This monument is part of the list of UNESCO World Heritage along with other Jesuit sites found in the Sierra de Córdoba (Argentina), such as the Estancias de Santa Catalina, La Candelaria, Caroya and Jesús María. Without forgetting that in the capital itself there is one of the most beautiful and valuable architectural and historical ensembles in the entire country, the popularly called Jesuit Block of Córdoba.
Alta Gracia Stay
In the town of Alta Gracia, the Jesuit fathers built the parish church of Nuestra Señora de la Merced and the entire complex between the years 1643 and 1762. That is to say, more than a century of works to finally build this beautiful complex between the main square of the town and a water tank. And it is that the location is part of the charm of this great work.
Because it can be said that the stay as a historical monument includes more than the exquisite art of the church. Also part of the old colonial workshops located to the south that was the Obraje, or the current Viceroy Liniers National Historical Museum next to the church itself and which was originally the residence of the Jesuits. What has not survived to this day is the ranchería, which was the home of black slaves and native workers.
To get a good look at what it was likeA room can be moved to the rear area, to the Tajamar area where old dams built in the 17th century can be seen. When the Jesuits settled down, they not only worried about preaching, but also wanted to value the territories where they settled..
By the way, from the Tajamar you can see another of the typical images of Estancia de Alta Gracia, with the water in the foreground and the Clock Tower in the background.
Stay from the Tajamar
However, from an artistic point of view, the obligatory visit is to the parish church of Nuestra Señora de la Merced, a work designed by one of the main architects of the Society of Jesus: Andrés Blanqui, Italian by birth but who was sent to Argentina to carry out various Jesuit works, both in the province of Córdoba and in the province of Buenos Aires. And in fact, he never returned to his native country, and passed away in Argentina in 1740.
However, he left an impressive architectural legacy, not only because of his work in Alta Gracia or in the nearby estancias of Santa Catalina and Jesús María, or the Cathedral of Córdoba, but also participated in the completion of the first Cathedral in Buenos Aires, which would collapse in 1752, and above all participated in the Cabildo, one of the most attractive buildings in the history of the capital.