Analysis of seismic design criteria of Santo Domingo Church, a Colonial Heritage of Santiago, Chile

Natalia Jorquera, Jonathan Ruiz, Claudia Torres


DOI: 10.7764/RDLC.16.3.388


Santo Domingo church is analyzed as part of a broader research with the goal of reporting earthquake-resistant features in the masonry architectural heritage of the historic center of Santiago, Chile. Considering that Chile is one of the most seismic countries in the world, it is interesting how some historic buildings built between the XVI and the XVIII century still remain, despite construction with vulnerable building techniques such as unreinforced masonry. Among those buildings, Santo Domingo church is the only one built in stone ashlar and one of the few that has never suffered strong structural damages after earthquakes. Built between 1747 and 1771, this church has withstood around 11 earthquakes of magnitude over 7 without serious mechanical failures. Constructive and structural characteristics of Santo Domingo Church are assessed through historical research, field analysis and tests, damage assessments and finite element analysis. This analysis identifies early earthquake-resistant design criteria of the church, and determines vulnerable areas and their behavior during the last seismic events.




earthquake-resistant features, Colonial heritage, historical buildings, constructive-structural analysis, seismic vulnerability.

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