Chapel of the San Sebastian Hospital in Los Angeles (Chile)

Chapel of the San Sebastian Hospital . Religious enclosure of Catholic worship located inside the Dr. Víctor Ríos Ruiz Hospital in the city of Los Angeles , Chile . It belongs to the Diocese of Santa María de Los Ángeles.


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


Located at Avenida Ricardo Vicuña No. 147, Los Angeles, Biobío region , Chile .


The Hospital of Los Angeles was founded with the sponsorship of the Municipality of the city in 1867 . In its beginnings it was known as Hospital de la Caridad because it was attended, mostly, by nuns of the Order of Our Lady of Charity. However, its name was changed in 1877 , officially becoming Hospital San Sebastián.

In 1877, the original chapel of the hospital was inaugurated and in the following years it suffered multiple structural damages due to different seismic events. After this, its reconstruction was carried out on the foundations of the original construction, using mainly baked clay bricks, mud , straw and wood . The new building was executed between 1916 and 1924 .

The 1939 earthquake seriously damaged the Hospital San Sebastián , so it had to be demolished, but the chapel was preserved. In subsequent years, the city’s Charity Board was asked to build a new hospital, which was inaugurated in 1953 under the name of Hospital Dr. Víctor Ríos Ruiz.

The new design of the hospital enclosure included the construction of part of the building around the chapel, leaving it inside the enclosure, which caused it to lose communication with the rest of the city. Currently, the chapel is not visible from the outside of the care complex.

The earthquake of February 27, 2010 seriously affected the chapel, for which it was declared uninhabitable and closed to the community. The following year, resources were allocated for the evaluation of the damage suffered in the mural paintings.

The Ministry of Culture, Arts and Heritage set the limits of the Historical Monument in April 2019 , establishing that it has an area of ​​3,200 square meters.

In September 2020 , the Regional Government of Biobío approved the financing for the restoration and enhancement of the San Sebastián Hospital Chapel, estimating that during the second half of 2021 the tender for the physical execution of the project will be held and it is expected that ends during the first semester of the year 2023 .

The project contemplates a restoration design so that the chapel returns to its original appearance and the creation of a museum in the dependencies of the Dr. Víctor Ríos Ruiz Hospital.


The structure of the chapel of the Hospital San Sebastián was built in very thick non-reinforced masonry, using fired clay bricks glued with mud and straw mortar, in addition to other materials such as wood and stone. It presents a simple rectangular volume with a central axis of symmetry.

It has a basilica floor plan 33 m long, 15 m wide and 12 m high with three naves with a flat sky, a gabled roof and two levels, highlighting the greater height of the central nave, on which is the bell tower. Said structure is built with wood and has a square base with arched openings closed by a latticework that ends in a spire with four mantles on each of its sides.

The interior is formed by a double row of wooden columns that generate the two arches that separate the central nave from the lateral naves. The lighting inside the chapel is given by a series of windows that are located on both sides of the upper part of the central nave.

The interior ornaments, the ceiling and walls of the central nave and the ceiling of the lateral naves, are decorated with mural paintings and symbols of the Order of Our Lady of Charity , standing out in the ceiling of the central nave, a canvas formed by four paintings of great religious symbolic realism.

Outside, the front of the chapel has three openings, of which the central opening is larger than the two sides. In the case of the perimeter walls, these are masonry and mud-based mortars with wooden structures. Both parts of the structure have plinths with balustrade designs. On the first level, the four roof gables cover the two narrow aisles and also the arcaded corridors found on two sides of the chapel (it was originally on all four sides).

National Monument

The church was declared a National Monument of Chile in the category of Historical Monument, through Supreme Decree No. 578 of November 24, 1989 , for its historical, architectural and religious value.


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