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Jesuit Missions of the Guaranis

Listed under History in Southern Brazil, Brazil.

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'The ruins of São Miguel das Missões in Brazil, and those of San Ignacio Miní, Santa Ana, Nuestra Señora de Loreto and Santa María la Mayor in Argentina, lie at the heart of a tropical forest. They are the impressive remains of five Jesuit missions, built in the land of the Guaranis during the 17th and 18th centuries. Each is characterized by a specific layout and a different state of conservation.'

Copyright © UNESCO/World Heritage Centre. All rights reserved.

UNESCO.

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San Ignacia Mini

Jesuits missionaries built 30 missions in the Guaranis region in a style unique to these buildings. The San Ignacio Mini is the best preserved of these 17th Century red brick ruins, the highlight of which, is as you would expect, the church at the mission’s centre. A red sandstone affair made from large blocks with tiled floors and patterned cornices, panels and other decorations. Rediscovered at the tail end of the 19th Century, restoration work didn’t begin on the mission until the 40’s, part of which are still going on, with Scaffolding still supporting some sections. At its peak more than 4,000 people lived within the complex. An onsite museum has been installed to house relics and artefacts found in the ruins.

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