Latin America Travel & Tour Information
Jesuit Ruins Travel Information
Now leave the frenzied and noisy Ciudad del Este behind to imaginarily travel to the peaceful Jesuit Ruins. If you have seen the film 'The Mission', you will surely have a better idea of the mystique that looms in these premises, icons of the Guaraní people Christianization carried out by the representatives of the Jesuit Order in the 17th century. The melodic music composed by Ennio Morricone will make you shiver, once you find yourself facing the vestiges of the aboriginal communities created and run during a hundred years by the Jesuits, later abandoned after their expel from Spanish dominions in America in 1767.
The Ruins expand southwards from Asunción, in between the rivers Tebicuary and Paraná. The wooden, adobe, bricks o carved-stone constructions, were erected amid the wild vegetation and incomparably beautiful landscapes. They were largely walled-in towns that grew their own supplies, they taught music, religion, Spanish, manual labor and arts. Such is their historical value that two of them Trinidad and Jesús have been declared Universal Heritage by UNESCO.
There is the choice of visiting one or the seven that are presently preserved; all of them have their charm. The first to be built in 1610 was that of San Ignacio Guazú and currently hosts a museum that exhibits remarkable wooden carvings. At Santos Cosme and Damián from 1632, it is possible to see an ancient astronomy observatory. Santa María de Fe's construction dates back to 1647 and Santiago's to 1651. The latter stands out for its statues, its church and the layout of the aboriginals? dwellings.
Time will not only come to a standstill, but also will go back for three centuries once you set foot on the reddish earth at the old Jesús del Tavarangué Mission (1685). The same is likely to happen on approach to Trinidad del Paraná (1706), the last one to be built and the most visited today, attracted by its excellent preservation state.
Finally, the Ruins of Santa Rosa de Lima (1698) lay 248 km from Asunción. It features Loreto's Chapel, carvings, mural paintings and the majestic bell-tower.