Jesuit Missions of the Chiquitos

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.

Missions jésuites de Chiquitos

Six ensembles de « réductions » (installations des Indiens christianisés) inspirées des cités idéales des philosophes du XVIe siècle que les jésuites fondèrent de 1696 à 1760 et où se mêlent étroitement architecture catholique et traditions locales, San Francisco Javier, Concepción, Santa Ana, San Miguel, San Rafael et San José forment aujourd’hui un patrimoine toujours vivant sur l’ancien territoire des Chiquitos.

الإرساليات اليسوعية في محافظة الـ تشيكيتوس

أسس اليسوعيون بين العام 1696 و1760 ستّ مجّمعات من مستوطنات للهنود المعتنقين الديانة المسيحية، إسترشاداً بالمدن المثالية التي تصوّرها فلاسفة القرن السادس عشر. وتمزج هذه المستوطنات بين الأسلوب الهندسي الكاثوليكي والتقاليد المحلية. ولا تزال إرساليات سان فرانسيسكو خافيير، وكونسيبسيون، وسانتا آنا، وسان ميغيل، وسان رافائيل، وسان خوسيه تشكّل تراثاً حيّاً على أرض التشيكيتوس القديمة.

source: UNESCO/ERI

奇基托斯耶稣传教区

由于受到16世纪哲学家关于“理想城市”观念的影响,耶稣会的一些教士于1696至1760年间建立了六个当地基督教徒聚落,其建筑风格完美地融合了天主教建筑和当地传统。现存的六处遗址分别是圣弗朗西斯科哈维尔(San Francisco Javier)、康塞普西翁(Concepción)、圣阿尼娅(Santa Ana)、圣米格尔(Santa Ana)、圣拉斐尔(San Rafael)和圣霍斯(San José),共同构成了前奇基托斯地区活的遗产。

source: UNESCO/ERI

Иезуитские миссии на землях индейцев чикитос

В период с 1696 по 1760 гг. шесть ансамблей «редусьонес» (поселений обращенных в христианство индейцев) были созданы иезуитами, которые вдохновлялись мечтами об идеальных городах философов XVI в. Миссии были построены в стиле, соединявшем черты католической архитектуры и местные традиции. Эти шесть сохранившихся миссий – Сан-Франциско-Хавьер, Консепсьон, Санта-Ана, Сан-Мигель, Сан-Рафаэль и Сан-Хосе – представляют собой живое наследие индейцев чикитос.

source: UNESCO/ERI

Misiones jesuí­ticas de Chiquitos

Este sitio comprende seis reducciones fundadas por los jesuitas entre 1696 y 1760. La organización de estas poblaciones de indios convertidos al cristianismo se inspiró en las ciudades ideales de los filósofos del siglo XVI. El estilo de las construcciones es fruto de la fusión de la arquitectura católica con las tradiciones locales. Las seis poblaciones de San Francisco Javier, Concepción, Santa Ana, San Miguel, San Rafael y San José, ubicadas en el antiguo territorio de los indios chiquitos, forman todaví­a hoy un patrimonio vivo.

source: UNESCO/ERI

チキトスのイエズス会伝道施設群

source: NFUAJ

Jezuïtische missieposten van de Chiquitos

Tussen 1696 en 1760 richtten de Jezuïeten zes reeksen reducciones op (nederzettingen van gekerstende Indianen) geïnspireerd door de 'ideale stad' van de 16de-eeuwse humanistische filosofen. De bouwstijl was een vermenging van katholieke architectuur en lokale tradities. De jezuïeten definieerden het stedelijk model met de Indianenhuizen op regelmatige afstand langs de drie zijden van een rechthoekig plein en de vierde zijde gereserveerd voor de kerk, werkplaatsen, scholen of een hofje dat weduwen en verlaten vrouwen huisvestte. De zes overgebleven posten – San Francisco Javier, Concepción, Santa Ana, San Miguel, San Rafael en San Jose – vormen samen een levendig erfgoed op het voormalige grondgebied van de Chiquitos.

Source: unesco.nl

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Outstanding Universal Value

Brief Synthesis

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.

The idealized urban model for the missions featured houses for the Indians regularly spaced along the three sides of a rectangular square, with the fourth side reserved for the church, workshops and schools. The churches are remarkable examples of the adaptation of European Christian religious architecture to local conditions and traditions. They resemble large houses with a gable roof overhanging a west gallery extended as a porch. Long walls defining three interior aisles divided by wooden columns and two exterior galleries, also supported by columns, constitute a unique type of architecture, distinguished by the special treatment of the carved wooden columns and banisters. The church at San José is the only exception, being of stone construction and inspired stylistically by a baroque model. In addition to rich interior decoration, many of these churches house remarkable popular art objects such as sculptures, paintings, altars and pulpits.

Unlike other Jesuit missions in South America, the Jesuit Missions of the Chiquitos survived the expulsion of the Society of Jesus in 1767, though by the 1850s the reducciones system of the missions had disappeared. These traditional architectural ensembles have more recently become vulnerable under the impact of changes following the agrarian reform of 1953 that threatened the local social and economic infrastructure.

Criterion (iv): The churches of the Jesuit Missions of the Chiquitos  in Bolivia, large houses with a double-sloping roof and large porch roof overhanging a west gallery, are a remarkable example of the adaptation of Christian religious architecture to local conditions and traditions. Long walls defining three interior naves divided by wooden columns and two exterior galleries, also supported by columns, constitute – except in the case of San José where construction, in stone, was inspired by a baroque model – a very unique type of architecture marked by the special treatment of the wooden columns and banisters.

Criterion (v) : These traditional architectural ensembles, that often enclose remarkable popular art objects (e.g., at the church of Santa Ana), have become vulnerable under the impact of changes that threatened the Chiquitos populations following the agrarian reform of 1953.

Integrity

Within the boundaries of the Jesuit Missions of the Chiquitos are located all the elements necessary to express the Outstanding Universal Value of the property. The 7.160,75 has. that includes the urban centers of municipalities where are located the six Jesuit Missions of Chiquitos property’s boundaries are therefore adequate in size to ensure the complete representation of the features that convey the property’s significance, and the property does not suffer from adverse effects of development or neglect.

Authenticity

The Jesuit Missions of the Chiquitos is authentic in terms of the ensemble’s forms and designs, materials and substances, and locations and settings. Conservation and rehabilitation activities at the missions were undertaken from the 1970s through the 1990s by the Swiss architect Hans Roth and others. In general, the church restorations were oriented at structural reinforcement, restitution of lost parts, integration of murals, and recovery of mouldings and cornices (San Rafael, Santa Ana). Because the missions are located within villages, modernisation constitutes a permanent threat to the property.

Protection and management requirements

The Jesuit Missions of the Chiquitos were declared a National Monument of Bolivia by Decreto Supremo of 4 January 1950; Historical and Cultural Monuments of Bolivia by Law No. 2164 of 18 December 2000; and Cultural, Historical and Religious Heritage by the Autonomous Department of Santa Cruz by Law No. 42 of 23 April 2012. Commitments to preserve the missions were made in August 1990 by means of specific resolutions of the Committee Pro Santa Cruz and the Development Corporation of Santa Cruz (Corporación de Desarrollo de Santa Cruz: CORDECRUZ), and by Consejo de Plan Regulador Resolution No. 03/90 of the Board of Directors of the Council of the Regulating Board of Santa Cruz de la Sierra. Commitments to effect the adequate protection of the missions and their churches at the local level were made by Ordinance No. 9/90 of the Municipal Board of Concepción, Ordinance No. 10/90 of the Municipal Board of San Miguel de Velasco, Ordinance No. 11/90 of the Municipal Board of San José de Chiquitos, and Ordinance No. 12/90 of the Municipal Board of San Javier. There are no buffer zones for the inscribed property.

The property is managed by the Ministry of Cultures of the Plurinational State of Bolivia. The Plan Misiones, Plan de Rehabilitación Integral de las Misiones Jesuíticas de Chiquitos (Comprehensive Rehabilitation Plan of the Jesuit Missions of Chiquitos) was created in 2007 by the Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional (Spanish Agency for International Cooperation), the Diocese of San Ignacio de Velasco and the Vicariate of Ñuflo de Chávez. The central objective of the Plan Misiones has been to improve the living conditions of local people through the recovery, conservation and rehabilitation of the Chiquitano mission heritage. The plan has four main components: Planning, Regulations, Intervention, and Communication and Awareness. Building on a comprehensive heritage inventory, the Planning component includes Urban Management Plans (Planes de Ordenamiento Urbano (POU)) and Heritage Areas Revitalization Plans (Planes de Revitalización de Áreas Patrimoniales (PRAP)). These plans led to the identification and drafting of special plans such as the Improvement Plan for Housing and Public Spaces (Plan de Mejoramiento de Vivienda y Espacios Públicos (PMV)).

Sustaining the Outstanding Universal Value of the property over time will require ensuring this value as well as the authenticity and integrity of the property are not compromised by modernisation or other identified or potential threats. Because the missions are located within villages, modernisation constitutes a permanent threat to the site. Legal protection had therefore to be strengthened.

Long Description

Sent by the Spanish Crown to assure the conquest of the Indias del Cielo, the Jesuit fathers arrived at the Viceroyalty of Peru in 1567 to bring Christianity to the indigenous communities. The first collegial church was founded in 1577 at Potosí, on Bolivian territory; in 1592 a new house was established at Santa Cruz de la Sierra. The Jesuits seemed to have rationalized, in the Chiquito territory, the model of reducciones (settlements of Christianized Indians) which was largely inspired by the ideal city of the humanist philosophers. Between 1696 and 1760, six groups of reducciones were founded in a style that married Roman Catholic architecture with local traditions.

They defined the urban model: the houses of Indians regularly spaced along the three sides of a rectangular square, with the fourth reserved for the church, the collegial church, two workshops, and the schools, and sometimes also for the Casa de la Misericordia (almshouse), which housed widows and abandoned women. Unlike other Jesuit missions in South America that were abandoned after 1767, the reducciones of the Chiquitos survived the expulsion of the Company of Jesus. 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.

The churches of the Chiquitos Missions of Bolivia are a remarkable example of the adaptation of Christian religious architecture to local conditions and traditions. Long walls defining three interior aisles divided by wooden columns and two exterior galleries, also supported by columns, constitute a very unique type of architecture, distinguished by the special treatment of the wooden columns and banisters. Only San José is an exception, because its stone construction was inspired by a Baroque model. These traditional architectural ensembles, which often enclose remarkable popular art objects, have become vulnerable under the impact of changes that threatened the Chiquitos populations following the agrarian reform of 1953.

San Francisco Javier, the westernmost and the earliest, is now a small village whose traditional habitat preserves some characteristics of the domestic architecture of the Jesuits, although the height of 6.25 m established for each house is rarely encountered. The school has survived, as well as the church, the work of Father Martin Schmidt. Concepción, founded in 1709, was not established permanently until 1722. The church, begun in 1725, is also a work of Father Martin Schmidt. Santa Ana was founded in 1755 and its church was erected between 1768 and 1831, after the expulsion of the Jesuits. San Miguel was established in 1721. The church, the construction of which began in 1750, was built according to the designs of Father Johann Messner. San Raphael has retained from the Jesuit period only its church, constructed in about 1750 by Father Martin Schmidt. It is distinguished by an outside promenade gallery and a wooden bell tower. San José, founded in 1698, was one of the most interesting reducciones of Chiquito. Four chapels for processions stand at the corners of the square. The religious ensemble was extensively remodelled in the 18th century.

Source: UNESCO/CLT/WHC