Jesuit Missions of Chiquitos

As an ensemble Jesuit Missions of the Chiquitos, the United Nations declared 1990 the six towns in the department of Santa Cruz in eastern Bolivia to the World Heritage Site:

Map of Indigenous Peoples of Bolivia

  • San Francisco Javier
  • Concepción
  • Santa Ana
  • San Miguel
  • San Rafael
  • San José de Chiquitos

The protected as World Heritage six cities are the last remaining settlements of its kind in Bolivia. More exist in Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay.

The six missions are partly located several hundred miles apart east and northeast of Santa Cruz de la Sierra.


Influenced by the idea of European philosophers of the 16th century from the ideal city founded by the Jesuits 1696-1790 in the territory of the Chiquitos several settlements for Christianity evangelized natives, the so-called Jesuit reductions. In them, the Christian architecture mixed with the local traditional architecture to create own style. Much of the churches of the Chiquitos was designed by the Swiss Jesuit Martin Schmid.

The Mission San José de Chiquitos was founded in 1750 just a few miles away from the place at which 1560-1592 the city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra had found before it was moved in 1592 about 250 km to the west to its present location. The remains of this settlement can be seen in the south of the city of San José as the archaeological site of Santa Cruz la Vieja ( "Old Santa Cruz ").