As an ensemble the Chiquitos Jesuit Missions of the appointed UNESCO in 1990 six cities in the department of Santa Cruz in eastern Bolivia to the world cultural heritage. The protected as a World Heritage Site six cities are the last remaining settlements of its kind in Bolivia. More exist in Argentina , Brazil and Paraguay . The six missions are sometimes several hundred miles apart, east and northeast of Santa Cruz de la Sierra.
Influenced by the idea of European philosophers of the 16th Century of the ideal city founded the Jesuits in the 1696-1790 region of Chiquitos several settlements for indigenous people to Christianity missionary, the so-called Jesuit reductions . In them the Christian architecture blended with the traditional indigenous design their own style. A majority of the churches of Chiquitos by the Swiss Jesuit Martin Schmid designed. The Mission San José de Chiquitos in 1750 was only a few kilometers away from the established location at which the 1560-1592 City of Santa Cruz de la Sierra was found before it was moved in 1592 about 250 km westward to its present location. The remains of this settlement to the south of the city of San Jose as the archaeological site of Santa Cruz la Vieja are (“Old Santa Cruz”) to visitors.