Northern Chile

The Church at Parinacota in Northern Chile, Tarapacá Region

This photo was taken during our 3-day 4×4 road trip through Northern Chile’s Altiplano.

“The church was built in the 17th century in the form of a central nave with two side chapels. The walls are made of stone and clay and are supported by exterior arches of stones without mortar. The floor is made of bricks with a central band of stones. Originally there was no choir. A choir without railing was built later on whereas one of the most interesting frescoes of the area, the “Last Judgment” was destroyed. The atrium is surrounded by a clay wall on which are situated several figures made of red stone: A bishop, lilies, phalli and others. The square tower was rebuilt in 1789 and painted with white lime.

Noteworthy are the frescoes in the interior which were painted in water colors by Indians in the Andean baroque of the 17th century. The “Last Judgment” suggests that only women were condemned. The archangel St. Michael weighs a nude woman on a scale and there are trails to get to the purgatory, over clouds to heaven as well as stairs to the mouth of a dragon which leads to hell, where there are several torture instruments. The condemned women walk or are dragged by the hair or are ridden by demons. One of them leads the helpers of evil with a broad smile, not knowing what is expecting her.” – Wikipedia