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Jesuits of the Chiquitanía missions – Santa Cruz


Altitude 416 masl
Temperature Min. 21 C – Max. 32 C

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Jesuits of the Chiquitanía missions

The misiones Jesuíticas de Bolivia, also called reductions, they were missionary towns founded by the society of Jesus in order to evangelize the region, in what now is the State of Bolivia. The missions of Chiquitos and of Tarija belonged to the province Jesuit of the Paraguay, While those of Moxos and the rest of ponds belonged to the province Jesuit of the Peru.

The colonization of America was undertaken by priests of different religious orders, that he carried out a wide evangelization work. The missions of such orders included those of the Jesuits and Franciscans, and his work in the Chiquitania Bolivian.

The society of Jesus, under the command of Ignacio de Loyola and mandated by Pope Paul III, undertook beginning in March of 1540 the work of founding reductions and evangelize in the lands of the new world as well as RAID and discovery of new domains. Bolivia was influenced strongly was the search for El Dorado, or Gran Paititi, names of a mythical city of gold.

At the end of the 17TH century began the creation of the Jesuit missions in the Bolivian territory, essentially in the regions of Chiquitos, to the North of the Department of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, and in Moxos, located in the territory of the Beni Department. Mission San Francisco Xavier was first founded in 1691, by the Jesuit José de Arce. Mission San Rafael was then created in 1696, due to the Jesuits Zea and Herbas. Subsequently, en 1698 the Jesuit Felipe Suárez founded the Mission of San José. The San Juan Bautista mission data of 1699, and the Mission of conception of 1709. The Mission of San Ignacio de Zamucos was created en1724, being abandoned in 1745. Were subsequently founded the Mission of San Ignacio in 1748, the Mission of Santiago in 1754, and finally the last were the Mission of Santa Ana was founded in 1755 and the Mission of Holy Heart in 1760.

Evangelization through the use of Renaissance and Baroque music had great success at the time and that has developed consecutively to the present, leaving a legacy of own.
In 1767, the society of Jesus was expelled from Spain and America, leaving the work incomplete and abandoned. Although in Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil work done notably disappeared, Bolivia however work was maintained and developed over generations to the present day.

The «Jesuit missions of the Chiquitos"were declared in 1990 Heritage of humanity by Unesco. Unesco designates, between 1696 and 1760, six sets of reductions (settlements of cristianizados Indians) inspired by the ideal cities of 16th-century philosophers, they were founded by the Jesuits in a style that brought together the Catholic architecture with local traditions. The six remaining (San Francisco Javier, Conception, Santa Ana, San Miguel, San Rafael and San José) they are a living heritage in the former territory of the Chiquitos.

Both the Bolivian authorities and non-profit organizations carry out the tourist release of the area through the Chiquitos Baroque and Renaissance Music Festival.

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