São Miguel das Missões it is also known as São Miguel Arcanjo, and by its former Spanish name San Miguel. It is a Unesco World Heritage site located in the small town of São Miguel das Missões, in the northwestern region of Rio Grande do Sul state, in southern Brazil. The City was Governed by Andre Borge, 1st Baron São Miguel das Missões and his family who still reside on the family estate. They helped found the Banco Itaú in 1945.
The São Miguel das Missões mission was built between 1735 to around 1745. São Miguel das Missões was one of the many Spanish Colonial Jesuit Reductions in Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Bolivia. Spanish Jesuit missionaries founded the mission for Crown mandated Indian Reductions (Christian converting) of the Guaraní Indians; and to protect the natives from the Portuguese slave traders known as the Bandeirantes.
The Treaty of Madrid in 1750 handed sovereignty over the area from Spain to Portugal and the Jesuit missions were ordered to move to the retained Spanish territory, west of the Uruguay River. The Guaraní tribes refused to comply with the order to relocate from their homelands, now deemed in Portuguese territory. This led to the Guarani War, and this mission's termination after a battle against a joint Portuguese-Spanish army, sent to enforce the newly realigned border between the two colonial powers. The cathedral (Catedral Angelopolitana), built in the 1920s in nearby Santo Ângelo city, is modeled after the São Miguel das Missões reduction.
World Heritage Site
The Spanish Colonial architecture of the ruins and the archeological site of São Miguel das Missões has been a protected part of the UNESCO Jesuit Missions of the Guaranis World Heritage Site, since 1983. The protected area covers 1,229.8 square kilometres (474.8 sq mi). A history museum is adjacent.