The Baha’í faith is a new religion which seems to be the second most widespread in the world, after Christianity. It has eight temples around the world, and the one located in Chile is the newest building. This religion seeks the unity and equality of all people. Because of that, they open their temple to the public, regardless their race, social class, nation or creeds.
Since I am not a religious person, I didn’t go there to connect with the divine. I visited the Baha’í house of worship for very different reasons. See by yourself.
- The building.
The building itself is enough reason to have the curious (like myself) wondering around, as it is an enormous construction visible from several spots in Santiago. In fact, I am able to see it from my apartment, downtown Santiago, which is very far away from where the Baha’í house actually is.
According to the official website, it was built using 2360 pieces of translucent marble (flats and curved) brought from Portugal, especially to fit the concrete infrastructure.
It has nine sides and nine entrances symbolising the unity of all religions, but only one is opened.
The interior is also astonishing, mainly due to its frugality. You won’t find icons nor images inside, because it seeks to reflect an inspiring atmosphere.
2. The gardens.
Six-hectare gardens were created to blend with the flora of the pre-mountain area. They nicely integrate to the landscape and the temple, as a whole. These gardens have 9 paths which twist up the mountain. In addition, you’ll find 9 pools scattered among the gardens and viewpoints.
3. The pools.
There are simply no words to describe the pools. You can sit there while enjoying a panoramic view of Santiago.
- Ajo Negro foodtruck.
If you feel like having a bite after your visit, I strongly recommend you stop by the Ajo Negro foodtruck, nearby the temple, where you’ll be surprised to find the most exquisite manjar empanadas ever.
5. Free of charge.
No reservations are needed and admittance is free of any charge. Many families go there with their kids; inside the temple, kids are asked to remain in silence.
How to get there:
Baha’í house of worship is located on 2000 Diagonal Las Torres Avenue, in Peñalolén. Although it is a little far from town, as it is at the bottom of the hills, you can get there on public transport, or taxi at an approximate fare of 10.000-15.000 CLP (24 dollars).
It is also a 40-minute car drive from downtown, in case you own or have rented one. There is plenty of free car park at the temple.
Other things to bear in mind:
The temple is closed to the public every Monday and on special holidays. (check http://templo.bahai.cl/en/ for further information on available days for visit)
Also, pets are not allowed and photography is prohibited inside the actual temple.
On the other hand, guided visits are offered for individuals and groups. You can make a reservation by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or call at +56 2 32209942.