Chapel of the San Juan de Dios Hospital in Chillán (Chile)

Chapel of the San Juan de Dios Hospital . Religious building located in the city of Chillán , Chile . The current construction dates from 1874 , it was located in the center of the hospital, forming an axis that divided it into two equal parts. The temple belongs to the diocese of Chillán.


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


Located at Avenida Libertador Bernardo O’Higgins No. 1651, Chillán, Diguillín province, Ñuble region , Chile .


The first construction of the San Juan de Dios Hospital and its Chapel dates back to 1791 , under the order of the intendant of Concepción, Mr. Ambrosio O’Higgins , being the fourth hospital created in Chile.

The hospital was built and handed over to the administration of the brothers of the Hospitaller Order of San Juan de Dios and its founder was Fray José Rosauro Acuña. The brothers retired in 1867 and the enclosure began to be attended by the French religious Sisters of Charity and the chapel by the Lazarist Fathers, also from France .

The current chapel dates from 1874, it was located in the center of the hospital, constituting an axis that divided it into two equal parts, organized around interior patios surrounded by corridors, forming the classic Renaissance hospital scheme. The chapel in its construction was not part of the general rule of all churches, it had two essential functions that was the healing of the body and shelter of the Christian soul. This is part of a political and social coherence of the time and that extended to the republican life of Chile.

The 1939 earthquake destroyed only the hospital and kept the chapel standing. Given the destruction of the hospital, the decision to create a new health facility arose as a result of the will of Herminda Martin, who ceded her fortune to the creation of the Herminda Martin Clinical Hospital.

The 2010 earthquake caused great damage to the church, which was intended to be repaired in conjunction with the construction of the new Ñuble Regional Hospital, which would occupy the land of the old San Juan de Dios Hospital. However, before the arrival of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Chile, these resources were allocated to support the fight against the disease.


From the outside, the church showed a rectangular base construction made mainly of adobe with a tiled roof and is surrounded on 3 of the 4 sides with a porticoed corridor or corridor. The walls of the temple are one meter wide and in the part that surrounds the altar they are made of adobe , with an interior framework of vine shoots, to give them greater consistency, one of its interior patios still preserves the bell where it is surrounded by corridors with different wooden structures and their stone base that reflect a colonial appearance of those times. Finally, it contains two niches where you can see the wooden carvings of San Juan and San Roque .

The altar is the most elaborate space in the building, made up of 10 wooden columns and above them they form a total of 12 arches. Its ceiling is composed of slats and formed by the convergence of the nerves that start from the capital of each column.

National Monument

The church was declared a National Monument of Chile in the category of Historical Monument, through Decree No. 17813, of November 17 , 1972 .


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