Praying under the Antarctic Ice
No place on Earth compares to this vast white desert of elemental forces: snow, ice, water, rock. Antarctica is simply impressive. It has undoubtedly become one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Since 1969, the average number of visitors to the continent has increased from several hundred to more than 34,000 today. All activities in Antarctica are heavily regulated by the Antarctic Treaty for environmental protection purposes and industry is largely managed by the International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators (IAATO).
Another interesting fact for the traveler is that the southernmost place of worship in the world, of any religion, is a Catholic church. Just eight hundred kilometers away from the South Pole in Argentine Antarctica, which resists winters of temperatures below 100 degrees low, Belgrano II Base hosts about a thousand individuals. In that place of the homeland is Our Lady of the Antarctic Snow, the southernmost chapel in the world
Temporary residents of the Base Belgrano II, who live there all year round, and of course also have spiritual needs. Finding suitable spaces for construction in Antarctica, considering that 98 percent of its surface is ice, is considerably difficult. So much so, that the first Belgrano Base (Belgrano I), built in the 1950s, was abandoned because of the imbalance of the terrain complicating the safety of its inhabitants.
Explorers of the Argentine Army, in 1979, gave almost a hectare of land without ice, in that place was built the Belgrano II Base. And, in its vicinity, a system of tunnels and Runners, under ice. These ice cream passageways are used by the scientists from the base, but it is also the area where the place of southernmost cult in the world.
Belgrano I Base has a history that unites the Church for more than 60 years. At that time Father Emilio Rezzonicobecame the first Argentine priest to celebrate Mass in that southern region. The Eucharist was developed in the open, on ice and snow, with 12 degrees below zero.
Argentina also has another record in that continent, being the country with the largest number of temples. To the aforementioned Our Lady of Antarctic Snow is added the Blessed Virgin of Lujan at the Marambiobase, consecrated in 1996. Those who make visits to Antarctica by cruise have the opportunity to visit the chapel of Saint Francis of Assisi at the base of Esperanza. It has the southernmost bell tower in the world and a solidarity of our Pope Francis. It was also the first Chapel to celebrate Holy Mass for the choice of
Periodista desde 1988, especializado en turismo. Escribe para medios gráficos y digitales de nuestro país y el extranjero.
Fundador de LOS CABRERA Comunicación con sede en Buenos Aires.
Creador del desarrollo Digital BAIGLESIAS (ISSN 2683-7870) abocado en forma solidaria y gratuita a recuperar el patrimonio cultural, arquitectónico e histórico de los más de 250 lugares sagrados que tiene la Arquidiócesis de Buenos Aires. El mismo fue declarado de interés cultural por la Legislatura de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires.
Autor de Fragmentaria Buenos Aires (ISBN: 978-987-1960-67-2) Libro de cuentos, relatos breves y fragmentos que tienen como eje central a la Ciudad de Buenos Aires. Publicado y con venta en Librerías.
El XIII Congreso Internacional de Turismo Religioso y Sustentable realizado en San Jose de Chiquitos, Bolivia 2017.
11º Encuentro Argentino de Turismo Religioso, Mar del Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina 2018
En el primer Congreso de Gestion e Innovación Hotelero Gastronómico, Villa Gesell Buenos Aires, Argentina 2018
En el primer Congreso Latinoamericano de Turismo Religioso y Destinos Emergentes, Santo Domingo, República Dominicana -2019