Trinidad Jesuit Mission

dscf1553We got to this little-visited UNESCO world heritage site by local bus from Encarnacion. Built in 1709, it’s considered the best preserved Jesuit Mission in Paraguay

For us it was an introduction to the story of the Jesuits in South America.

At least they were not all about subjugating and converting the natives/first nation people. In their self-sufficient Missions the locals – living alongside the Jesuits – saw real improvements to their standard of living and education. But this progress wasn’t allowed to last for long. The Spanish, fearing the power of the Jesuits, expelled them in 1767.

The ruins give a clear sense of how impressive this ‘model-community’ would have been. And in the carvings – especially the heads – we saw the fusion of European and native art.

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