Take advantage of the search to browse through the World Heritage Centre information.

Churches of Chiloé

Chile
Factors affecting the property in 2019*
  • Commercial development
  • Effects arising from use of transportation infrastructure
  • Legal framework
  • Management activities
  • Management systems/ management plan
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Management systems/ management plan (Insufficient delimitation of boundaries; Insufficient legal definition of buffer zones and visually sensitive areas of each component)
  • Commercial development (Construction of a shopping mall in the vicinity of the Castro Church)
  • Effects arising from use of transportation infrastructure
  • Legal framework
  • Management activities
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2019
Requests approved: 1 (from 2002-2002)
Total amount approved : 50,000 USD
2002 Emergency assistance for the Churches of Chiloé (Approved)   50,000 USD
Missions to the property until 2019**

December 2013: Joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2019

On 5 February 2018, the State Party submitted information concerning the definition of the buffer zones (as ‘Typical Zones’) and the extension of the shopping mall in Castro. An ICOMOS Technical Review was transmitted to the State Party on 19 July 2018. Subsequently, the State Party submitted on 17 January 2019 a state of conservation report, which is available at http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/971/documents/, and addresses the following issues:

  • 10 of the 16 churches now have formally-declared ‘Typical Zones’ that serve as their buffer zones. Four additional ‘Typical Zones’ are in the process of legal approval (for the churches of Achao, Aldachildo, Dalcahue and Rilán). The definition of the two remaining zones, for the churches of Castro and Caguach, is in process. Once ‘Typical Zones’ have been declared, the National Monument Council (CMN) prepares specific guidelines for interventions in each;
  • Regarding the protection of the surroundings of the Castro Church, the ‘Typical Zone’ agreed with local stakeholders and the City Council will finally only include the building blocks immediately around the church instead of the Meseta and Palafitos area, as previously proposed by CMN. As compensation, the Municipality has temporarily suspended building permits on the entire plateau for constructions that exceed 16 metres in height, while awaiting the revision and harmonization of relevant legal and planning documents;
  • Traffic movement around the Castro Church has been monitored and constant for the past two years, while the Calle San Martin access to the shopping mall remains closed except for heavy traffic related to construction works at the mall. The project to construct an underground parking garage in front of the church has been cancelled. 40% of the by-pass in Castro has been completed, but further implementation is delayed due to numerous archaeological remains found in the area;
  • At the end of 2017, works to construct cinemas were executed at the shopping mall in Castro. The State Party reports that works were already included in the original legally-binding building permit granted, therefore its demolition, as recommended by the ICOMOS Technical Review, could not proceed. Additionally, no intervention from municipal or national authorities is possible, except with regard to a 100 sqm area that did not have authorization. Once this issue is resolved, discussions with the owner of the mall regarding the implementation of mitigation measures will be resumed;
  • There are ongoing efforts in reviewing Communal Regulation Plans, which will benefit five components of the property located in urban areas;
  • Other issues are also reported, such as: the creation of the Ministry of Cultures, Arts and Heritage, and its National Service for Cultural Heritage; the launching of the Social Investment Programme for World Heritage sites of which the churches of Chiloé are beneficiary; the first inventory of churches of the whole Chiloé Archipelago; the Plan for the Coastal Borders of Chiloé, which proposes the creation of recreational walkways and areas; and, finally, information on maintenance works and dissemination activities.

On 30 April 2019, the State Party submitted additional information concerning the future revision of the Municipal Zoning Plan of Castro (introducing height limitations of 14 meters immediately around the church, 18 meters in an intermediate zone and 21 meters in the outer –northern- zone), initial proceedings in the identification of the buffer zones of Caguach and conservation activities in the church of San Juan, among others.

Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2019

The progress made in the definition of the buffer zones (as ‘Typical Zones’) and the establishment of individual guidelines for interventions are welcomed, as well as the submission of a Minor Boundary Modification that will be examined by the World Heritage Committee under item 8 of the agenda (Document WHC/19/43.COM/8B). The State Party should be requested to proceed urgently with the implementation of recommendations that the Committee may make in this regard, the definition of the buffer zones for the remaining six churches, as well as with the preparation of guidelines for intervention.

The State Party does not provide substantive information on progress in the preparation of an Integrated Management Plan, but instead concentrates on the declaration of the ‘Typical Zones’, the preparation of intervention guidelines, and the implementation of a new institutional framework following the creation of the Ministry of Cultures, Arts and Heritage. It should be emphasized that an integrated legal and institutional framework will still be required for the appropriate management of the property as a whole.

The situation of the Castro Church remains of extreme concern. ICOMOS’ Technical Review had considered the buffer zone proposal, that included the Meseta of Castro and the Palafitos area, adequate. It is now noted, with regret, that the final proposal for the ‘Typical Zone’ differs considerably from that proposal and would be limited to the blocks immediately around the church. The Meseta would therefore not be protected under national legislation but only at the municipal level. The adequate protection of the wider environment of the church and the sea edge remains of great concern, and requires considerably more measures than the adopted temporary building height limitation of 16 metres. The most recent proposal to establish zones with varied maximum construction heights at the Meseta needs to be analysed by the Advisory Bodies in conjunction with the buffer zone that eventually will be proposed by the State Party. The municipal legislation, particularly the Local Urban Plan, would subsequently have to include very strong regulations for protection and conservation of this area.

It is noted that the San Martin entrance to the shopping mall remains closed, and that no increase in traffic flows around the church is recorded. It is highly welcomed that the underground parking garage has been cancelled. The State Party should be asked to continue traffic monitoring activities, keep the San Martin entrance closed, and continue the construction of the by-pass. 

Regarding the mall in Castro, ICOMOS’ Technical Review had reaffirmed the conclusions of the 2013 Reactive Monitoring mission and previous decisions of the World Heritage Committee that the landscape of the Meseta of Castro was greatly damaged and that the visual dominance of the church had been lost due to this construction. The extension of the mall aggravated this critical situation, and thus ICOMOS recommended its demolition. Regretfully, the State Party reports that since a legally-binding permit for the extension was issued, it is not in a position to enforce modification or demolition.

Regarding the mitigation measures requested by the Committee (Decision 39 COM 7B.89), it is noted with great concern that the State Party has not implemented any of the Committee’s recommendations, has not reached a satisfactory solution to minimize and mitigate the impact of the mall, and that the construction of the mall and its extension was completed. Therefore, it may be considered that the absence of appropriate measures in this regard constitute a threat and a potential danger to the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (OUV).

In conclusion, the buffer zone proposal for the Castro Church is considered to be too limited, and the level of effective protection of the Meseta and Palafitos areas at the municipal level is highly insufficient and will have to be demonstrated, together with the effectiveness of the height limitations, in the harmonization process of all the planning instruments: the Intervention Rules, according to the Typical Zone Regulation document (National Monuments Law), the Local Urban Plan, and Detailed Plans or Section Plans (General Law on Urban Development and Constructions). It should be recommended to involve the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in this process.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2019
43 COM 7B.97
Churches of Chiloé (Chile) (C 971)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/19/43.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 41 COM 7B.59, adopted at its 41st session (Krakow, 2017),
  3. Noting the progress made in the identification and protection of the buffer zones, welcomes the submission of the buffer zones of 10 of the 16 churches as a Minor Boundary Modification, and recommends the State Party to proceed urgently with the implementation of recommendations that the Committee may make in this regard,
  4. Also noting that the buffer zones of four other churches are in the final stage of being approved, urges the State Party to proceed as early as possible with their submission as a Minor Boundary Modification;
  5. Also urges the State Party to conclude the identification of the buffer zones for the churches of Castro and Caguach;
  6. Strongly regrets that the buffer zone for the Church of Castro is now limited to the blocks immediately surrounding the church and does not include the entire Meseta and Palafitos area as earlier proposed;
  7. Expresses its serious concern about the inadequate protection of the wider environment of the church and the sea edge that requires considerably more measures than the temporary building height limitation of 16 metres, and notes that the final definition of building heights on the Meseta needs to be examined in conjunction with a proposed buffer zone;
  8. Further urges the State Party to consider a substantive extension of the buffer zone and to submit proposals for the legal protection, management and conservation measures under national and local legislation, including building heights, for the Meseta and Palafitos area as soon as they become available and to involve the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in this process;
  9. Recalls the importance of an Integrated Management Plan including all 16 churches and their buffer zones, and requests the State Party to pursue this matter as soon as possible;
  10. Also welcomes the monitoring of traffic around the Castro Church, the continued closure of the San Martin entrance of the shopping mall, the efforts to continue the construction of the Castro by-pass, and the decision to halt the underground parking garage in front of the Church;
  11. Reiterates its extreme concern and regret, as expressed in its earlier decisions, particularly Decision 41 COM 7B.59, that the construction of the shopping mall in Castro was completed without significant modifications to its design, that potential mitigation measures would be limited to the application of colours, textures and material on the facade facing the sea and the planting of trees, and that to date no mitigation measures have been undertaken, and also requests the State Party to urgently submit the designs and mitigation measures agreed between the owner of the mall, the National Service for Cultural Heritage and the National Monuments Council for review by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, prior to their implementation;
  12. Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2020, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 45th session in 2021.
43 COM 8B.51
Churches of Chiloé (Chile)
Decision: 43 COM 8B.51

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Documents WHC/19/43.COM/8B.Add and WHC/19/43.COM/INF.8B1.Add,
  2. Approves the proposed minor modification to the boundaries of the buffer zones for the six components: Chelín, Colo, Detif, Ichuac, Nercón and Villipulli of the serial property Churches of Chiloé, Chile;
  3. Refers the proposed minor modification to the boundaries of the buffer zones of the following components of the serial property Churches of Chiloé, Chile, back to the State Party in order to allow it to:
    1. Chonchi: extend the proposed buffer zone to include the area behind the church, where the topography and vegetation are important as part of the church’s setting,
    2. Quinchao: extend the proposed buffer zone to include the area behind the church to include, within the boundaries of the protected zone, the topography and the existing vegetation,
    3. San Juan: extend the proposed buffer zone to include a larger area of the surrounding landscape, with its topography and vegetation, as proposed in the Preliminary Protection Area,
    4. Tenaún: extend the proposed buffer zone to include a larger part of the surrounding landscape, with its topography and vegetation;
  4. Recommends that the State Party give consideration to the following:
    1. Completing the table showing clearly the exact extent of each component part of the property in hectares,
    2. Finalizing the identification of buffer zones around the remaining churches of Castro and Caguach and conclude the process for the churches of Achao, Rilán, Aldachildo and Dalcahue,
    3. Providing the Intervention Guidelines for all Typical Zones of the property,
    4. Urgently establishing a Management Plan for the property, the proposed buffer zones and the wider setting.
Draft Decision: 43 COM 7B.97

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/19/43.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 41 COM 7B.59, adopted at its 41st session (Krakow, 2017),
  3. Noting the progress made in the identification and protection of the buffer zones, welcomes the submission of the buffer zones of 10 of the 16 churches as a Minor Boundary Modification, and recommends the State Party to proceed urgently with the implementation of recommendations that the Committee may make in this regard,
  4. Also noting that the buffer zones of four other churches are in the final stage of being approved, urges the State Party to proceed as early as possible with their submission as a Minor Boundary Modification;
  5. Also urges the State Party to conclude the identification of the buffer zones for the churches of Castro and Caguach;
  6. Strongly regrets that the buffer zone for the Church of Castro is now limited to the blocks immediately surrounding the church and does not include the entire Meseta and Palafitos area as earlier proposed;
  7. Expresses its serious concern about the inadequate protection of the wider environment of the church and the sea edge that requires considerably more measures than the temporary building height limitation of 16 metres, and notes that the final definition of building heights on the Meseta needs to be examined in conjunction with a proposed buffer zone;
  8. Further urges the State Party to consider a substantive extension of the buffer zone and to submit proposals for the legal protection, management and conservation measures under national and local legislation, including building heights, for the Meseta and Palafitos area as soon as they become available and to involve the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in this process;
  9. Recalls the importance of an Integrated Management Plan including all 16 churches and their buffer zones, and requests the State Party to pursue this matter as soon as possible;
  10. Also welcomes the monitoring of traffic around the Castro Church, the continued closure of the San Martin entrance of the shopping mall, the efforts to continue the construction of the Castro by-pass, and the decision to halt the underground parking garage in front of the Church;
  11. Reiterates its extreme concern and regret, as expressed in its earlier decisions, particularly Decision 41 COM 7B.59, that the construction of the shopping mall in Castro was completed without significant modifications to its design, that potential mitigation measures would be limited to the application of colours, textures and material on the facade facing the sea and the planting of trees, and that to date no mitigation measures have been undertaken, and also requests the State Party to urgently submit the designs and mitigation measures agreed between the owner of the mall, the National Service for Cultural Heritage and the National Monuments Council for review by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, prior to their implementation;
  12. Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2020, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 45th session in 2021.
Report year: 2019
Chile
Date of Inscription: 2000
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (ii)(iii)
Documents examined by the Committee
SOC Report by the State Party
Report (2019) .pdf
arrow_circle_right 43COM (2019)
Exports

* : The threats indicated are listed in alphabetical order; their order does not constitute a classification according to the importance of their impact on the property.
Furthermore, they are presented irrespective of the type of threat faced by the property, i.e. with specific and proven imminent danger (“ascertained danger”) or with threats which could have deleterious effects on the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (“potential danger”).

** : All mission reports are not always available electronically.


top