Sunday, December 8, 2013

The Jesuit Crypt - Exploring A Piece Of Cordoba's Past

The Jesuit Crypt was built centuries ago in the province of Cordoba. It was originally designed to serve the Jesuits, but was later converted to a crypt and a crematorium. The Jesuits were a society of Jesus Christ followers within the Catholic Church. Some say, that the crypt was used as a training area for Jesuit followers. It was eventually abandoned after the Jesuits were expelled. 
Original entrance into the crypt that was buried by construction long ago
Over time, urbanization of the city caused the crypt to be buried and forgotten. It wasn’t until 1989 that it was accidentally unearthed. The city immediately began restoring the crypt and turned it into a historical site. 
Modern day entrance into the crypt
I must have passed the Jesuit Crypt dozens of times since my arrival in Argentina, but I never considered going into it. I was probably reluctant because I am not a God fearing person. However, Brian, a fellow expat talked me into exploring the museum and I agreed out of sheer curiosity. 
3D Map of the crypt's interior
Walking underneath the city into this museum reminded me a bit of what it must have been like to enter an Egyptian tomb. There wasn’t a whole lot to see or do, but it was still quite fascinating. There were ancient artifacts displayed behind a glass case. I was also able to see the original entrance to the crypt, which was sealed off long ago. 
Recovered artifacts
It felt amazing to be standing on such a historic site. Imagine the history in these walls? I could almost feel the presence of those old souls who occupied the same space I was standing in. 
It only took me 15 minutes to tour the entire underground crypt. Then again, it only cost 5 Argentine pesos (80 U.S. cents), so that wasn’t too bad. Whether, you’re a fan of history or archaeology, I highly recommend you take a moment to visit the Jesuit Crypt. 

Decomposition chamber where the dead were placed and covered with quicklime to mask the stench and speed up the decomposition process

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