Córdoba owes much of its intellectual heritage to the Jesuits, whose Belgian architect Philippe Lemaire solved the problem of roofing the Iglesia de La Compañía (Obispo Trejos and Caseros) by adapting shipbuilding techniques from French architect Philibert de l’Orme.
Cedar beams, imported from the Paraguayan missions, sit atop the austere stone walls—more than 1.5 meters thick—while solid wooden doors provide access to the elaborately carved baroque altarpiece.
Immediately south, the Rectorado de la Universidad Nacional de Córdoba (Obispo Trejo 242) is a direct descendent of the Seminario Convictorio de San Javier, the continent’s second university (the first was in Lima, Perú). The walls and vaults date from Jesuit times, but the rest of the building has undergone tasteful modification over the centuries.
Immediately south, dating from 1782, the Spanish Renaissance Colegio Nacional de Monserrat (Obispo Trejo 294) is a prestigious high school whose alumni include three Argentine presidents.
© Wayne Bernhardson from Moon Argentina, 3rd edition