South America

San Javier mission, Chiquitania, Bolivia

San Xavier mission, Bolivia. Photo Copyright by Geoffrey A. P. Groesbeck.

Written by Geoffrey A. P. Groesbeck  San Javier (originally San Francisco Xavier de los Piñocas), the earliest permanent Jesuit mission in the Chiquitania, was founded by the missionaries José de Arce and Antonio de Rivas on 31 December 1691. It was rebuilt three times (in 1696, 1698, and 1705-6) before assuming its present form in 1708. Today it is a ...

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The Long Silence: The Jesuit Missions of Chiquitos after the Extrañamiento

San Xavier mission, Bolivia. Photo Copyright by Geoffrey A. P. Groesbeck.

Written by Geoffrey A P Groesbeck Introduction There is much still to discover regarding the early history of the Jesuit missions (reducciones1) of Chiquitos2 (1691-1767). By now it has been reasonably well documented3, albeit in greater detail in Spanish and German than in English. Over the last three decades, scholarly research on these missions’ individual and collective artistic, musical, and ...

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A Brief History of the Jesuit Missions of Chiquitos

Concepcion mission (1699), Bolivia. Photo Copyright by Geoffrey A. P. Groesbeck

Written by Geoffrey A P Groesbeck Introduction It is a simple fact that no comprehensive history of the Jesuit missions of Chiquitos1 exists in English.2 There are numerous accounts in Spanish, most of which rely primarily upon two secondary sources dating from the nineteenth century: D’Orbigny’s recollections of his travels in the region between 1831 and 18333, and René-Moreno’s numerous ...

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The main fort of Fernando de Noronha: Fortress of Nossa Senhora Dos Remédios

The entrance gate and the front walls of the fort, Fortaleza de Nossa Senhora dos Remédios, Fernando de Noronha, Brazil. Author and Copyright Marco Ramerini

Written by Marco Ramerini. English text revision by Dietrich Köster. The fortress of Nossa Senhora dos Remédios is the most important fortification of the entire defensive system built on the island of Fernando de Noronha (Brazil) by the Portuguese in the eighteenth century and is located on a hill between the Bay of Santo António and the Praia do Cachorro. ...

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The Forts of Fernando de Noronha

The view towards the Morro do Pico from the round tower of the Fortaleza de Nossa Senhora dos Remédios, Fernando de Noronha, Brazil. Author and Copyright Marco Ramerini

Written by Marco Ramerini. English text revision by Dietrich Köster. Fernando de Noronha was discovered by the Florentine Amerigo Vespucci in 1503. In 1504 the Crown granted the archipelago as a “capitania hereditária” to a Portuguese lord, Fernão de Noronha, from whom it takes its name. The archipelago was occupied by two other European nations (Dutch and French) during the ...

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Letter by General Luis Jose Orbegoso y Moncada, 1834

Letter from Luis Jose de Orbegoso to Peruvian People 1834

Written by Randy Shaw. General Luis José de Orbegoso y Moncada, scion of an aristocratic criollo family from Trujillo, in northern Peru, was Provisional President of the country between 1833 and 1834, and was named in 1837-1838 President of the short-lived Republic of North Peru, set up by the Peru-Bolivia Confederacy after the invasion of the country by Bolivian strongman ...

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Heraldic Coat of Arms encased in wood that belonged to Pedro Pizarro

Heraldic Coat of Arms encased in wood that belonged to Pedro Pizarro

Written by Randy Shaw Several years ago General Jose Ramon Pizarro who was many times over the great grandson of the Spanish Chronicler and Conquistador Pedro Pizarro passed away in Lima Peru his widow contacted a mutual friend to discuss an item that had descended down through the family of Pedro Pizarro. So on my next trip to Lima my ...

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South America. List of Dutch forts and colonial possessions

Recife and Olinda (1665). Author Johannes Vingboons

Written by Marco Ramerini. English text revision by Dietrich Köster. COLOMBIA Santa Marta: Netherlands: 16 Feb. 1630 – 21/22 Feb. 1630 abandoned to Spain Goslinga “The Dutch in the Caribbean and on the Wild Coast 1580 – 1680”  VENEZUELA: Punta de Araya: Goslinga “The Dutch in the Caribbean and on the Wild Coast 1580 – 1680” Isla Tortuga: Goslinga “The Dutch in the ...

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Map of Dutch settlements in Guyana and Suriname 1600-1750

Map of Dutch settlements in Guyana and Suriname 1600-1750. Author Marco Ramerini

Written by Marco Ramerini. English text revision by Dietrich Köster. Around 1600 Spain had occupied in the Caribbean four large islands: Cuba, Hispaniola, Jamaica and Puerto Rico. These islands together with Mexico and Central America as far south as Guatemala formed the viceroyalty of New Spain. The Lesser Antilles were left unoccupied by Spain due to the ferocity of their ...

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Santa Ana de Velasco Mission: Jesuit Missions of Chiquitos (Eastern Bolivia)

Santa Ana de Velasco mission, Bolivia. Photo Copyright by Geoffrey A. P. Groesbeck

Written by Marco Ramerini. Photos by Geoffrey A. P. Groesbeck  Santa Ana de Velasco is a small village in the department of Santa Cruz  in the Amazonian plains of Bolivia near the border with Brazil. The village lies at an altitude of 464 metres and at about 40 km south-east of San Ignacio de Velasco. The mission of Santa Ana de Velasco is one of the last ...

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San Xavier Mission: Jesuit Missions of Chiquitos (Eastern Bolivia)

San Xavier mission, Bolivia. Photo Copyright by Geoffrey A. P. Groesbeck.

Written by Marco Ramerini. Photos by Geoffrey A. P. Groesbeck  San Javier is a small town in the department of Beni in the Amazonian plains of the State of Bolivia. The city lies at an altitude of 537 metres between the Rio Paquius and the Río San Julián. The town of Concepcion is located 60 km north-east, while the city of Santa ...

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San Rafael de Velasco Mission: Jesuit Missions of Chiquitos (Eastern Bolivia)

San Rafael de Velasco mission (1696), Bolivia. Photo Copyright by Geoffrey A. P. Groesbeck

Written by Marco Ramerini. Photos by Geoffrey A. P. Groesbeck  This mission is located in the town of  San Rafael de Velasco which is located in Eastern Bolivia, about 40 km east of the city of San Miguel de Velasco and approximately 470 km north-east of the city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra. The city lies at an altitude of 408 meters in the ...

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