Ruins of San Ignacio Mini, Argentina

Ruins of San Ignacio Mini, Argentina

Life Swift
Published on September 25, 2023
Ruins of San Ignacio Mini, Argentina

San Ignacio Ruins have situated about 240 km from Puerto Iguazu and 64 km from the city of Posadas. In 1610, Fathers Jose Cataldino and Simon Masseta founded the Jesuit Mission in the Guayra area. The Mission was moved to the Paranaima area due to Mamelukes’ invasions in 1655. Later, in 1695, it was relocated to the existing location. It was named as San Ignacio Mini to differentiate it from the earlier started San Ignacio Guazu. The San Ignacio Ruins are well well-looked-after appreciations to numerous noteworthy restoration workings. At its peak, this Mission had more than 3,300 residents. Its friendly relationship with the Parana River enabled them to uphold regular exchanges with the other missions. In 1984, UNESCO declared “the Jesuit Ruins of the San Ignacio Mini Mission” as World Heritage site.

Design and Structure

San Ignacio Miní, a 70th century Jesuit mission complex, was designed in the Spanish baroque style, deeply inclined towards native themes. The structural layout of San Ignacio Miní includes a central square with buildings grouped nearby it.The place was comprehensive with a wide variety of resources consisting of a hospital, a school, dormitories, and a glorious stone church with a wood interior.Despite the fact that the religious activity at the mission directly influenced Guaraní culture, it played an important role in flourishing it by guarding its people and their language. The complex provided its residents a shelter in constant conflicts and slave traders.The facility also had possession of several printing presses which delivered spiritual texts and related workings in the Guaraní language. During the Guaraní War in 1750 and the dismissal of the Jesuits in 1767, the missions were left permanently to the foundations.


The San IgnacioMini is the best well-preserved of all the missions, having a central square, priest’s house, church, cemetery and over 200 residences left in a reasonable condition. The church was 74m long and designed in ‘Guaraní Baroque’ style, with flowery sculptures imprinted into the red sandstone. A significant civilization, prospered for a couple of hundred years, was thus destroyed in there. The population of San Ignacio Miní extended to 28,714 residents just after first hundred years of its establishment. The population further increased to 141,182 by 1732. This increment triggered uneasiness to the political powers taking possession of the surrounding countries. It was the main reason for the expulsions and attacks. The missions were revived in 1897, however, the restoration work began in the 1940s.

Present Situation

The glowing design of San Ignacio Miní is remarkable even in its ruined state. The blend of Spanish baroque and Guaraní styles is still marked in the architecture of walls and arches of the church. The complex is an enormous model of mission development and arrangement that could stay alive today. Because of the dedication and commitment of various organizations and people to the preservation struggle at the place, San Ignacio Miní has been reopened to the public and endures to exhibit the historical legacy of the place.