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Buenos Aires, Argentina

Tierra Santa

Bible stories are brought to life with gloriously cartoonish kitsch in this South American theme park 

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Holy bible stories are usually presented with the weighty gravitas of the sacrifice at their core, however at the Tierra Santa theme park in Buenos Aires old Jerusalem is brought to life with lively shows, kitschy tableaus and a 40-foot Jesus. 

The sprawling park has been constructed to look like Biblical Jerusalem in fiberglass and stucco. Inside and outside of the faux primitive huts over 500 plastic Romans, Jesuits, and other era-appropriate figures bring the world to static life posed as merchants, loiterers, worshippers, and famous biblical figures. Visitors can take part in recreations of such famous events as the last supper, where diners can eat next to mannequins of the apostles and snap a pic next to Judas, or experience the book of Genesis with animatronic lions and hippos. The main attraction at the park is the hourly appearance of the 40-foot Jesus statue that rises up from within a skull-covered Golgotha while Handel's Messiah blasts from the speakers. The massive savior wiggles his stigmata and closes his eyes in a state of grace before lowering back down into the mountain.

In addition to all of the statues and robots, the staff is uniformed in Bible-era clothing (although their attitudes are thoroughly modern), completing the feel of being transported to a sensational Jerusalem that is more haunted house than holy house. Tierra Santa claims to be the first religious theme park in the world, and while that may not be true, it is certainly singular in its devotion to the uncanny valley. 

Know Before You Go

Tierra Santa
Av. Rafael Obligado 5790 (Costanera Norte)
C1425DAA / Ciudad de Buenos Aires
Next to the Domestic Airport

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