Churches and Slavery in Cordoba (in soft haze)

Cordoba was founded in 1573 by roughly 100 spanish Conquistadors and was promptly turned into a religious centre by those pious pillagers. And when I say religious centre, I am understating the obvious. The number of churches in this city is simply staggering.

In the heart of the city you will find the Jesuit block, designed by the spanish and built mainly by slaves, who they brought from far flung countries like Papa New Guinea. The Jesuits were very much dependant on these slaves to build their monuments, a fact worth remembering while you extoll the beauty and virtues of these churches. I can’t even imagine the years of back breaking labour, in the blazing sun, that it must have taken to build what is essentially the heart of the city. If you are curious about this subject and want to find out more, you might like to look for a book by Jorge Troisi Melean.

Evidence of the black population that used to make up about half the population of the city, is today sadly lacking. In the make-up of the population, it was invisible. According to some theories, the black male population was decimated in the war with Paraguay in the 1800s and the remaining women married and mixed with the indigenous and colonial population. Another theory claims that the black population were the victims of covert genocide, through forced recruitment and forced relocation to disease ridden areas. Which theory is true, I couldn’t tell you, but you can read more about black heritage in Argentina here.

With all that said, here are some photos I took of the architecture. With a little lightening, some colour adjustments and de-saturation, I think the images came out quite nicely. And I’m glad, that I could share this story with you about the people who made them.

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The Jesuit Church in Cordoba.

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Former Rectory of the National University of Cordoba.

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Santa Teresa Church, Cordoba

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