Regional Office for Culture in Latin America and the Caribbean

Portal of Culture of Latin America and the Caribbean

Argentina - Museo Nacional Estancia Jesuítica de Alta Gracia y Casa del Virrey Liniers (MNEJAGyCVL) (National Museum Estancia Jesuitica de Alta Gracia and House of Viceroy Liniers)

The Jesuit site as a whole offers an exceptional example of the merger of the European and the American cultures, with the contribution of the labour of the black slaves, as well as a unique tangible expression of the religious, social and economic experience developed for more than 150 years by the Society of Jesus in South America.

The estancia (ranch or farm) covered a large territorial surface and had eight outposts in the mountain areas: San Ignacio, Santiago, San Antonio, Potrero, Achala, San Miguel,     Potrerillo and the outpost of Guzmán. The core of the estancia of Alta Gracia was made up by the residence of the Jesuits, present-day museum; The Church; the work camps, where the industrial activities were carried out; the settlement, to house of the black slaves; The cutwater, an 80-meter long dike, which allowed the functioning of two flour mills; A fulling machine (a machine driven by water used to thrash and remove the grease from and to give consistency to the hides and cloths) and for irrigation of the orchards and country houses; And kilns to burn lime and to manufacture roof tiles and bricks.


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The estancia represents the first agricultural organization at the regional level. Its spatial and morphologic typology is highly representative because of the elements of the system that can still be seen (church, residence –with common places – the cutwater[1], the works, walls, the ruins of the mills, the kilns, etc.) because of the vaulted constructions and their functionality. The labour force that built all of them and executed all the productive work was almost entirely, black and slave.

UNESCO distinguished the Estancia as a memory site associated to UNESCO’s Route of the Slave Project in 2014.

       Information supplemented with  excerpts from the publication “Sitios de Memoria y culturas vivas de los afro descendientes en Argentina, Paraguay y Uruguay. Tomo I Huellas    e  Identidades”,  Manzanas y estancias jesuíticas de Córdoba, María Rebeca Medina.



[1] A tank from which water flows by gravity to make the two hydraulic mills and a fulling machine work. It may be found at the end of the hydraulic system that includes a number of “walls” which collect the waters from the stream, feeding the irrigation ditches and the cutwater itself. .

Accessibility: Good, at only 36 km from the city of Cordoba (provincial capital), through the RP5 (Provincial Route N° 5). Motorway.       Free access during opening hours of the institution (Tuesday to Friday: 9.00 to 13.00 and 15:00 to 19:00; Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays: 9.30 to 12:30 and 15:30 to 18:30)
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Other data of interest


Historical name

Estancia Jesuítica de Alta Gracia

Founding Date

1588, origin of the estancia; 1643, the estancia became the property of the Jesuits; 26 August 1977, the museum was officially opened.


Avda. Padre Domingo Viera 41, Alta Gracia, Provincia de Córdoba  , PC: 5186 .

Phone numbers


Web link


Agro-industrial complex


Others Local monument National monument Inscribed on the World Heritage List


Religious-ceremonial site Burial place Workplace Settlement

Access level


Current Use

Museum, religious, touristic

Original use

Productive, religious

Property kind


Heritage documents under its protection

Account books. Estancias Jesuíticas (17th and 18th centuries).

Their state of conservation is good. They are used for exhibition and research.

Expressions of intangible heritage associated

Daily life ways and forms through the material remains:

  • The presence of enslaved Africans in the Jesuit system is documented in the account ledgers that the Jesuits kept for the management of the haciendas.
  • The objects that make it another form of culture clearly charged with identity, such as the ceramic manufactures with technologies and shapes that are not European or American.
  • The objects that repeat the European models as to forms and functions, in which the imprint of the African labour force may be found.


  • 2000 995
  • 1941
  • 1999