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Paraguay: Trinidad Jesuit mission

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Trinidad Jesuit mission | Paraguay | Americas

[Visited: October 2000]

In the 18th century, during the colonization process of Paraguay (and Brazil and Argentina), Jesuits found their way into this New World, and successfully established tens of missions in a region which is now Southern Paraguay, Northern Argentina and a small part of Western Brazil. In fact, they were so successful that the Spanish intervened and eventually put an end to their mission. What remains now are ruins, which have been declared World Heritage sites by Unesco: Trinidad and Jesús, near the town of Encarnación.

Picture of Trinidad Jesuit mission (Paraguay): Jesuit mission in Trinidad

The bus dropped me off at a crossroads from where I walked along a red earth road, which crossed a small and peaceful village. Upon arrival at the entrance gate to the ruins, I found no-one there and actually had to sneak in through the fence. Soon enough I found myself marvelling at the ruins. Remains of Indian dwellings, a bell tower, cemetery, gardens and several churches. In many parts, I found intrically decorated art, the entire complex has been designed by an Italian artist. The inevitable wear and tear of time has done a thorough job to these ruins. They have certainly become very picturesque.

Picture of Trinidad Jesuit mission (Paraguay): Jesuit mission in Trinidad

In fact, the lonely stone arches leading to nowhere, but with great views added to my general feeling of temporariness. The ruins have a lot of appeal now and are beautiful as they are, but I could not help trying to imagine how they must have been - several hundreds of years ago.

Picture of Trinidad Jesuit mission (Paraguay): Jesuit mission in Trinidad

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