different sculptures on its capitals.

The Basilica is made of reinforced concrete, red marble slabs located inside, carved with the initials of the families that contributed materials for its construction, reddish stone and light stone from the front. Its plant in the form of a Latin cross, has four different levels. The first, on the lower or underground level, corresponds to the set of vaults and crypts of the Religious Assumptionists, the second is at street level, the access, which includes the Basilica, Convent and Grotto that is located in front of the Basilica. The third level is the second floor of the Basilica and the fourth with a corridor of windows around the internal dome and access to the interior void between domes, which is accessed by a staircase, this interior space generated between both exterior and interior domes it is not possible to appreciate neither inside the basilica nor outside of it.

The Basilica of Lourdes stands out for its great dome that reaches 70 meters in height. On the transept of the Basilica it is possible to see, what would be believed to be the great exterior dome, but it is not, since this system is made up of 2 independent domes that leave a gap between them, the interior dome being different with a smaller diameter, and the outer dome above it, with greater diameter. In the drum of the inner dome it is possible to see windows in the shape of a semicircular arch, and above these other smaller ones corresponding to the space produced between both domes, interior and exterior.

Around the main dome are the sculptures of 16 prophets, which belong to biblical characters, which have a height of 3.50 m. Attached to the curved walls, these sculptures, along with all the others that adorn the Basilica, were made by the Antofagasta sculptress Lily Garafulic.

The function of these smaller domes, 40 meters high, that surround the main dome are used as a complementary ornament to the entire structure.

Inside the basilica are the stained glass windows, 650 m² in total, by the French artist Gabriel Loire, who also produced the mosaic of the Last Supper located in one of the apsidioles. These stained glass windows are made of glass , iron and cement , with a smooth surface, opaque on the outside and hammered on the inside.

The glass treatment allows the different shades after the arrival of light, maintaining the intention of a rough and imposing facade with a warm and welcoming interior. Thanks to the handling of light and color, the compositional and representative nature of the image of Jesus and the Virgin Mary , among others, is defined. In the stained glass windows, the image of the family tree of the kings of Israel is immortalized , culminating with Jesus in the arms of Mary in the upper window of the access, the 15 mysteries of the rosary in the former left apse, the apparition of the Virgin of Lourdes to Bernadette in the current right apse, the life of Mary in the central nave, 14 saints of the church in the main altar, 16 devotions to Mary in the transept, among others.


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