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Vapor Cué National Park

Remains of Paraguay's wartime story

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Vapor Cué National Park

Remains of Paraguay's wartime story

To reach the Vapor Cué National Park you'll have to travel 98 km from Asunción, but its exciting wartime history makes it well worth a visit. It is the largest warship cemetery in the region; the ships remain stranded almost in the same place where they sank, silent witnesses of the Triple Alliance War that erupted in 1864. This spot is especially poignant since this was where the Paraguayan army, defeated in the battle of January 1869, sank their own vessels as they retreated up-river, pursued by the enemy armada. This was the only way they could save anything: the shallowness of the river meant that the enemy could not manoeuvre past the sunken ships. And yet they reached them, so they decided to set fire to the ships left behind. At the end of the 1970s, it was decided to restore these war relics and so the Vapor Cué National Park was born, a ship graveyard with six ships and two helmets, all of which were recovered.

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