Catedral de Iquique. Cultural Guide and Tourist Attractions in Iquique. Iquique - CHILE
The current Cathedral of Iquique is the result of the initiative of the Apostolic Vicar Camilo Ortúzar who, after the fire that destroyed the parish church of Iquique on March 10, 1883, started a fundraising campaign to build a new temple in it site. It should be noted that between 1880 and 1885 the city suffered a wave of fires, which destroyed 63 apples, which determined the construction of an expensive and complex network that moved seawater under pressure to fight the fire.
Given the great flowering that the city was experiencing during those years, it was not difficult for Vicar Ortúzar to obtain the necessary resources. By then the War of the Pacific had ended, and the area, under Chilean sovereignty, saw its golden age begin, thanks to the boom in the exploitation of saltpeter. Thus, just one year after the fire of the old parish, in May 1884, the remains of Arturo Prat and some of the other heroes of Iquique, who remained there until 1888, could be transferred to the new church.
The construction of the temple finished in 1885; the church acquires the rank of Cathedral in 1929 when the Bishopric of Iquique was created.
The Cathedral of Iquique was built using the technique of the wooden partition; This is double and 0.80 meters wide on the walls of the first level, and simple, 0.20 meters wide on the second level, which constitutes the upper body of the central nave. The armor of the roof of the church is also made of wood, as well as the interior columns and the tower that crowns the monument.
The exterior appearance of the church corresponds to the Italian neoclassical style; The building is rectangular, quite elongated. Its facade contains three pilasters of Tuscan capital, which frame three large openings in semicircular arches, through which ships are accessed. Inside, the two side aisles are separated from the central by means of rows of six Corinthian capital columns.
The Historic Monument of the Cathedral of Iquique also includes the parish houses attached to it, whose structure is also made of wood and which are also of neoclassical style. The set presents, therefore, great harmony.