Jesuit Missions of the Chiquitos, Concepcion

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The Jesuit Missions of Chiquitos are located in Santa Cruz department in eastern Bolivia. Six of these former missions (all now secular municipalities) collectively were designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1990. Distinguished by a unique fusion of European and Amerindian cultural influences, the missions were founded as reductions or reducciones de indios by Jesuits in the 17th and 18th centuries to convert local tribes to Christianity.The interior region bordering Spanish and Portuguese territories in South America was largely unexplored at the end of the 17th century. Dispatched by the Spanish Crown, Jesuits explored and founded eleven settlements in 76 years in the remote Chiquitania – then known as Chiquitos – on the frontier of Spanish America. They built churches (templos) in a unique and distinct style that combined elements of native and European architecture. The indigenous inhabitants of the missions were taught European music as a means of conversion. The missions were self-sufficient, with thriving economies, and virtually autonomous from the Spanish crown.After the expulsion of the Jesuit order from Spanish territories in 1767, most Jesuit reductions in South America were abandoned and fell into ruins. The former Jesuit missions of Chiquitos are unique because these settlements and their associated culture have survived largely intact.
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  • As travel in the time. The guide of Milton Villavicencio was a luxury that had, since the participated in the restoration of these missions. It is worth visiting them.
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  • Concepción is located at almost 300 km of Santa Cruz. The access road is very good and there are fleets of buses (Trans Guarayos) and minibuses making the journey from the Terminal Bimodal de Santa Cruz. The magnificent and restored church with the Bell Tower of wood on one side is located in the square. Full Deputy Museum can be visited from Monday to Saturday (morning and afternoon) and on Sunday (tomorrow). It is priced at $ 2 for Bolivians and $3.5 for foreigners. There is much information about the restoration process but I missed more information about life in the Mission in the 18th century. There is every evening from Monday to Saturday and the Sunday morning masses.
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  • So called Voltaire the company of Jesuits with the Guarani Indians. Roads and communications are a hell, but churches deserve the effort. Remarkable effort of the Spanish cooperation agency International in maintaining this heritage of the humanity of the Unesco.
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