I rode south to the town of Encarnacion.
Just outside of Encarnacion are the ruins of the Jesuit Missions of Jesus de Tavarangue and Trinidad. They were religious missions that were founded by the Jesuit missionaries during the colonization of South America in the 17th century. The missions were created in 1609 and developed for 150 years. Both areas were declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1993. The Jesuit Missions of Paraguay are considered some of the most impressive creations of the religious work of the Jesuits, and are testimony of the historical richness of the country.
First up... Jesus de Tavarangue. The church of Reducción de Jesús (Jesus’ Mission) was in the process of being built when the Jesuits were expelled from the Río de la Plata Province. It would have been one of the biggest churches of that time, with a central structure of 70 by 24 metres (230 by 79 ft). The structure's design was based on the Church of Loyola, in Italy. The three doors of access, located in the front, created impressive entryways. UNESCO declared it a World Heritage Site in 1993. It is considered one of the most important edifications of the 30 Jesuits towns in the region. The stone pulpit, the friezes of angels, the rose shaped carved stone in the lintels in the doors and the bell tower stand out in its architecture. The ruins of these missions show a way of life and education marked by its own and singular style.
I left the Jesus Mission and headed down the road. Along the way I passed by this cemetary.
I came across this farm and thought the juxtaposition of the farm house, tree and longhorn were perfect. If the longhorn would just look my way...
It would be perfect.
He decided to appease me.
Second up... Trinidad. The Santísima Trinidad del Paraná Mission is considered the biggest of all the missions. Natives came from the missions of San Carlos (now in the territory of Argentina) in 1712. This mission has the biggest temple among all the Jesuit Missions, with an altar carved out of a single piece of stone. Some of the stone carvings within the mission illustrate the persecution of the natives at that time. It has a central square, the town’s place of meeting. Located in the old sacristy, are many sculptures and a scale model of the mission. These ruins are in the process of being restored.
The principle inhabits are now termites.