The Order of the Augustinian Sisters was the first female religious institution to settle in the country. Its task focused on helping the widows and daughters of the soldiers fallen in the Arauco War.
The church that bears their name stands just a few meters away from the La Moneda Palace. The church houses the only tube organ in the country declared a Historical Monument.
Originally, the Church of the Augustinian Sisters stood on the corner of what are nowadays the streets called Ahumada and Agustinas. The latter street is named after the order due to the fact that the congregation erected its first convent there in 1583.
The building as it stands today, built between 1857 and 1871, was declared a National Monument in 1977.
The Church of the Augustinian Sisters was originally for the Convent of the Augustinian Sisters, the aim being to house the widows and daughters of the Spanish conquistadores fallen in the Arauco War.
This monastery, founded in August of 1554, sheltered the first religious institution for women that existed in the city.
In 1583, the Town Council agreed to make a contribution in order to commence construction of the church and monastery on Agustinas on the corner of Ahumada street.
The initial buildings were destroyed by the earthquakes of 1647 and 1730. Later, the church was moved to Moneda street and construction began in 1857 according to the plans by Italian architect Eusebio Celli, who took his inspiration from the basilica of St. Paul in Rome.
Religious services began in 1871, and the church was consecrated by the Archbishop of Santiago, Monsignor Mariano Casanova, on November 5, 1888.
This neo-classical construction has a façade built in stone and a pink stone staircase overhanging the entrance. The frontispiece features four high stone Doric columns, with a large decorated triangle over them.
In the upper part, it features two Corinthian style towers, crowned by other smaller ones, this being the work of Fermín Vivaceta.
The only entrance door is wooden and, inside, the screen partition has stained-glass windows with religious motifs.
Moneda, 1054, Santiago.