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UNESCO Cultural Heritage in Argentina

UNESCO Cultural Heritage in Argentina

In the eighth largest country in the world, 11 sites are classified by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, six of which are cultural and five are of a natural nature. Thus, Argentina is the third country with the largest number of sites listed in Latin America, behind Mexico and Brazil alone. Cueva de las Manos, the Jesuit Quarter and Estancias de Córdoba, the Quebrada de Humahuaca, and three sites shared with other countries, such as the Jesuit Missions of the Guarani, the Inca Trail and the Work Architectural of Le Corbusier.

Foto 1  – Jesuit Missions of the Guarani (© Griselda Quiroga)

At the heart of the rainforest are located the ruins of five Jesuit missions. This is a place distinguished by UNESCO that Argentina shares with Brazil, and in Argentine territory are located San Ignacio Mini, Santa Ana, Our Lady of Loreto and Santa Maria, the Greater one. These missions were built in territory occupied by the Guaraní indigenous community between the 17th and 18th centuries and are characterized by the specific layout and uneven state of conservation. The four missions located in Argentina are an example of the organized system of territorial occupation.

Foto 2  – Jesuit Block and Estancias of Cordoba

The Jesuit Block and Estancias of Córdoba is a set of sites built by Jesuit missionaries in Cordoba, Argentina, and was classified by UNESCO in 2000. In the Jesuit Quarter, it is possible to see the University of Cordoba, one of the oldest in South America, the Monserrate Secondary School, a church and dwellings. The Jesuits built six estates around the province called Caroya, Jesus Maria, Santa Catalina, Alta Gracia, Candelaria and San Ignacio. This site illustrates the social, economic and religious experience that happened there between the 17th and 18th centuries.

Foto 3 – Quebrada de Humahuaca

This valley in the province of Jujuy, Argentina, is located about 1500 kilometers from Buenos Aires and is oriented in a north-south direction. The Quebrada de Humahuaca has approximately 1649 kilometers. Historically the region was a place of economic, social and cultural communication and there settled a small settlement of hunter-gatherers, being inhabited more than 10 thousand years. Humahuaca was also a caravan route to the Inca Empire in the 15th century and became a link between the Kingdom of Silver and the Kingdom of Peru. The site was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2003.

Foto 4 – Qhapaq Ñan, Inca Trail (© Ministerio de Cultura de la Nación Argentina)

These roads constitute a wide road network of about 30 thousand kilometers built by the Incas over several centuries with the aim of facilitating communications, transportation and commerce, and had defensive objectives. These routes spread through Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Argentina. The road network is based on four main roads that are linked to other routes and extends from the snowy hills of the Andes at 6000 meters of altitude to the Pacific coast. In 2014 UNESCO classified 273 components of these paths.

Foto 5 – Architectural Work of Le Corbusier (© Daniel Santiago)

The 17 sites that integrate this well considered by UNESCO as World Heritage spread over seven countries, including Argentina. The architectural work of Le Corbusier is a testimony of the creation of a new mode of expression of architecture that clearly breaks with the previous forms. Argentina is represented in these 17 sites through Casa Curutchet, a dwelling built between 1949 and 1953 by Le Corbusier. The owner was the surgeon Pedro Domingo Curutchet and currently the house is the headquarters of the Professional Association of Architects of Buenos Aires.

Foto 6 – Cave of the Hands (© Carlos Zito)

Classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999, the Cave of the Hands or Cueva de las Manos is a cave in the province of Santa Cruz, in the Pinturas river valley, in the Patagonia area. This site contains fantastic examples of cave paintings of hands made by local natives for more than 9,500 years. Besides paintings of the hands, there are also paintings of humans and animals, such as guanacos, emas and felines, but also hunting scenes. It is believed that this site was inhabited for the last time by the Tehuelches, asserting itself as a well-preserved copy of the culture of early societies.


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