Quilmes Ruins

Once you get to Quilmes Ruins, the landscape of mountains and the Calchaquí cordon amazes the visitor and speaks for itself, though it is hard to imagine that in 800 DC, the Quilmes tribe lived there, in one of the most important pre-Hispanic settlements of the Calchaquí groups.

The Quilmes was an indigenous village that achieved a huge social and economic development. In the XVII century, it had 3000 inhabitants in the urban area and 10000 in the outskirts. On the sides of the hill, the tourist will be able to see the reconstruction of the residential area, completed by a fortress situated at the top and two forts to both of its sides, on the cornice.

The visitor will be able to tour the complex with the company of a guide and will be amazed to know every detail of the last bastion on aboriginal resistance against the Spanish advance, that finished in 1667, when 1700 survivors were sent, walking, to the proximities of Buenos Aires (currently the city of Quilmes), where only 400 of them made it there.

Recently, the Interpretation centre was opened. It was built on an existing building where a museum and handcraft market used to be.  The entire place was rebuilt in order to portray an interpretative script about the ancestral memories of the first town, so that it will last on time.

The museum, scenography and interpretation intervention are carried out in four rooms. Each of them consists of different topic related to the Quilmes’ lives. Several visual, listening and tactile resources are used in order to attract and involve guests.

The first room is similar to an index where the tourist can be placed historically. There are several topics displayed, such as: The Quilmes Origin, their settlement in “Calchaquí” Valley and Santa Maria River or Yokavil, ethnic characteristics, language, social, cultural artistic and religious standards.

In the second room there are several models and animated dioramas which represent Quilmes’ activities and some Fortaleza City Landmarks.

To the left, five dioramas tell us the daily life, organization and housing of this town. To the right, there are other five dioramas which portray some important buildings, such as, the church, farming terraces, the dam and watchtowers.

In the central area, glass cabinets are placed which are directly related with dioramas and wall infographs. They exhibit replicas of clothes, ornaments, weapons. There are also farming and essential tools for storage and food preparation, and some elements for religious and funerary purpose. Finally, there are some elements which represent daily life and customs of the community.

The third room is an auditorium with an incredible audio-visual material which summarizes History, Geography and social aspects of Quilmes Town. This room shows the origins from the mountain range of the Calchaquíes summits to the community exile, uproot and disappearance.

The last room shows a valuable patrimonial legacy with elements and original designs of the Quilmes Culture in the glass cabinets and walls. Each display case show digital infographs about each element in order to be appreciated and valued.

There are two areas especially dedicated to day and night and their meanings in the life of this town. One timeline tells us the history of the Chalchaquí Valley and Quilmes Nation since its beginning until its tragic captivity and pilgrimage.

In the last part of this Centre, tourists will be able to appreciate a room with archaeological elements, which are still being studied by a professional team.