Villa General Belgrano
Valle de Calamuchita

History: Alta Gracia

Alta Gracia city is placed in a zone called Paravachasca named by its native speakers which means place of thick vegetation or irregular rains.
It is a big valley surrended by hills not very high. The first settlers clled Comechingones were pacific men who took advantage of the ecosystem as a means of surviving.
After the cultural touch with the Saravirones from the north of Córdoba learnt how to fish and hunt. Its name means “ eat stone” or “ eat earth” probably because of its houses made of straw and twigs.
Coming from Alto Perú lead by Don Jerónimo Luis de Cabrera is founded the city of Córdoba de La Nueva Andalucia on 6 July 1573.
Don Juan Nieto, who was the linker and sometimes translator between the native inhabitants and the Spanish men obtained as a gift several lands in the Paravachasca region on 8 April 1588

Juan Nieto starts the growth of this land, building houses. He also built a little farm which was called Potrero de San Ignacio de Manresa. It reached the hills to the west and to the east the path between Córdoba and Anisacate.It is also said that the settlement was near Anisacate river.
When Juan Nieto died in 1609, its widower married to Don Alonso Nieto de Herrera, who was not a relative of Juan Nieto so he was the only one heir after his wife and stepdaughter died.
A man with a great religious spirit and belief entered the Jesuit company giving allhis properties to this one in the year 1643. When the Jesuits arrived at the place starts a very flourishing period.To carry water to the land it was built El Tajamar (1653) which was provided by channels and irrigation ditch which were fed by the main work Los Paredones.
Its architectonic works has remained until tiday and its main constructions are “ El Obraje”, The Church, and La Residencia. There is no signal of La Rancheria ( the place where the black slaves lived)
The Jesuit Farm was administrated by two or three brothers who lived in La residencia and has 300 slaves to fulfil the different tasks.
In 1767 the Jesuits are expulsed of all the missions in America and Europe ,its propierties passes to the Meeting of Impermanences up to 1773 when it is sold in public bid.

The slaves were taken to Córdoba and Alta Gracia was abandoned.
After the public bid José Rodriguez for a period of 9 years got it but he could not fulfil with the pact.
Then several proprietors took charge of it but none of them could carry on with the administration.
One of  the most outstanding Santiago de Liniers, Viceroy of the Rio de la Plata who inhabited it a short time until the death in 1810, it was maintained by the heir up to 1820.
The last proprietor, Jose Manuel Solares in a short time was able to get the control of the farm,knew the names of all the employees, their good and bad points..
A short time before dying and not having heirs he decided to create a villa near the Jesuits buildings which is started with donations of land to musicians, authorities and so on..destinated a piece of that land with an area of 70 blocks near the residence and the orchard.
That part of the land wasnot involved in the later litigation after Solares´death in 1868.
It is ratified the selling in favour of Doña Manuela de Lozada de cámara and in 1879 it is sold to his brother, Don Rafael Lozada, giving the chance to a trial which the result was favourable to Galo´s sons.
The Provincial Government created the Municipio in 14 January 1900 and the first manager was Domingo Lepri. In 1905 is divided the heart of the farm in three big parts.

In 1906 Guillermo Franchini bought the Camaras 100 ha lands and Hotel company linked to “ Ferrocarril ” what was known as “ Lo Alto” and then Villa carlos Pellegrini, which was designed and sold almost exclusively in Buenos Aires.
The sierra hotel is built and inaugurated in 1908 and the turning point for the tourism in Alta Gracia.
On 28 June 1940 reaching 10000 inhabitants Alta Gracia was considered a city by lhe law 3849.
Many famouspeople have visited this beautiful city such as the Spanish Musician Don Manuel de Falla or the famous revolutionary leader “ El Che”. Both have a museum on their honour.