Brazil // The South //

São Miguel

The one mission site in Brazil that was not completely levelled is SÃO MIGUEL, not to be compared in extent and significance to San Ignacio Miní in neighbouring Argentina, but still of considerable visual interest, particularly for its dramatic location on a treeless fertile plain. Despite vandalism and centuries of neglect, São Miguel’s ruins offer ample evidence of the sophistication of Guaraní Baroque architecture, and of redução life generally. Founded in 1632, to the west of the Rio Uruguai, São Miguel moved only a few years later to escape paulista slavers, and then a few years after that it was destroyed by a violent windstorm. After being rebuilt, its population increased rapidly and in 1687 it was relocated across the river to its present site.