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Jesús Maria

Altitude: 530 meters/1,738 feet, Population: 26,825, Telephone Code: 03525 


The town of Jesús Maria is located 49km (30.5 miles) to the north of the provincial capital Córdoba and offers a fascinating insight into the history of the Jesuits in Argentina. Famed for its collection of 17th Century Jesuit estancias (Spanish estates), the region is a popular destination for those seeking to explore the beautiful Sierras Chicas and learn about their intriguing past. As well as its natural and historical value, travelers to the region have the opportunity to enjoy various local delicacies and experience local culture during numerous annual festivals.

The indigenous sanavirones and comechingones communities originally referred to the area that now houses the Jesús Maria and Caroya estancias as Guanusacate. Spanish colonialism and the presence of missionaries transformed the region and it provided a crucial connection point for routes between Buenos Aires and Alto Peru and the Rio de la Plata. The estancias' agricultural produce provided crucial revenue for Argentina’s first university, established in 1613 in the city of Córdoba. The expulsion of the Jesuit Order from South America by Spanish King Charles III in 1767 sparked a wave of change in the local area after which the estancias served various different purposes. The Jesuit route that encapsulates various different estancias and sites, “el Camino de las Estancias” (also known as “el camino de la historia”), became a UN World Heritage Site in 2000.

A diverse history, enthralling landscape and old Jesuit architecture are all found in Jesús Maria. As well as its evident religious past, the region has a rich agricultural tradition and many local delicacies such as wine and cold meats can still be sampled and enjoyed. Previously populated by Italian immigrants towards the end of the 19th Century, at the Estancia de Caroya Mediterranean flavors continue to influence the local food. Jesús Maria remains a valuable agricultural town and produces maize, chickpeas, different types of bean and lentils. The Bodega La Caroyense in Colonia Caroya is another popular destination and gives visitors the opportunity to learn about and enjoy the production of wine.

Although very busy due to an influx of visitors El Festival Nacional de Doma y el Folclore (the National Festival of Horse Taming and Folklore) each January exhibits an array of gaucho traditions and local music. As well as the estancias, the Bodega La Caroyense in Colonia Caroya and the Fiesta de la Vendimia (grape harvest) are excellent opportunities to sample the local food and drinks. Both Jesús Maria and Colonia Coroya celebrate various other festivals throughout the year dedicated to the region’s rich history and traditions. Its hilly landscape and various bird watching opportunities make Jesús Maria extremely popular with hikers and nature lovers. Jesús Maria has a population of 27,000 and is easily reached by bus from the provincial capital Córdoba.

Telephone code: (0054) 3525


Other places nearby Jesús Maria: Cerro Colorado, Villa Tulumba and Santa Catalina.

03 Dec 2010

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