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Plaza del Congreso

Day 1

First images of historical Buenos Aires.

This square, which is really a group of united squares, is dominated by the presence of the imposing National Congress building.

We recommend visiting:
The Congress
The Monument to Two Congresses
Pasaje de la Piedad

Congress

The Congress is located between Callao and Rivadavia Avenues and Combate de los Pozos and Hipólito Yrigoyen streets.
It is the seat of the Legislative Power Chambers and a monumental building erected by Italian architect Victtorio Meano. Its prominent features are: its dome, illuminated at night and the sculpted figures on its surface, depicting the establishment of law and equality of all men.

Monument to Two Congresses

It commemorates the 1813’s General Constituent Assembly. Also in front of the palace, is the Square of Two Congresses, where you can see a milestone marking the country’s kilometre 0, from where distances of national routes starting in the city of Buenos Aires are measured. It is a monolith located next to the Thinker statue.

Pasaje de la Piedad (Mercy Passage)

It is located in 1525 and 1573 Bartolomé Mitre street. It covers three blocks, opens up in U shape in front of a church with the same name and was built in the end of the XIXth century.

Plaza de Mayo

It is surrounded by Defensa, Rivadavia, Hipólito Yrigoyen and Bolívar streets.

We recommend visiting:
The Cabildo
The Metropolitan Cathedral
House of Government or Pink House
The Banco de la Nación Argentina
Avenida de Mayo

It is surrounded by Defensa, Rivadavia, Hipólito Yrigoyen and Bolívar streets. Nucleus of big popular concentrations, this square has been the setting for important historical episodes. Juan de Garay, founder of Buenos Aires, decided that the block situated in front of Cabildo should be a public square. It was called Plaza Mayor (Major Square) and was designed following the pattern of cities founded by the Spanish empire: the green centre surrounded by the centres of power. The Cabildo, the Metropolitan Cathedral and the House of Government encircle it. Although with time it was renovated and transformed, it keeps the essence of Argentine history. Precisely in the centre of the square is the first monument Buenos Aires ever had: the Pirámide de Mayo (Pyramid of May).

The Cabildo (Town Council)

Located in 65 Bolívar street, the Cabildo was the principal city institution in colonial times. Being one of Buenos Aires’s oldest buildings, it has suffered numerous modifications. It was finished in 1748. In 1810, the Cabildo was the epicentre of May Revolution and it is now guarded by the Patrician Regiment, founded in 1806. Its museum keeps the memory of colonial times. Every week, there is a craft market in the patio.

The Metropolitan Cathedral

Located in front of Plaza de Mayo, on Rivadavia Avenue. It is Argentina’s most important catholic church. It is situated in the place that was set aside for the Major Church in the city’s second foundation. From the first clay chapel to the present cathedral, there have been 6 rebuildings. At present, it has five wide neo-Renaissance naves. The central nave, also called San Pedro’s, has 75 metres wide (246 feet). The Tabernacle Chapel displays an altar built with fine marble and bronze imitating San Pedro’s “Confession Altar”. Inside, a marble mausoleum holds the remains of General José de San Martín, who was the greatest independence hero.

House of Government or Pink House

Located in 50 Balcarce street. Since 1580, it occupies the space Juan de Garay had designated to house governors and has been seat of the Argentine government since the Primera Junta (First Council) in 1810, till today. It was first painted pink during Domingo Faustino Sarmiento’s presidency. One of the building’s attractions is the “Presidential Balcony” from where presidents speak to the crowds gathered in the Square. The existing building dates back to the end of XIXth century. Its museum displays more than 10,000 historical pieces, sashes, batons, portraits and busts of Argentine presidents.

The Banco de la Nación Argentina (Argentina’s National Bank)

Situated in 25 de Mayo street and Rivadavia Avenue. The building, which occupies the whole block, is considered to be an architectural masterpiece. Finished in 1944, it has a marked neo-classical style and stands out for its transparent central dome. Due to its size – with 50 metres in diameter and 36 metres high (equivalent to 168 feet and 118 feet, respectively)- and weight (52 thousand tons held by eight columns) this building’s dome is the world’s third most important dome, only surpassed by San Pedro’s in Rome and the Capitol’s in Washington D.C.

Avenida de Mayo (May Avenue)

It is interesting to watch the variety of domes and facades of every style in this vital artery that leads to Plaza de Mayo. There you can appreciate the Pyramid of May which commemorates the proclamation of the first native government. Other important buildings are: the Cabildo, the City’s Government Palace, the Cathedral and the Pink House, seat of the Republic’s President. Worth noting is Tortoni café, one of the city’s traditional cafés and Barolo Palace, a 100-metre high building which was the tallest in the city until 1935. The Pallace is full of references to Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy.

Manzana de las luces

It consists of Perú, Moreno, Bolívar and Alsina streets.

We recommend visiting:
Manzana De Las Luces
San Ignacio Church
Basílica del Santísimo Rosario and Santo Domingo Convent

Manzana de las luces

It consists of Perú, Moreno, Bolívar and Alsina streets. Its history begins in 1661 when Jesuits settle in it.
As witness of their presence in this place there are samples of their architecture: San Ignacio Church, the Procuraduría (law office) and a cloister of the primitive company school. During Vértiz’s viceroyalty, the architect José Custodio de Sa y Faría built, in the corner formed by Perú and Moreno streets, five yielding houses, so called because they yielded revenues to the crown.
The name "Manzana de las Luces" is a reference to the fact that this place was considered centre of colonial intellectuality. In this zone there are many traditional churches, art and history museums and the old residences of Buenos Aires’s high society of those times. In the block’s underground, tunnels, possibly dating back to Jesuitical times, were found. Since 1983, three short sections of these tunnels may be visited. This is a tour which invites you to spy on Buenos Aires’s hidden history.

Iglesia de San Ignacio

Located in 225 Bolívar street, it is one of the oldest churches in Buenos Aires.

Basílica del Santísimo Rosario (Holy Rosary Basilica) and
Santo Domingo Convent.

Located in Belgrano and Defensa streets. The present church was built in 1751 by the Dominicans. In the former convent there is now an astronomic observatory and a natural history museum.

It is the city’s latest architectural tendency. The project, developed in 1991, was devised to integrate the port to the city, as a prolongation of its centre.

We recommend visiting:
Ex Gran Hotel de Inmigrantes
Corbeta Uruguay
Fragata Sarmiento

It is a river strip, with old docks (huge sheds used in the past for storing cargoes brought by ships reaching the port). These were recycled to become elegant offices and luxurious restaurants. There are four docks, a pedestrian way that leads to the old deposits now recycled and turned into luxurious restaurants, offices, a 5-star hotel and a residential area. Many of the port’s streets and boulevards are named after women renowned for their fighting attitude.

Ex Gran Hotel de Inmigrantes (Ex Immigrants’ Grand Hotel)

Located in Dársena Norte. It was the centre of a complex designated for receiving immigrants in the first half of the XXth century. At present, you may visit its museum.

Uruguay Corvette

Situated in Dock 1 Tel 4314-1090. It is a vessel-museum. Uruguay Corvette is the oldest of Argentine ships still afloat. Built in England, in the 1877-1880 period was a school-vessel of the Argentine Navy. In 1903, it fullfilled its most famous mission going to the rescue of Otto Nordeensköld’s Swedish expedition to the Antarctic.

Sarmiento Frigate

Located in Dock 3 Tel.4334-9686 It was a school-vessel of the Argentine Navy. This ship, that travelled a distance equivalent to 42 trips around the world, is today a museum.

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