A couple of weeks ago we went to a Bible based theme park in Buenos Aires called Tierra Santa. A friend mentioned it at church and so we decided to jump on a bus and make a day trip. We were there on opening day for their winter hours this season. That means that they were open earlier in the morning and close earlier than they do in the summer. For us that works out well since we didn’t want to be out too late on public transportation.
When you first arrive you are hooked up with a tour group by going into a manger scene and watching an animatronics rendition of the nativity. Though having live actors would have been much better, this wasn’t bad. There was a dramatic soundtrack with nice music (they ended the program with the Hallelujah Chorus in English). The lights were done in such a way as to draw your attention to where it needed to be at the moment. The theater itself was inside their “Mt. Calvary” so we had to go through a cave entrance to get in.
That program runs every 15 or 20 minutes. As soon as you walk in the gate you are instructed to form a group to go into the manger program. This funnels all the visitors into groups that get led through the park. We were given an overview of what we would see through the park by our tour guide (dressed as a Franciscan monk). We stayed together as a group for about 30 minutes as he walked us through the streets of Jerusalem and showed us the highlights.
At the end of the tour we were taken in to see another dramatic program which was the scene in the upper room. Again, the program was well done, but I would have preferred live actors.
After the upper room scene we were given about an hour to eat lunch and free time to explore the park before we were to meet our guide again. Somehow we missed the group and spent the rest of the day wandering around by ourselves. The guide was to take us to one more show as a group before setting us free. We were able to get in on the rest of the shows throughout the park without any problem.
It is not a huge park, but they have maximized their space well. There are something like 35 or 40 different Bible scenes depicted using fiberglass and stucco figures. There were several restaurants which weren’t too badly priced.
It has a Catholic slant on things. So there were some exhibits and teachings that are not in the Bible at all. There were even some things that were taught from an authoritative position that I did not even know were Catholic teaching. So I learned something new about their beliefs.
I just checked the Tierra Santa website and see that the ticket prices have gone up a couple of dollars since we were there a week and a half ago. Currently the cost to get in is $40 Argentine pesos per adult. That is $10 USD.
One of my favorite parts of the tours and shows was listening to the narrator. He spoke with a generic Spanish accent (certainly not an Argentine one). But it seemed like he was probably originally from Spain. Even though there was no definition in his voice, he still spoke with a slight Spanish lithp.
I showed my American pride at one point. Fortunately it was not in front of a group of other people. Just the family knew at the time. There was an exhibit commemorating Martin Luther. I wanted to get over and see that one to see what the Argentines had to say about the man. I was a little surprised to see a short, plump white man in a bath robe. My mind kept thinking of Martin Luther King, Jr. when I read the name on the exhibit map.