Architecture of Chile
The pre-Columbian architecture in Chile was simple and little
original architecture from this time period remains. Many of the people were semi-nomadic
so they never built permanent structures. For these people and those that were more
settled, the primary focus of building was in the form of housing. These houses
were simple in nature and most used wood, mud, and other degradable materials so
they no longer stand. However, there are some stone ruins from this time period,
including the village of Lasana, which is home to the ruins of a stone fortress,
built in the 1100s.
With the arrival of the Spanish and the colonization of Chile the architecture changed dramatically. Since Chile
was slowly colonized and many regions, particularly the south, took some time to
be settled, the colonial architecture is limited in area and depth. Much of this
early colonial architecture was built in Santiago, but is rarely as impressive as
many colonial buildings in nearby capitals. Due to earthquakes, most of these colonial
structures were small and built from adobe, not stone, meaning few remain today.