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Former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet in front of the project model.
Former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet in front of the project model. Photo: Mario Ruiz/EFE

Gaudí's first work outside Spain will be in Chile

Chile is set to begin construction of one of the most ambitious projects — a replica of part of the Sagrada Familia.

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The city of Rancagua, in central Chile, will be home to the only work of the emblematic architect Antonio Gaudí outside Spain. It's a project that will begin construction this year and was a gift from the artist to Chile.

The project will replicate a part of the Sagrada Familia in the country. The allocation of public funds was confirmed during the government of former President Michelle Bachelet in 2016, and the necessary documents were signed for the public work in an urban park called "Catalonia." 

In principle, the building will be 100 square meters wide and 30 meters high, and will be the only piece from Gaudí outside Spain. If there are no changes, a new public tender for its construction should be opened later this year. 

Due to the importance of the work and the artist, it was considered necessary to carry out a training program to share the skills and tools needed to achieve it. Alberto Texidó, Director of Extension of the Faculty of Architecture at the University of Chile, said that "this opens up an enormous possibility for us to disseminate this technical knowledge where work, architecture, technology and craftsmanship are mixed to achieve what the Catalan architect did elsewhere."

The Chilean architect Christian Matzner, was in charge of showing the letters sent between Gaudí and the Chilean friar Angélico Aranda that certify the construction.

"I went to the Diocesan Archives of the Archbishopric of Barcelona, where we found these letters exchanged between the two. We took a copy of them and immediately the reactivation of this project began to work," he explained.

Rancagua, a city that is sheltered between the Andes Mountains and the Coastal Mountains, will be the host city for the chapel "Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles," which will function as a cultural and spiritual center.

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