Yapeyu town and jesuit mission
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The small town of Yapeyú is one of the few settlements in Corrientes province where the Jesuit Mission has been preserved. Corrientes province has a sub-tropical climate that makes it a place of natural beauty and greenery all year round. Yapeyú is a lush settlement that resides on the banks of the River Uruguay and is rich in Argentine history. Argentina Travel Planet recommends this as a must-see destination in Corrientes Province.
Yapeyú is a historic town for two main reasons: the Jesuit Mission that was founded in the early 1600s and because it is the birthplace of José San Martín the famous Argentine revolutionary.
The Jesuit missionaries created thirty missions in the Corrientes region during the 16th Century. During this era, Argentina was not yet officially established and this area was known as Nuestra Señora de los Santos Reyes Magos de Yapeyú (Our Lady of the King’s Saints Magos of Yapeyú. The mixture of European and Guaraní (the indigenous people of this region) words in the original name shows how the Jesuit evangelists went about mixing the cultures. The Parish church of Yapeyú is a national historic monument and houses some religious artefacts from this era, including a wooden carving of the Virgin Mary.
The Jesuits built this settlement and transformed the village into an important agricultural, cultural and manufacturing centre, with 80 heads of cattle, a shipyard and a literature and music school. The Jesuit evangelists also constructed homes including the one where the hero of Argentine independence, José San Martín was born.
Tourists in Yapeyú can pay his birthplace a visit. The house was built in 1627 by the Jesuits and little remains of the original structure, but the ruined walls have been preserved in a temple that was constructed around them. The temple-style building that encases San Martín’s birthplace was built in 1938 and is an example of colonial architecture typical of the era.
To non-Argentines the shrine to San Martín may not seem that significant, but you have to remember that this is the birthplace of the man who freed Argentina, Chile and Peru from centuries of Spanish colonialism.
The town also has a tourist information office, an amphitheatre and a beach on the River Uruguay which is a safe and very pleasant place to bathe and escape the heat. You can also take a look around the interesting Museum of San Martin where this Argentine hero’s personal possessions, uniforms and weapons are on display.
Yapeyú is a quaint, riverside town that is full to the brim of history: a lovely day out for all the family. Check out Argentina travel guide for more tourist spots in Corrientes province.