Argentina: Santa Catalina & Jesus Maria Estancias
North of the city of Cordoba (next post) and the core of the Jesuit Block, lie two UNESCO-listed Jesuit estancias or farming estates. Jesuit missionaries came to what is today Paraguay and Argentina in 1615 and established churches, universities and estancias across a vast terrain (they were later expelled from all of South America in 1767 and returned back in 1853). The Santa Catalina Estancia and Jesus Maria Estancia are two of the finest examples – small settlements with a large church surrounded my residential buildings for the missionaries., all walled and somewhat fortified. To be honest, neither was super impressive, perhaps the opinion made worse by many restrictions on visitation and photography.