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Misiones Department

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History Museums · Specialty Museums · Wildlife Areas
Misiones is a department located in the southern region of Paraguay. Its capital is San Juan Bautista. The eighth of Paraguay's 17 departments, it was created in 1906, then known as the San Ignacio Department, and was not given its present name until 1945. Its current name reflects its status as home to several Jesuit Reductions, or missions.Misiones borders the departments of Paraguarí and Caazapá to the north, Itapúa to the east, Ñeembucú to the west, and the Corrientes Province of Argentina to the south.HistoryThe modern settling of Misiones began with the arrival of Jesuit missionaries to the region in the 17th century and the subsequent establishment of several reductions whose purpose was to both civilize and catechize the indigenous Guaraní peoples. While several of these reductions would ultimately be in Argentinian and Brazilian territory, 8 of the reductions would remain in Paraguay, concentrated in what would become the Misiones and Itapúa departments. Some of these reductions, namely San Ignacio Guazú, Santa Maria de Fe and Santiago would become the foundation for subsequent towns in Misiones.The town of Yabebyry was established in 1790, and later, during the presidency of Carlos Antonio López, the towns of San Miguel and San Juan Bautista were founded. When the Misiones department was created in 1906 as the San Ignacio department, these towns were made several of the department's first 8 districts, along with Santa Rosa, Ayolas and Villa Florida. When the department was renamed in 1945, its capital was moved from San Ignacio to San Juan Bautista.
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