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A Brief History of the Bahá’í Temple

Picture of Lucy Pierce
Updated: 22 March 2018

The South American Bahá’i Temple opened in Santiago in October 2016, and since, the architecture has drawn tourists and photographers – especially during the epic sunsets. On a clear day you can see Santiago stretching out as far as the eye can see. Find out more here.

Found in the foothills of the Andes mountains, this House of Worship is extremely peaceful and serene, a perfect break from the hustle and bustle of daily life in Santiago. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá was the son of the founder of the Bahá’í faith, which teaches the idea of the value of all religions and unity among all peoples. His father, Bahá’u’lláh, had birthed the idea in Iran in the mid 19th century, but had been banished after announcing that he was a prophet sent from God. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá wrote the religion’s Tablets of the Divine Plan. The faith now has followers around the world.

Bahá’í Temple | © Lucy Pierce

Santiago is the eighth out of nine temples, the others, are located across the globe and boast creativity through their stunning architecture, each of which has a nine-sided circular shape. They can be found in Uganda, the US, Germany, Panama, Samoa, India to Australia and Cambodia.

Sunset | © Lucy Pierce

The Houses of Worship are open to the public, and exclusively reserved for worship. Here, sermons are prohibited and only scriptural texts may be read. Those that practice Bahá’í laws understand that the doors are open to all, no matter what religion, the holy scriptures can be read or chanted in any language and no musical instruments or ritualistic ceremonies can be practised. Bahá’í communities provide socio-economic development programs, most importantly working with Elementary and Secondary schools as well as promoting female education worldwide.

Getting to the temple can be quite tricky as it’s on the outskirts of Santiago. The easiest and quickest way to reach it is by car or uber, as it’s in the commune of Peñalolén. Otherwise, you can take the metro and a bus. The temple is closed on Mondays and national holidays.

Diagonal Las Torres 2000, Penalolen, Peñalolén, Región Metropolitana, Chile

Temple | © Lucy Pierce