This museum is also part of the mission complex, here they have descriptions of the restoration process, and displays of original artifacts from the church as altarpieces and ornaments. It also has a hall where one can see local artisans working, using the same artisan procedures used during the Jesuit time. The museum is open from tuesday to Sunday and there´s an entrance fee of $2.00.
A hall dedicated to this visionary Swiss architect, that restored the mision of Concepcion, but also the misions of San Javier, San Rafael and San Miguel. It has tools, blueprints and dioramas used for the rebuilding of the churches and models of their framework.
I really loved Concepcion, not just the mision, the town is beautiful, cobblestone streets, with all the buildings painted with local decoration. A very easy way of life, with no rush, friendly people, cheap, something outside of this world. It´s it is well worth the effort to visit a part of Bolivia often overlooked by travelers.
Restored in 1975, the façade of this Jesuit church is beautifully decorated in the indigenous Baroque style. Painted and ornated in orange and yellow with images of saints, flower and other intricate decorations, the church dominates the cobblestone main square.
I´ve found this scale model of a Jesuit reduction in the local museum. The misiones were small colonies established by the missionaries throughout the 17th and 18th century. The jesuit reductions were different from the others, because the indians were expected to convert to Christianity but not necessarily to accept the European culture, the Jesuit allowed them to retain their pre-colonial cultural practices at the same time. The Reductions achieved a high degree of autonomy from the Spanish empire, wich finally ended with the expulsion of the Jesuit from the colonies.
The jesuist used a different style of construction from other Catholic churches in the Chiquitania region, they built a Campanario or Bell tower with a clock, next to the church. The one in Concepcion is a beautiful carved wood construcion, and has a great view of the main square.
The church interior is a simple rectangle with two lines of eight inmense columns each carved out of a single tree. It has three altars, two small ones at the left and right and the main altar in the middle, carved and ornated in the complicated and colorful Baroque style. The whole church is a master piece of Baroque art.
Located very close to the main square (around 700 mts) there´s a nice and small lake, very popular amongst the local people; where you can swin, rent a boat or just relax after so many cultural visits.
The mision also houses the musical archives, more than 5,000 sacred music sheets (from the XVII and XVIII centuries) written by both European and Indigenous composers were found in the mision. With this legacy and International Musical Festival was created. Since 1996 and every two years the Festival is performed by local musicians using the temple as it´s stage scenery.
A view of the beautifully restored cloister, with it´s paintings, ornaments and wood columns, all surrounding a pleasant garden.
Some details of the altars paintings and sculptures of the interior, the Baroque design is a mixture of european and indigenous style.
Just opposite the church in the main square, there is a colonial house with a later added tower, that makes a nice balance to the mission complex.