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Jesuit Missions of the Chiquitos
Site number:
Type of site: Cultural
Date: 1696-1760
Date of Inscription: 1990
Location: South America, Bolivia, Department of Santa Cruz
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Six official UN languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, Spanish
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Description: Six ensembles of reducciones, settlements of Christianized Indians, were founded by the Jesuits between 1696 and 1760. The settlements married the Catholic architectural styles with that of local traditions, and were originally inspired by the 'ideal cities' of the 16th-century philosophers. San Francisco Javier, Concepción, Santa Ana, San Miguel, San Rafael and San José, make up the six that remain to this day– framing a living heritage on the territory formerly inhabited by the Chiquitos. --WHMNet paraphrase from the description at WHC Site, where additional information is available.
  Chiquitos is a region of rain savannas in the eastern Bolivia. The name Chiquitos means "little ones" in Spanish. It was chosen by the Spanish Conquistadores, when they found the small doors of the Indian huts in the region. Around 20 ethnic groups live in the Chiquitos region. A notable feature are the 18th century Jesuit and Franciscan settlements scattered throughout the region. They were utopian villages based on the teaching of the catechism and religious related activities such as baroque music, handicrafts, and agriculture. Six churches still remain in the zone and were selected in 1990 as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. --Wikipedia. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.
Reference: 1. UNESCO World Heritage Center, Site Page.
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