The church of San Francisco is the oldest dated construction of Santiago (1618) and was built by natives led by friars. The adjacent convent, on whose first floor the museum is located, was inaugurated in 1623. The architectural ensemble was declared a National Monument in 1951.
The opening of the Museum of Colonial Art San Francisco - located in the main artery of the country - can be considered a fruit of the Second Vatican Council, which urged the religious - among many others - to enter more into contact and dialogue with civil society, knocking down walls, which in this case was literal.
Liturgical objects, paintings and sculptures created for catechesis and evangelization in the period of the Colony were accumulated inside the walls of the oldest Franciscan convent in Chile. With the passage of time, they became valuable pieces of art and history that gave rise to the San Francisco Colonial Art Museum.
"We were aware that the heritage that housed the convent and the church of San Francisco was part of the history and culture of our people, who also had the right to enjoy it as a national heritage," recalls the provincial era Francisco Javier Mac-Mahon.
The friars decided then to allocate the first floor of the convent for the habilitation of a museum. The inauguration was at the Fiesta de San Francisco, October 4, 1969.