Jesuit Block and Estancias of Córdoba

Manzana Jesuítica, Cordoba, Córdoba, Argentina

Daily: from 9:00 to 13:00 and 17:00 to 20:00

The 38-ha ensemble of the Jesuit Block and five of its estancias (rural farming and manufacturing establishments) in the province of Córdoba, near the geographical centre of Argentina, contains 17th and 18th century religious and secular buildings that illustrate an unprecedented 150-year-long religious, social, and economic experiment.

The Jesuit Block in the city of Córdoba contains the core buildings of the capital of the former Jesuit Province of Paraguay: the church, the Jesuit priests’ residence, the university, and the Colegio Convictorio de Montserrat. The Block’s supporting estancias – comprised of:

  • Alta Gracia (located 36 km from the Block),
  • Santa Catalina (70 km from the Block),
  • Jesús María (48 km from the Block),
  • La Candelaria (220 km from the Block), and
  • Caroya (44 km from the Block) – each included a church or chapel, priests’ residence, ranches for slaves and indigenous peoples, work areas (camps, mills, beating mills, etc.), hydraulic systems (breakwaters, irrigation ditches, canals, etc.), farmhouses, and large extents of land for cattle breeding.

The Jesuit Block and Estancias of Córdoba is an exceptional example of a vast religious, political, economic, legal, and cultural system. It is likewise an excellent illustration of the fusion of European and Native American cultures, with the added contributions of African slave labourers, during a seminal period in South America.

The ensemble is a particular example of territorial organisation, an economic complement between urban and rural settlements that allowed the Society of Jesus to pursue its educational and missionary goals.

Coming to Córdoba and having the best stay:


Guides and tours in Argentina:

Jesuit Block and Estancias of Córdoba 

The Jesuit Block in Córdoba, heart of the former Jesuit Province of Paraguay, contains the core buildings of the Jesuit system: the university, the church and residence of the Society of Jesus, and the college.

Along with the five estancias, or farming estates, they contain religious and secular buildings, which illustrate the unique religious, social, and economic experiment carried out in the world for a period of over 150 years in the 17th and 18th centuries.

See more Catholic Shrines and pilgrimages South America

See top 15 Catholic shrines in the world

The outstanding nature of this ensemble is illustrated by the convergence of two typologies: on the one hand, the European convent layout, with a main church, residence, and college in the city; and on the other, novel rural settlements, where the church, residence, and trading post merged in a productive and interrelated territory.

This kind of articulation, where the various productive specializations in each estancia were supported by the construction of complex hydraulic systems, was unique in the American cultural context.

The outstanding achievements of the Jesuit Block and Estancias of Córdoba include the development of technologies based on local resources, both material and human, and the use of the respective knowledge of the participants – the religious Order and the indigenous and African slave labourers – all of which resulted in a mixture of architectural, technological, and artistic expressions reflecting mannerist and baroque influences adapted to the locality.

Within the boundaries of the property are located all the elements necessary to express the Outstanding Universal Value of the Jesuit Block and Estancias of Córdoba. This ensures the complete representation of their significance as architectural and landscape ensembles in their respective settings.

The Jesuit Block maintains its original religious, residential, educational, and cultural functions, while the estancias continue operating as cultural, interchange, and regional development centres, even though they have considerably lost their productive nature.

Of the five estancias included in the property, two (Santa Catalina and La Candelaria) maintain their original rural settings, another two (Caroya and Jesús María) remain in semi-urban settings, and one (Alta Gracia) became the centre of an urban structure.

View hotel deals in Córdoba:



Booking.com

The outstanding nature of this ensemble is illustrated by the convergence of two typologies: on the one hand, the European convent layout, with a main church, residence, and college in the city; and on the other, novel rural settlements, where the church, residence, and trading post merged in a productive and interrelated territory. This kind of articulation, where the various productive specializations in each estancia were supported by the construction of complex hydraulic systems, was unique in the American cultural context.

The outstanding achievements of the Jesuit Block and Estancias of Córdoba include the development of technologies based on local resources, both material and human, and the use of the respective knowledge of the participants – the religious Order and the indigenous and African slave labourers – all of which resulted in a mixture of architectural, technological, and artistic expressions reflecting mannerist and baroque influences adapted to the locality.

Within the boundaries of the property are located all the elements necessary to express the Outstanding Universal Value of the Jesuit Block and Estancias of Córdoba. This ensures the complete representation of their significance as architectural and landscape ensembles in their respective settings.

The Jesuit Block maintains its original religious, residential, educational, and cultural functions, while the estancias continue operating as cultural, interchange, and regional development centres, even though they have considerably lost their productive nature. Of the five estancias included in the property, two (Santa Catalina and La Candelaria) maintain their original rural settings, another two (Caroya and Jesús María) remain in semi-urban settings, and one (Alta Gracia) became the centre of an urban structure.

Photo credits: 

© Vincent Ko Hon Chiu
© Philipp Schinz

Pajas Blancas airport outside the city of Cordoba receives flights from just about anywhere in Argentina, plus Latin American countries. Visit Argentina airports for more information on airlines and airports.

You can also travel to Cordoba with a regular bus service from Buenos Aires (Retiro Bus Station) as well as from any main city in Argentina.

The 38-ha ensemble of the Jesuit Block and five of its estancias (rural farming and manufacturing establishments) in the province of Córdoba, near the geographical centre of Argentina, contains 17th and 18th century religious and secular buildings that illustrate an unprecedented 150-year-long religious, social, and economic experiment. The Jesuit Block in the city of Córdoba contains the core buildings of the capital of the former Jesuit Province of Paraguay: the church, the Jesuit priests’ residence, the university, and the Colegio Convictorio de Montserrat. The Block’s supporting estancias – comprised of Alta Gracia (located 36 km from the Block), Santa Catalina (70 km from the Block), Jesús María (48 km from the Block), La Candelaria (220 km from the Block), and Caroya (44 km from the Block) – each included a church or chapel, priests’ residence, ranches for slaves and indigenous peoples, work areas (camps, mills, beating mills, etc.), hydraulic systems (breakwaters, irrigation ditches, canals, etc.), farmhouses, and large extents of land for cattle breeding.

The Jesuit Block and Estancias of Córdoba is an exceptional example of a vast religious, political, economic, legal, and cultural system. It is likewise an excellent illustration of the fusion of European and Native American cultures, with the added contributions of African slave labourers, during a seminal period in South America. The ensemble is a particular example of territorial organisation, an economic complement between urban and rural settlements that allowed the Society of Jesus to pursue its educational and missionary goals.

Posted in Argentina and South America