Jesuit Missions of the Chiquitos, Concepcion

4.6
#4 of 7 in Historic Sites in Santa Cruz Department
Mission Historic Site
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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  • I visited Chiquitos for 2 days during the Baroque and Reneissance Music Festival. The Festival is every Two years. The church is beautifully restored, with amazing details and colors. Most of the work...  more »
  • This missions are full of lovely sights ig you like nature.Is a 20% church visit; 30% travelling on pave/dirt road and 50% walking trough waterfalls, caverns and awesome viewpoints  more »
  • My partner and I travelled Bolivia with the main intention of invisiting the Bolivian Jesuit Missions and we could not be happier with our trip. We did a 5 day tour covering all the UNESCO World Herti...  more »