The Ruins of Jesus de Tavarangue mark one of the last missions built by the Jesuits in the 17th century in their attempt to Christianize the indigenous population. The mission was designed to be entirely self-sufficient, with houses, schools, workshops, and of course, a large church to support a population of natives and Europeans living in uneasy harmony. When the Spanish King expelled the Jesuits from Paraguay in the 18th century, the mission was abandoned and left to fall into ruin. The main chapel with its impressive altar has made it through the centuries in remarkably good condition, standing three stories high and still adorned with intricate mannerist elements.
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