MissionParaguaySouth America

Jesuit Mission of Jesús de Tavarangüe

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HISTORY

Originally founded in 1685 on the banks of the Monday River, the mission passed through 3 different places before being fixed in the current location, to escape the threat of the bandeirantes, who captured the Guarani Indians to sell them as slaves. In addition to the church, the Mission basically had the same structure as the other reductions, with a large square in front of the church (the Plaza Mayor), the address of the priests next to the church, the address of the indigenous people, a school, a cafeteria, plantations and a cemetery.

 

WHY THIS PLACE

The architecture of this reduction, which reached a population of approximately 3,000 indigenous people, is completely different from the others, as it was the only Jesuit mission built with touches of the Moorish style, characteristic of Muslim culture.

The construction of the Mission was never completed, as the Jesuits were expelled from Paraguay in the middle of the 18th century. Unlike the churches of the other reductions, this one was not destroyed, because as it had not been finished and was still without a roof, it was not decorated with gold and valuable objects. As such, it was not looted and survived as it was left after the Jesuits left the place. This makes it possible to have a completely different marriage, in this unfinished and imposing structure.

CURIOSITIES

• If it had been completed, it would have one of the largest temples of the time, with three exceptionally beautiful access doors and measuring 70 meters long by 24 meters wide. The roof of the church would not have been made of wood or stone, but of a mixed style, with support walls and large central pillars.
• The main objective of the Jesuit reductions was to catechize the indigenous people and “civilize” them according to European culture. In Paraguay, they were governed by the indigenous people themselves, under the administration of the Jesuits, who respected local culture and traditions, literate them, introduced new agricultural and architectural techniques and also protected them from extermination or slavery promoted by the Spanish and Portuguese.
• In 1993, it was declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco, together with the reduction of La Santísima Trinidad de Paraná.

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