My new mission

The Jesuit Block in the Argentinian city of Cordoba represents a seminal time in history as European and native cultures were brought together.

Written by Michael Turtle

Michael Turtle is the founder of Time Travel Turtle. A journalist for more than 20 years, he's been travelling the world since 2011.

Michael Turtle is the founder of Time Travel Turtle and has been travelling full time for a decade.


Cordoba Jesuit Block, Argentina

It was only when I glanced down at the inscription that the thought came to me.

Had I been doing this subconsciously all along? And, if so, was this something I should be proud of and embrace?

I was standing in a courtyard of the Jesuit Block in Cordoba, Argentina’s second-largest city. The city itself is a thriving metropolis with a cultural and social scene reflective of the large number of universities it is home to.

But it’s also a city of history, having been founded more than 400 years ago as one of the first large Spanish colonies in this part of South America.

Around the older buildings of the colonial period, present-day Cordoba has grown. But it was in one of the original constructions of the seventeenth century that I had my realisation.

Jesuit Block, Cordoba, Argentina

As I looked down at the inscription I noticed that this collection of buildings had been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, the cultural arm of the United Nations.

This wasn’t the first time I had been to a UNESCO site, I was sure of that.

I had seen this sign before. And as I stood there and thought about it, I realised that I had probably been to dozens of these sites all around the world in my travels.

Jesuit Block, Cordoba, Argentina

It stayed on my mind as I walked through the rest of the Jesuit Block and eavesdropped on a tour being given in broken English, picking up some interesting facts.

The designs on the walls were unique to this part of the world because of the way they fused together the Spanish view of Christianity with the connection to nature of the indigenous people.

The architect of the church was a boatbuilder by trade and so the ceiling of the building resembled the hull of a ship.

The university’s collection of books includes a very rare complete bible from 1645 written in seven different languages.

Jesuit Block, Cordoba, Argentina
Jesuit Block, Cordoba, Argentina

As I listened I realised that this site represented a seminal time in the history of South America as European and native cultures were brought together.  It’s not a topic I’ve ever had a huge interest in but the more I’ve seen in the continent, the more I have realised how important it is.

And it’s for that reason that this site was included on UNESCO’s World Heritage list.

Jesuit Block, Cordoba, Argentina

My UNESCO mission

At that moment I made a decision. I decided that if I was on a journey to learn more about the world then I should take some advice from an expert. And that expert was going to be UNESCO.

If it thinks a site is important enough to be included on its list, then it’s important enough for me to visit.

Jesuit Block, Cordoba, Argentina

From this day on, I am going to set myself a challenge to visit as many of the sites on the list as possible – maybe even all of them one day.

As of today, there are 936 sites on the list. So it’s going to be a slow project.

But what better way to see the great cultural and natural locations of our planet, though?


There are lots of places to stay in Cordoba but the best options tend to be in the blocks around the edge of the historic centre.


Comfortable beds, large bathrooms, and modern amenities make Aldea Hostel a great choice.


Close to restaurants and landmarks, Hermoso Departamento Centrico has two bedrooms, giving you a bit more space.


Along with a modern design, Azur Real Hotel Boutique & Spa boasts a rooftop pool and a fitness centre.


From the marble interiors to the heated pool, Windsor Hotel is full of luxurious touches.


This site is on the UNESCO World Heritage List!
I'm on a mission to visit as many World Heritage Sites as I can. Only about 800 more to go... eek!

17 thoughts on “My new mission”

  1. That’s a great goal – I’m just writing a post now about visiting Viscri’s Fortified Church in Romania… now THAT was so impressive! Some scoff at the UNESCO list, but I think it’s wonderful. It gives great guidelines to see as many beautiful and historic places as possible. Good luck, looking forward to the posts about it!

    • Exactly – it’s all about a framework to explore places you may not have gone otherwise. I’d love to get to Romania soon. it looks like a beautiful place! Can’t wait to see your pictures from there.

    • Let me know how you go. I was surprised by how few I had been to, to be honest. Even in countries I had spent a lot of time in, I seemed to have missed quite a lot because I wasn’t actively looking out for them. That’s all about to change now!! 🙂

  2. Wow! What a great goal to have to learn the history of the world! There’s so much, it’s incredible!

    Cordoba looks so lovely, I’m inspired to visit now. The cathedral’s architecture is so unique! Thanks for the wonderful post!


    • Thanks. I don’t actually think I’ll get to the majority of them all anytime soon. But it is a great way to learn more about the world. And already it’s taken me to some fascinating places that I wouldn’t have visited otherwise.

    • Thanks Deb. I probably should have come up with a more attainable goal (something easier than 936 sites scattered across the whole globe… and growing). But it’s nice to have a bit of a mission when you’re just wandering aimlessly 🙂

  3. I had a very, very similar realisation and am now in Cordoba to see this today – It will be my 230th site! I agree on the needing expert advice and they havn’t lead me astray so far!


Leave a comment