Founded by the Spaniards in 1573 as a strategic staging post between Peru and the Atlantic, Cordoba blends a rich colonial history with impressive modern economic growth. Cordoba was Argentina’s first capital and is now the second most important city in terms of commerce.
The Jesuits arrived at the end of the 16th century and built six large estancias across the region to fund their projects, which included Cordoba University, opened in 1610. The Manzana Jesuitica (or Jesuit block as it is known) includes the university, church and residence of the Society of Jesus and college: these, together with the estancias, were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000. The 155 mile Camino de las Estancias (Route of the Estancias) runs through the estancias of Jesus Maria, Colonia Caroya, Santa Catalina, La Candelaria, and Alta Gracia.