JESUIT MISSIONS OF THE CHIQUITOS
Between 1696 and 1760, six ensembles of reducciones (settlements of Christianized Indians) inspired by the ‘ideal cities’ of the 16th-century philosophers were founded by the Jesuits in a style that married Catholic architecture with local traditions. The six that remain – San Francisco Javier, Concepción, Santa Ana, San Miguel, San Rafael and San José – make up a living heritage on the former territory of the Chiquitos.
Between 1691 and 1760, a series of remarkable reducciones de indios (mission settlements of Christianized Indians) largely inspired by the “ideal cities” envisioned by 16th-century humanist philosophers was founded by the Society of Jesus in the Chiquitos territory of eastern Bolivia. Here on the semi-arid frontier of Spanish South America now known as Chiquitanía the Jesuits and their indigenous charges blended European architecture with local traditions. The six historic missions that remain intact – San Francisco Javier, Concepción, Santa Ana, San Miguel, San Rafael and San José – today make up a living yet vulnerable heritage in the territory of Chiquitanía.