According to, the faithful in Buenos Aires¬†don’t have to travel to Jerusalem to see the history of the world’s largest religions – Judaism, Christianity and Islam. In a Disneyland-style attraction park, the website says, visitors can see history and beliefs¬†recreated in front of their eyes. Every 45 minutes, for example, the “resurrection” of Christ takes place in the park that has registered 3 million visitors since 1999.

Buenos Aires offers the first multireligious theme park in the world, advertised as an escape to Jerusalem in the age of Jesus Christ. Although Christianity plays the leading role, people of other faiths, including Muslims and Jews, would also get their money’s worth at Tierra Santa, unlike in purely Christian parks, its managers said. Inside the facility, there is a mosque, a Jewish temple and even a Mahatma Gandhi statue.

On a recent Saturday afternoon, although the weather forecast had predicted rain, the stands were full before a replica of Mount Golgotha. People looked up to the sky, waiting for a mechanical interpretation of a miracle. Eventually, an 18-metre-tall statue of Jesus rose slowly from the fake rock.


Its first day was timed for historical reasons. “We wanted Argentina to contribute something special to the 2,000th jubilee of the birth of Jesus,” said Maria Antonia Ferro, director and co-founder of Tierra Santa.

So far, 3 million people have visited the park.

“Apart from what visitors learn about culture and history, the park also has a very particular mysticism,” she said. “People come back because they find inner peace here.”

At the 7-hectare facility, built for 7 million dollars, there are now more than 30 replicas of historic places aimed at giving visitors a glimpse at everyday life in the Holy Land 2,000 years ago as well as representations of biblical scenes.

With the help of more than 500 life-sized figures and scores of actors and artists, the ancient world comes alive. Restaurants offer Armenian and Lebanese food, and visitors can buy little busts of Nefertiti as souvenirs.

“I have already been here several times,” said a woman named Carla, a Catholic with her two children and mother-in-law at the park. “We are very religious, and since we are not in a position to travel to Israel, this is a good alternative.”

Florencia, 20, just wanted “to enjoy the good weather” with her friends. She complained that religion is often put forward in boring ways.

“That is not the case here,” said the woman who defines herself as religious.

Although the park director described Tierra Santa as “a sort of Disneyland,” individual religions are supportive of the enterprise.

“Without the support of the [Catholic] Church, it would have been impossible to set up the park,” Ferro said.

There, children can experience biblical history under the guidance of lay preachers. Some even have their first communion at the park.

“Muslims pray here at the mosque, and the ‘Western Wall’ is an important place for Jews,” Ferro said.

Many place pieces of paper with their wishes in the wall’s cracks. Once a year, employees of the Israeli embassy pick up the notes and send them to Jerusalem to the real Western Wall, the last remaining wall of Jerusalem’s ancient temple, which was destroyed by the Roman Empire.