” I would never again be the same. This is the magic of travel. Any travel. You leave your home secure in your own knowledge and identity, but as you travel, the world in all its richness intervenes. You meet people you could not invent; you see scenes you could not imagine. Your own world, which was so large as to consume your whole life, becomes smaller and smaller until it is only one tiny dot in space and time. You return a different person.”
( From Letters to my Son, by Kent Nerburn)
An American in Beautiful Alta Gracia…World Heritage Site : I grew up for several years in the most Amazing place: Alta Gracia, in the Province of Cordoba, Argentina. This town is known for being the ” hot spot” for many, having their vacation homes there. Its’ micro-climate , lovely sights, outdoors living and houses filled with history brought many curious local and international tourists that decided to make it their Home…You can breathe history as you walk the lovely cobble stoned main streets and you can almost hear secrets whispered as you walk by the 1800 th century houses…
Alta Gracia’s name means “High Grace”. It is built upon the Sierras Chicas, in a region that the Comechingón Indians used to call Paravachasca.
In the 17th century Alta Gracia was as a large ranch (an estancia) operated by Jesuits. Alta Gracia was founded to economically support the Collegium Maximumor “Colegio Máximo“, one of Argentina’s first universities (Universitas Cortuba Tucumanæ) today: Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, and other educational institutes that are now part of the Manzana Jesuítica (“Jesuit Block”), an important center in Córdoba City. The Jesuit Block and Estancias of Córdoba were named World Heritage site in 2000.
There were many owners to the Estancia of Alta Gracia:
- Don Juan Nieto, 1588
- Alonso Nieto de Herrera, who named it after “Nuestra Señora de Alta Gracia”
- The Society of Jesus (donated by Alonso Nieto)
- Santiago de Liniers, 1810, who lived there for about 5 months
- José Manuel Solares, 1868 (last owner, in his will he decides to turn the Estancia to a Village, called “La Merced”, giving as a gift to his employees pieces of land to raise the village, with the conditions of keeping the Tajamar and going on with the veneration of the Virgin Nuestra Señora de la Merced) That’s why September 24th is the special day in Alta Gracia, in honour of that Virgin.
The most well known sights include:
- The museum of Santiago de Liniers.
- “El Tajamar”, a man-made lake that reflects lovely lights and the ancient built clock tower that stands tall right by it…
- “El Obraje”, a workshop were the Jesuits taught many Indians the different crafts.
- The Sierras Hotel, which John F. Kennedy, the King and Queen of Spain, and many others have visited
- A house where revolutionary Che Guevara used to live. His family moved to Alta Gracia due to Che’s Asthma attacks that were tamed by the town’s Micro climate. His house is now a Beautiful Museum.
- Manuel de Falla’s Museum. Manuel de Falla, the Superb composer… one of Spain’s most important musicians of the first half of the 20th century, lived in an icredibly Beautiful home that overlooks the Sierras. He as well had moved to this town due to his health issues and found peace, solitude and Beauty in order to compose his pieces. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manuel_de_Falla
- Gabriel Dubois Art Museum.
- Railroad outdoor museum.
- Lourdes Virgin’s Sanctuary: a replica of the original in the Pyrenees (France).
- Clock Tower: 350th Anniversary of Alta Gracia Monument, now an information office.
- Ernesto “Che” Guevara, spent 12 years in Alta Gracia, from 1932 till 1944, when he moved to Buenos Aires to be a doctor. There is a Museum in the place where he lived.
- Enrique Larreta, writer.
- Belisario Roldán, writer.
- Alta Gracia also has several Bread and Breakfasts, hotels two 18 hole golf courses and several tennis courts along the city and outskirts. You will not be disappointed neither by it’s quick bites or it’s Delish Fine Dining!
The place exudes Peace… A walk around its old winery along the stream, surrounded by fragrant Eucaliptus Trees ( my favourite walk) or along the Sierras will bring you back to your center and make you Smile.
This town is one of my Fave Places on Earth ❤
Taking a walk along the main Stream…
Manuel de Falla Museum
Making new Lovely Friends!
Lourdes Virgin Chapel
La Merced Church , close to the Sky…..
Amazing Door at Virrey Liniers Museum…
Clock Tower and Lake view from Virrey Liniers Museum….
The Old Train Station… The new City Hall branch where the Love birds Wed…
La Gruta Church seen from Garcia Lorca Park
Sierras Hotel and Casino
Che Guevara’s Motorcycle – Che Guevara Museum
Virrey Liniers Museum yard
The Beautiful Alta Gracia Sierras…. A place that your heart will never forget !
A little extra info: Alta Gracia is a city located in the north-centre of the province of Córdoba, Argentina, just twenty minutes by car or 50 by bus from Cordoba’s Capital. Buses come and go every fifteen minutes. It’s twenty minutes away from the very touristic Villa Carlos Paz, known for its lakes and night life and fourty five minutes from the Amazing enchanting Villa General Belgrano, Villa Alpina and La Cumbrecita…These last three towns are “MUST SEES” !!!!