In colonial times, this was the political, economic, social and cultural center of the city. Here the "Porteños" defended themselves against English invasions. One can still experience history in this part of the city today just by visiting a few of the buildings, streets and underground tunnels that traverse the district.
If you want to observe the vertigo in the working days you should walk by the Florida Pedantry Street from 1968 and to visit historical the Pacifica Galleries and elegant commercial center where you will find the best marks. The Corrientes avenue is famous by its theaters, bookstores, pizzerias and coffees which remain open until high times of the night; and in his encounter with Avenue 9 of majestic and wider Julio of the world par excellence, it will find the symbol "Porteño": the Obelisco.
Av. de Mayo Circuit
1. Headquarters of Buenos Aires City Government.
Former City Hall Avenida de Mayo and Bolívar
Built between 1891 and 1902, outcome of the Italian architect Giovanni Cagnoni, who directed it. It is French Academicism-styled, with Italian-like elements. Two great oil paintings are exhibited within: “Preparativos de Salida” by B. Quinquela Martin, and “La Fundación de Buenos Aires” by J. Moreno Cabral.
2. Casa de la Cultura (House of Culture)
Avenida de Mayo 575
This construction, French Academicist-styled, was inaugurated in 1896. It was projected by engineers Gainza and Agote. On the first floor, the Salón Dorado (Golden Room) which exactly replicates a saloon from the Versailles Palace. It was the site of La Prensa newspaper and was provided with transmitters and receivers of news cables and telephones, before the beginning of the XX century. The upper part of the building finishes off in a bronze-made statue 55meters high that holds a torch and a written page, as symbols of the press freedom. Its right arm holds a beacon that was useful to spread the most important news of the moment, by means of different-color lights and that due to its location served as a lighthouse to ships.
3. El Cabildo
Bolívar and Avenida de Mayo
The Cabildo is an institution which dates from the colonial time; meeting site for the remarkable members of the community. In its saloons, members of the Primera Junta de Gobierno independent from Spain were appointed in 1810. There were several buildings from 1711 to 1725, of very precarious construction, being modified through a reconstruction of the Cabildo of 1810, carried out by the architect Mario Buschiazzo, and foundations and original walls were left. It had eleven arches, of which three of each side were torn down in order to open Diagonal Sur and Avenida de Mayo. The reconstruction is inaugurated in 1940 and it is officially declared National Historical Monument in 1942. Today, you can visit here the Museum of the Cabildo and of the Revolución de Mayo. This building also holds the National Commission of Monuments, Sightseeing Areas and Historical Museums
4. Pasaje Roverano
Avenida de Mayo 506
This alley which was called after its owner, was built in 1878 but it had to be remodelled when the Avenida de Mayo opened up. It was built with imported materials and excellent craftsmanship you can still observe in its stained glasses, its curved shop-windows and the original bronze carpentries in the different shops it holds, where a half grooved cane is ornamented with ribbons and laurel leaves. It joins Avenidad de Mayo to Hipólito Irigoyen street and it is the only house with private entrance to subway line A, Peru station. This two-story building bears a mall with shops.
5. Restaurant Pedemonte
Avenida de Mayo 676
One of the most traditional restaurants in Buenos Aires. It was founded in 1890, at 600 Rivadavia street and then transferred to Avenida de Mayo in 1964. The decoration anyway is the original one. In its interior, the marvellous work of carpentry is seen: the bar is Slave-oak and beveled mirrors. The table was always booked for Lisandro de la Torre at Pedemonte’s. Other habitués were Leopoldo Lugones, Rubén Darío, Mitre, Carlos de Alvear, Juárez Celman and Alfonsín.
6. Palacio Urquiza
Anchorena Avenidad de Mayo 747
You can access this palace both by Avenida de Mayo and by Rivadavia street. This former Palace, built by Engineer Sanguinetti in 192l, is currently an office center.
7. Vera Palace
Avenida de Mayo 767-777
This neatly art noveau palace, with curved lines and beveled glasses, was built in 1910 by architects Prins and Ranzenhofler, for Díaz Vélez family to live in.
8. Tortoni Cafe
Avenida de Mayo 825
This is the oldest coffee-shop in Buenos Aires and its original style has been kept. Today’s location was priorly the seat of Scottish Temple of Buenos Aires (till end of the century). The Tortoni (baptized this way after its Parisian homonymous) used to run some few meters away, in the corner. In 1880 its transfer began to its current property, but the entrance was down Rivadavia street, parallel towards northern Avenida de Mayo. Finally, in 1898, the magnificent door opened up onto Avenida de Mayo. The facade was developed by architect Christophersen. Two decades later, the Tortoni was already become the center of meetings for Buenos Aires’ intellectuals and hosted many of the illustrious characters who visited Buenos Aires. Inside the cafe, habitually full of residents and foreigners, pictures, poems and busts tell steps of this story. Its basements are today havens for jazz and tango fans, and the wine cellar is the place where presentations of books and poetry encounters are carried out. Towards its Return side, there are rooms for dominoes, dice and billiards. The Tortoni still offers its customers some endangered drinks like leche merengada (whipped milk), chufas de horchatas (a beverage made from almonds, barely, etc.) and guindado (a sour cherry drink).
9. Building where the poet Baldomero Fernandez Moreno lived
Avenida de Mayo 1130
The poet lived on the fifth floor of this building and one of his poems holds testimony of his desire to have a kiosk on the Avenida: “Yo quisiera tener/ un kiosko en la Avenida,/ bajo un plátano frondoso / y en una ruidosa esquina.”(City, 1917)
10. Hotel Castelar
Avenida de Mayo 1150
Work by architect Mario Palanti, who also built Pasaje Barolo, was inaugurated in 1928. Originally it was the Excélsior Hotel and in 195l it was rebaptized as Castelar Hotel. There, the Sign League used to meet, where Federico García Lorca was celebrated in 1933, during the premiere of his play "Bodas de Sangre” at Avenida Theater.
11. Avenida Theater
Avenida de Mayo 1212
This theater from the beginning of the century, keeps the memory of Spanish companies integrated by sopranos and baritones whose characteristic gender was the operetta. It was closed in 1979 because of a fire and, after its reconstruction, it was re-opened in 1994, with Plácido Domingo’s presentation.
12. Chile Hotel
Avenida de Mayo 1297
Work by architect Dubois, this Hotel is an exponent of art noveau style of beginning of the century, its facade of serpentine lines and rich ornamental details.
13. Old Majestic Hotel
Avenida de Mayo 1317
Work by architects Collivadino and Benedetti, who finished the building in 1909. Here, Nijinsky and Le Corbusier stayed. At the moment, it is the seat of a branch of the Federal Administration of Public Revenues (AFIP) and also the headquarters of the museum of said entity.
14. Building of former newspaper "Critica"
Avenida de Mayo 1333
It was the headquarters of the popular newspaper CRITICA, property of Natalio Botana. Directors of the work Hunngarian architects Gyorgy and Andrés Kalnay. Its facade presents elements of the art-decó style.
Collaborators of CRITICA in its splendor years between 1920 and 1930 were: Raúl González Tuñón, Roberto Arlt, Jorge L. Borges, Ulyses Petit de Murat and Florencio Escardó.
15. Barolo Building
Avenida de Mayo 1370
The Barolo Palace was built by the Italian architect Mario Palanti for Luis Barolo, a powerful textile businessman. Inaugurated in 1923, it was the highest building in the city of Buenos Aires until the construction of the Kavanagh in 1935. Each floor has a different design and the central dome reaches the height of a 24th floor. For many years, it has been an office building. Its dome has a lighthouse of 300,000 spark plugs by means of which the result of the famous fight Dempsey-Firpo was announced to the coast of Uruguay. Palanti was a specialist of Dante Alighieri’s art and for it the building, of romantic neo-Gothic style, is full of analogies and references to the Divine Comedy. The groundfloor of the building is built based on the golden section and to the number of gold. The Palacio's general division as well as that of the Divine Comedy is three-parted: Hell, Purgatory and Heaven. The lighthouse of the building represents the nine angelical choirs. On the lighthouse there is the Cruz of the South constellation, which aligns with the axis of the Barolo on the first days of June, at 7:45 PM. The building is 100 meters high, as the songs of the Divine Comedy. The Salvo Palace, on Montevideo street, is a twin brother to Barolo’s.
16. La Inmobiliaria Building
Avenida de Mayo, between Luis Saénz Peña and San José streets
La Inmobiliaria was an insurance company. This building dates from 1910, by architect Broggi. The superior part presents two reddish domes, with art noveau reminiscences, Italian-like and neoclassicist features, represented by the statues of Venus and Apollo located on top of the building.
Av. Corrientes Circuit
1. Paseo La Plaza
Av. Corrientes 1660
It is a cultural and commercial center which offers theater cycles, recitals and concerts; next to gastronomic spaces which will satisfy all tastes; also there a congress and convention center and a special mall to buy any type of cultural items.
Built on the property of an old model market, this PASEO LA PLAZA keeps much of the characteristic charm of those times. Inaugurated in September 1989, it maintains features of the original construction, as the columns and the piazzas, and it blends them into a contemporary design. Their serpentined little streets finish off in a tower, geographical center of the sightseeing area.
2. President Alvear Theatre
Av. Corrientes 1659
This theater was inaugurated on April 24, 1942, by the show manager Don Pascual E. Carcavallo. It has always been a classic for music and theater and the attraction pole of Buenos Aires cultural life. With 1000 seats and endowed with a modern technical infrastructure, it also holds stage workshops, technological illumination, sound and tailoring.
President Alvear theater is one of the five permanent spaces of the Dramma Organization “President Alvear”, belonging to the Secretariat of Culture of Buenos Aires Government, also integrated by Regio theater, De la Ribera theatre, Sarmiento teather and Alberdi Amphiteather.
3. Ramos Cafe
Avenida Corrientes and Montevideo street
At the moment remodelled, in other times it was par excellence the artistic bar; the place where actors, journalists and film directors met.
4. La Paz Cafe
Avenida Corrientes and Montevideo street
It was an emblematic bar in the ‘60s. This café was the place to meet writers and musicians like David Viñas, Ricardo Piglia; Enrique "Mono" Villegas and Rodolfo Walsh.
5. General San Martín Theatre
Av. Corrientes 1530
On December 18, 1943 by means of a decree from the Municipal Executive Department the Theater of the City of Buenos Aires is created, "which purpose must be the development of the national theater in its purest traditional sources". Inaugurated in 1944, on the celebration of the San Martinian Year in 1950, it was given the name of "General José of San Martin."
The construction of the current building began in 1954. It is a construction of great functionality, carried out with reinforced concrete, glass and strong metallic carpentries. It harbors three theatrical rooms, a cinema, workshops, warehouses and quarters for the development of different artistic tasks.
The San Martin Theatre holds two stable companies: the Contemporary Ballet and the Group of Puppeteers. Both companies were national pioneers in their gender, for the public's unanimous recognition and the criticisms received.
6. San Martin Cultural Center
Located at the Return of San Martin Theatre, this center fulfils the main mission to spread the cultural identity and the memory of the City of Buenos Aires and to bring them close to the community by means of different activities such as workshops, conferences, musicals and drama plays, fine arts shows and all kinds of cultural information.
Construction of the Cultural Complex started in 1962. It holds five basements, four levels and twelve floors, what totals a surface of 30,000 covered square meters. You can access it through a plain square, called “De las Americas” and the covered sector, where frequently fine arts exhibitions, concerts and plays take place.
It also seats the Radio de la Ciudad, the Conservatory “Manuel de Falla” and the Center for Music Popularization.
7. Politeama Patisseire
Avenida Corrientes and Parana street
Its name reminds us of the old Argentine Politeama Theatre which operated at Av. Corrientes 1490, where we currently find a parking lot.
Politeama means "multiplicity of shows, with alternate musical and circus plays”. Actors and authors like Enrique Guastavino, Vicente Martínez Cuitiño; Gregorio de Laferrère, Rafael de Rosa, Blanca Podestá, Lorenzo Parraviccino and Olinda Bozzán used to meet at the Politeama. This café was also the reference play for carnival dances.
The current patisserie underlines the validity of the theatrical values by presenting masks and Talía, the muse of the theater.
8. La Giralda Cafe
Av. Corrientes and Uruguay street
It is one of the few intact coffees that survived from modernizing trends. You may still give in to “chocolate and churros” at its wooden and marble tables.
9. El Estaño Cafe
Av. Corrientes and Talcahuano street
It is a small “tango” café which has been updated during the last years. This was the café where millionaire Aristotle Onassis worked when adolescent on his arrival to Argentina as a refugee. Some people state that Onassis served a cup of coffee to the celebrated singer Carlos Gardel.
10. Blanca Podesta Theater
Av. Corrientes 1283
This theatre was originally a cinema (by 1914). In 1922, it was dedicated to drama gender. As from 1924, Blanca Podestá took charge of it. Blanca was niece to José Podestá, the creator of “Juan Moreira.” Until the ‘80s it kept the name of Teatro Smart. On its stage, great stars as Florencio Parravicini, Gloria Guzmán, Mecha Ortiz, Alberto Closas, Margarita Xirgu, Miguel de Molina and María Antinea performed.
This was the place where Carlos Gardel and Federico Garcia Lorca first met in 1933. Cesar Tiempo introduced them.
11. Lola Membrives Theater
Av. Corrientes, 1280
Designed by architect Enquin, who constructed it in 1927. Until the ‘70s, it was called Teatro Cómico. In 1936, actress Lola Membrives managed this theatre and that is why it is so called nowadays.
12. El nacional Theater
Av. Corrientes 960
This building at fifty meters from Avenida 9 de Julio was destroyed by fire around 1982. It constituted one of the most prestigious Buenos Aires halls.
13. Opera Theatre
Av. Corrientes 860
Opposite to the Gran Rex Theatre, was inaugurated in 1936. Its stage held stars like Edith Piaf, Josephine Baker, Ava Gardner, Follies Bergere and Lido de Paris.
14. Gran Rex Theater
Av. Corrientes 855
It is on Corrientes avenue between Suipacha and Esmeralda streets. Holds 3,300 seats and it is currently the habitual scenario for musicals.
15. Esquina del Tango (Because is a corner of Tango)
Av. Corrientes and Esmeralda street
Different plates can be seen here in homage to Carlos Gardel and to other figures of the Argentine popular music.
16. Methodist Evangelic Church
Av. Corrientes 718
The building was constructed in 1874, with wooden roof, supported by English A-frames. The organ of the Church dates from 1882.
17. Safico Building
Av. Corrientes 456
In this building 25-storey and 100 meters high, a great quantity of foreign news agencies operates
18. Corrientes 384
This address was immortalized by the tango "A Media Luz” by Edgardo Donato and Carlos Cesar Lenzi.
19. Correo Central Palace
When you cross Av. Leandro N. Alem, you will see the " Palacio del Correo" inaugurated on September 28, 1928. Designed by French architect Norbert Maillard. This building, erected on premises taken from River Plate, occupies the block limited by Av. Corrientes, Bouchard, Sarmiento and Leandro N. Alem streets. It was the second project presented by Maillard in 1908 (the first was in 1888 but not carried out). It holds 7 floors and only one basement. Its covered surface exceeds 83,000 square meters and its basis is supported by approximately 3,000 piles of 10 meters each. Main entrance is on Sarmiento street and from there you can appreciate the imposing French academic style. The architectural conception of the palace, with their horizontal and contained circulations, besides its internal patios, allow for the possibility of changing the use of the shops and tailorize them to the operative and technological changes the Argentine Mail required until its privatization in 1997. Almost all correspondence which should be delivered to different points of the country and of the world is centralized there (different private couriers of smaller importance manage the rest). This building also seats the Museum of Communications. Behind the Correo Central building you can see La Plazoleta del Tango, where one of the so many second-hand books and magazines fairs of the city is run.
20. Luna Park Av.
Corrientes and Bouchard street
The Luna Park Stadium also well-known as Palacio de los Deportes, seats 35,000 people. This stadium which was originally dedicated to boxing, is currently the venue for diverse shows and political acts, and it is worthy mentioning that greatest figures of box competed there.
1. Plaza de Mayo
Balcarce, Hipólito Yrigoyen, Bolívar, Rivadavia
According to certain versions, Juan of Garay founded the city of the Santísima Trinidad here, on June 11, 1580. From its origin, it had the role of Plaza Mayor and its perimetral streets determined the appearance of a draught-table upon which the city of Buenos Aires was designed. Its contours hold the main headquarters of the public powers: the Fort, the Cabildo and the cathedral. As from 1800, the old Recova divided the area into two squares: Plaza de la Victoria and Plaza del Fuerte. It was an arcade where different shops settled down. The federalization of the City of Buenos Aires helped constitute institutions in the country. The first Mayor of the city, Torcuato of Alvear, wanted to modernize it, leaving its colonial past behind in search of a progressive and Europe-going future. The most debatable decision was the creation of the Plaza de Mayo, since it meant the demolishment of the old Recova, a clear colonial aftertaste.
The Plaza de Mayo was and has been the center of the political life in the country. In 1810, it was the scenario for the Revolución de Mayo, political milestone to start Argentine independence. There, early inhabitants celebrated their more sensitive acts: reconquest of the city (after defeating English invaders in 1806-1807); independence sworn on September 13, 1816; National Constitution enacted on October 21, 1860; concentration of thousands of Argentine inhabitants demanding the liberation of Juan Domingo Perón in 1943; bombing of the aviation during the coup d ‘état attempt in 1955 and claim of Madres de Plaza de Mayo (entity created 25 years ago) for people missed during the military government. Today, this square still concentrates all social demonstrations.
At present, in the center of the square, we can admire the Pyramid of May, monument erected to commemorate the first anniversary of the Revolución de Mayo. Opposite to the Pink House (House of Government), the monument in honor to General Manuel Belgrano rises.
2. Government House or Pink House
The headquarters of the Executive Power, located in the place where Garay constructed the Fort of Buenos Aires. Through history, it has been frequently remodelled. The current Pink House consists of two buildings, separated by a narrow alley: one was the government's headquarters and the other one, the Palacio de Correos. Both were similar, but not identical. In 1884, Italian architect Tamburini was requested to unite both buildings. The challenge was solved by a central arch which served as a nexus and it became the main access to Plaza de Mayo. Reformations continued for several years, always following blueprints. The facade was built on Avenida Rivadavia altogether with the esplanade (today ceremonial access), the other facade on Paseo Colon and the interiors: the Hall of Honor, the Salon Blanco (currently holding a magnificent glass chandelier from Azzaretto’s in Milan), the big perrons of Carrara marble (one is denominated Italia) and the Patio de las Palmeras, following the style of Renaiscense Italian Palaces. The group is eclectic and rather inharmonic because of the lack of symmetry presented on Balcarce Street, while the north wing stresses the celebrated balcony, a" loggia" of Florentine reminiscences. President Domingo Sarmiento was responsible for the pink painting. He wanted to symbolize the union of the political sectors (the red one, distinctive color for federal party, and the white one for unitary party).
The building, in its current location, has always been the national government's headquarters, from the Primera Junta
of 1810. The balcony of the north wing witnessed countless political, social, sport and film events.
This building also holds the Museum of the Government's House. If you step on the park, you can observe the rear facade of the Pink House, work greatly supported by Italian Francesco Tamburini. Between this façade and the park, you will be able to see the archaeological remains of the Aduana Taylor built in 1854. Towards the right, Rivadavia street. On your left, you will be able to watch the access esplanade the president takes to enter the House. Balcarce façade shows the main frontispiece and if you continue walking, you will turn on Yrigoyen street to access the Museum of the Pink House.
3. Metropolitan Cathedral
Rivadavia and San Martin streets
The Metropolitan Cathedral appears magnificent facing Plaza de Mayo, on a lot already allotted by Juan de Garay in 1580. In 1692, construction of three isles and lateral chapels started. In 1727, architect Jesuit Blanqui was commanded the projection of a new facade with two towers, but the interior collapsed in 1752. In 1770, almost concluded, cracks were observed in the dome. Its redoing was decided, under direction of Manuel Alvarez de Rocha.
In 1791, worship started and just in 1822 French architects Prosperous Catelin and Pierre Benoît carried out the current neoclassical piazza, inspired by the Palais Bourbon of Paris. J. Dubourdieu took charge of the ornamentation of the frontispiece between 1860 and 1863. It presents twelve Corinthian columns symbolizing the twelve apostles. In the frontispiece a bas-relief represents Jacob's encounter with its son José in Egypt. The interior of the Cathedral holds five aisles. The main one with a seamless vault and a transept covered by a dome which, on a circular drum, reaches 41 meters high. As from the right lateral aisle, you may access the mausoleum where General San Martin ashes are. It has been designed by the French sculptor Carrier Belleuse.
The interior decoration shows Italian improntas: Francesco Paolo Parisi is the author of the Renaissance frescos.
He decorated the dome, the presbytery, the arms of the transept and the central aisle; these paintings were lost because of the humidity. The sculptor Victor de Pol made the monument to archbishop León Federico Aneiros, in San Martin de Tours chapel, left wing. It is a Carrara marble and stone mausoleum where the prelate’s image while kneeling is centered. Francesco Domenighini was the painter to the fourteen master pieces of the Via Crucis - originally they were at Pilar church -, and Carlo Morra designed the floor in 1907, which was manufactured in England in Venetian mosaic. In the interior you can see the Mausoleum where General José of San Martin’s ashes are.
During colony time, the Cabildo was the institution which represented the local interests. There, the English officials signed the rendition after the invasion of 1806. In 1810, the Building held the events which would give rise to the Primera Junta de Gobierno and later to the declaration of independence.
The first building was built in 1609, same place, on a lot assigned by Garay when founding the city. The construction of the current building began in 1725 under the direction of Giovanni Andrea Bianchi. The work ended in 1751. The clock was placed in the tower by Genoese watchmaker Andrea Baccigalupo. The building shows two plants, eleven arcades in each level and a central tower. Along the years, the Cabildo suffered successive architectural modifications: in 1879 Pedro Benoît gave an Italian touch to the facade when adding a third body to the tower (afterwards demolished); in 1889, when Avenida de Mayo was to be opened, three arches of the north sector were demolished. In 1931, the design of Diagonal Sur eliminated three arches of the opposite sector.
In 1940, architect Mario Buschiazzo (Jr) minutely restored it, trying to respect original figure. In 1960, architect Alejandro Bustillo enlarged it, giving place to the current patio, with access from Avenida de Mayo and also from Hipólito Yrigoyen.
This building is currently a Museum of the Cabildo and of the Revoluciòn de Mayo, where guided are offered.
5. Julio Argentino Roca Monument
Av. Diagonal Sur and Peru street
Inaugurated in 1941. Its base, marble-covered, two big figures stand out. They represent La Patria (homeland) and El Trabajo (the work). An equestrian bronze figure crowns the monument. Sculptor José Zorrilla de San Martin was its author. Julio Argentino Roca (1843-1914) participated in the battles of Cepeda, Pavón and in the war of Paraguay.
He was Minister of War during Avellaneda`s administration , and during his office he promoted and led the Campaña al Desierto. He was President of the Argentine Republic for two terms (1880-1886 and 1898-1904).
6. Manzana de la Luces/ Church of San Ignacio/ Colegio Nacional Bs. As.
Peru, Alsina, Bolívar, Moreno streets
In this area, the Jesuit Order settled in 1633. There, Jesus' Company built numerous buildings, some of which are still conserved: the Prosecutor's office of The Missions, the The House of Rent and the Prosecutor's Residence. After their expulsion, in 1767, these buildings seated famous institutions: the old headquarters of the University of Buenos Aires-Academy of Medicine and Department of Exact Sciences-, and the Room of Representatives-Legislature and National Congress. In 1822, the newspaper “El Argos” named it under LA MANZANA DE LAS LUCES (Block of the Lights), because of the illuminism doctrine delivered by the educational institutions thereof. The architectural group presents strange tunnels built during the XVIII century to connect it with other buildings of the surroundings. The original function was the defense of the city, and afterwards they became useful for smuggling.
Church Of San Ignacio
The Church of San Ignacio de Loyola, the oldest in the city, designed by the Jesuit Krauss, in collaboration with
Italian designers Bianchi and Prímoli. The temple follows sources originated in Il Gesú of Rome (architect Vignola, XVI century). Officially declared National Historical Monument. It holds a Latin-cross ground floor with a main aisle and other two lateral ones. Each bears five chapels.
Colegio Nacional De Buenos Aires
The National School of Buenos Aires is the most prestigious secondary school in the city, for its educational quality
as well as for its long-dated tradition. It dates Return to the XVIII century, when the Jesuit Order founded the Colegio Maximo de San Ignacio; after their expulsion, it took the name of Real Colegio de San Carlos. In 1823, under the administration of the brand new University, the Colegio de la Union del Sud became that of Morale Sciences, directed by Miguel Belgrano. In 1863, upon requisition by Mitre, the National School of Buenos Aires is created. Architect Maillart constructed the current building, and it was inaugurated in 1938.
7. House of Maria Josefa Ezcurra
This house was built in 1836. The composition of the facade evidences the influences of the Italian Renaissance. Its two-panel door maintains the structure of boards used in colonial times. Ground floor was dedicated to trade and the top floor to housing. María Josefa Ezcurra was sister-in-law to Juan Manuel de Rosas and one of the more fervent fans to the Restaurador.
8. Altos de Elorriaga
Defensa and Alsina streets
This house, comprising a mirador, is one of the pioneers of storied houses during the post-colonial period. The rooms surrounded the great internal patio. The mirador is still preserved so that you can admire the River sight. The facade is plain and whitewashed, fenced balconies on the first floor.
9. City Museum - Pharmacy La Estrella
Alsina and Defensa streets
The building which holds the museum is a typical building of the XIX century, of Italian and French lines,
with a shop in the ground floor and housing on first floor. This institution exhibits artefacts which reveal to people the daily aspects of the old Buenos Aires. The ground floor seats the pharmacy “La Estrella” with roofs decorated by the Italian Parisi and Italian wallnut bookcases.
10. Church and Convent of San Francisco - Chapel San Roque
Alsina and Defensa streets
Building started towards 1730, by Andrea Bianchi. It was inaugurated in 1754. At the beginning of the XX century, the German architect Sackman remodelled the facade, endowing it with the German Baroque style today it has. The front is crowned by sculptures representing San Francisco de Assis, Giotto, Dante Alighieri and Cristobal Colon. Part of the interior decoration and the biggest altarpiece were destroyed by the fire of 1955. In order to repair damages, one of the biggest tapestries in the world (8 x 12 m) was placed on the main altar. The atrium is shared by the chapel of San Roque which opens every 16th day of the month when Religious Patron’s holiday is celebrated. Polychrome wooden images from the XVIII century stand out in its interior.
11. Small Square san Francisco
Alsina and Defensa streets
When strolling along this small square, you come across the beautiful images representing the Astronomy, the Industry, the Geography and the Sailing which formerly surrounded the Pyramid of May. The small square was developed due to the need of extending the atrium of the church, since too many people attended its services.
12. El Colonial Cafe
Moreno and Defensa streets
This building still keeps some bricks from the colonial time, made with mud and oven-dried straw.
13. Etnographical Museum Juan B. Ambrosetti
You can admire here the most complete ethnographical and anthropological collection in the country. Items from cultures Condorhuasi, Ona, Tehuelche, Guarani and Toba are exhibited there. The building, designed by architect Pedro Benoît, dates Return from 1880.
14. House of Rivadavia
Bernardino Rivadavia was born in this house, in 1780. It is colonial style, of plain facade, and we can still observe the projecting-roof on the windows and the superior cornice.
15. House of Defense / National Museum of Engraving
Originally a barrack for leathers deposit. The Museum exhibits an extensive collection of items from engravers of last and contemporary century.
16. Basílica Nuestra Señora of Rosario / Convent of Santo Domingo
Av. Belgrano and Defensa street
The construction of the church of Santo Domingo began in 1752, under blueprints and directions by Italian Antonio Masella and Francisco Alvarez. It was partially inaugurated in 1773. It holds a single tower where bullets from the Second English Invasion impacted (1807). These were the bullets the Criollos shot toward at the invaders who were retrenched in the interior of the basilica. The flags that Liniers took from invaders are also shown there. During the government of Rivadavia, the church functioned as a Museum of Natural History, under the direction of the Italian botanist Pablo Ferrari. An astronomical observatory was settled in the tower. In 1856 the second tower was finished.
As from 1903, this basilica holds the mausoleum of General Belgrano, creator of the national flag and descendent from Italian parents. The mausoleum was sculptured by Italian artist Ettore Ximenes. The temple got fire in 1955, and many masterpieces were lost, i.e. the higher altar, carved in wood from the Guarani region (Argentine northeast). Santo Domingo is one of the churches which best preserves original lines, having the Jesuit ground floor of three aisles and rather hollow lateral chapels.
17. Manuel Belgrano Premises / Calmer Building
Belgrano between Defensa and Bolívar streets
These premises were Domingo Belgrano’s house. Here he was born in 1770 and died in 1820.
18. House of Santiago de Liniers
The façade and some few walls still remain from the original construction. Its first owner was Martin Simón de Sarratea, father-in-law to Santiago de Liniers and penultimate Viceroy of the River Plate. He lived in this house between 1806 and 1809. Here, capitulation of General Beresford took place.
19. Former House of Currency Stamping
Defensa and Mexico streets
This place was successively occupied by diverse institutions: the Hospital del Rey, the Cuartel de la Partida Celadora and the Cuerpo de Leones of the Police. In 1775, the state authorities ruled over a monetary unit the" PESO FUERTE", and they thus create the Casa de la Moneda. There the bills, fiscal values and postal seals were printed. This first house of the Currency, desgined by engineer E. Costilla, was inaugurated in 1881 and operated up to 1944. It is an Italian-style building, of symmetrical ground floor, with a central patio. It structure is iron and brick-made. It is surrounded by a green space and limited by a fence of pillars and ornamental grills. In 1914, another building on Balcarce Street was annexed to it. It currently belongs to the Argentine Army.
20. House of Jose Hernandez
Mexico between Bolívar and Peru streets
It is a typical house of last century; its façade has been well conserved and its patio adapted to the necessities of the Argentine Society of Writers.
21. Former National Library
Mexico between Bolívar and Peru streets
This building dates Return from 1901, and was constructed to be the headquarters of the National Lottery. It was given to the National Library before it was finished. Italian architect Carlos Morra designed it, it is a clear representative of the architecture of the Beaux Arts, sober and monumental. In 1992 the library moved to its current building of Austria and Libertador streets.
House of Culture
National Historic Monument
Architects: Engineers Gainza and Agote
Highlights: La Prensa newspaper building had a system of tubes whereby mails where sent from one office to another. It was a pneumatic system of mails. At the cultural shop on the first floor, you can see the Post Office (headquarters) where the mails where received and redistributed.
Adress: Avenida de Mayo 575
The building was designed by José C. Paz, founder of La Prensa newspaper. The building was constructed between 1895 and 1898. The result was impressive: neither Le Figaro in Paris nor The New York Herald had then such a significant building. In 1995, the building was officially declared as a National Historic Monument due to its historic and architectonic value.
La Prensa newspaper was founded in 1869 by José C. Paz. By 1900, it was already considered -due to the technical quality, informative level and print runs— one of the most important newspapers in the world. La Prensa was the ‘voice’ of the conservative sectors and the spreader of the economic liberalism. During the first period of Juan Domingo Perón government (1946-1952), the newspaper was confiscated and the company was liquidated. The building was jointly bought by the General Confederation of Work (CGT) and the Union of Newspapers Sellers. In 1956, after the coup d’état in September 1955 which put an end to Peron’s Government, the building was restored to the Paz family, thus it returned to the former activity until 1992.
In 1993, it was acquired by one of the most powerful economic groups in Argentina. In that year, the City Government rented the building. Since then, the House of Culture of Buenos Aires City Government is located in the old newspaper site.
Galerías Pacífico Shopping Mall
Galerías Pacífico. Florida 753.
Hours: Every day from 10 am to 9 pm.
Bus lines: 6, 22, 23, 26, 28, 33, 45, 50, 54, 56, 61, 62, 91, 93, 99, 109, 115, 130, 140, 146, 152, 155.
Galerías Pacífico shopping mall – formerly Bon Marche – was designed by the architects Emilio Agrelo and Roland Le Vacher, in 1889.
The architecture design was inspired on a Milan alley, built by the end of 19th. century, called Galería Vittorio Emmanuele II. Since then, except for a short period of time, a wide variety of shops has been in place in the shopping mall. This building housed an Association for the Promotion of Fine Arts, the National Academy of Fine Arts and the Fine Arts Museum. In 1908, the Buenos Aires-Pacífico Railway Company purchased the building to establish their administrative offices. By that time, it was called Pacífico Building. In the 1940s, the building was remodeled again. The main floor became a shopping mall with all corridors roofed with reinforced concrete vaults. The central dome was decorated with murals made by the celebrated Argentine plastic artists Castagnino, Berni, Colmenio, Spilimbergo and Urruchúa.
Then in 1990, the building was restored for the last time. Presently, Galerías Pacífico is an important shopping mall and cultural center. Jorge Luis Borges Cultural Center and Julio Boca Dance School are established there. You can also find several movie theaters and food courts.
Address:Av. Corrientes and Av. 9 de Julio
Bus lines: 5, 7, 24, 38, 39, 45, 56, 59, 64, 67, 70, 86, 91, 100, 105, 116
A symbol of Buenos Aires city, the Obelisk was built in May 1936 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the first foundation of Buenos Aires. It rises at the place where the Argentine flag was hauled up for the very first time.
It is more than 67 meters high and 49 square meters wide on its base. It has only one entrance and there are four windows at the apex, that you can reach only through a straight staircase of 206 steps.
In order to build the obelisk, 680 cubic meters of concrete were used and 1360 square meters of white stone were brought from the province of Córdoba. In 1938, after some stones got detached, the white stones were completely removed and replaced with polished concrete. The work was in charge of the architect Alberto Prebisch.
It is located at the crossroads of 9 de Julio and Corrientes avenues. Lines C and D of the subway operate under this monument.
Hours: Saturday at 4 pm and 6 pm. Sunday, from 11 am to 5.15 pm. Free admission.
Buenos Aires City Hall is located opposite to the Cabildo (government’s cradle in the colonial century and currently a museum). This is one of the buildings that borders the historical Plaza de Mayo square. Today, it is the seat of Buenos Aires city government. It was formerly the site of the Municipal Intendence. It was built between 1891 and 1902 by the architect Juan Cagnoni. The plot was donated to the General José de San Martín for his military conquests.
When inaugurated, the building dome showed a needle longer than the current one, but it had to be demolished. The French academicist style with Italian elements combine mansard roofs, like many of the buildings on Av. de Mayo avenue.
Libertad 621 (San Nicolás neighborhood).
Bus Lines: 7,24, 26, 28, 29, 38, 45, 56, 59, 64, 67, 105, 132.
This Theatre is one the most famous lyric houses in the world. Inaugurated in 1908 with “Aida” lyric from Giuseppe Verdi, the theatre has hosted the most important artists of the century. It is provided with a stable company, a ballet, orchestras, workshops, a library and a museum. It is endowed with finest acoustics in opera and a capacity for 3,542 spectators (sitting) and 700 (standing).
The premises cover 8,202 square meters. The building combines Italian, Attic-Greek, German and French Renaissance designs that give this theatre the eclectic style of the XIX century. The main room presents seven levels, horseshoe shaped, 3 boxes, galleries, upper galleries and a top gallery. The construction of the Theatre has taken 20 years and the work was directed by the architects Francesco Tamburini, Vittorio Meano and Jules Dormal.
National Historic Monument
Inauguration: July 7, 1923.
Surface: 16.630 m2
Height: 100 m
Architect: Mario Palanti.
Highlights: It was the highest building in Buenos Aires during one decade, until the construction of the Kavanagh building in 1936.
Adress: Avenida de Mayo Nº 1370
The Barolo Palace was the first building considered as the "first high building" in Buenos Aires, with 100 meters. The Palace finishes at the top with a rotating lighthouse —installed in 1923— of 300,000 spark plugs.
The lighthouse announced great events, like the result of a boxing match held between the Argentinian, Luis Ángel Firpo, and the North American, Jack Dempsey, in 1923. The Toro Salvaje de las Pampas threw his opponent away the ring for 17 seconds. However, the match continued and then Dempsey defeated Firpo.
Manzana de las Luces
Perú, Bolívar, Moreno, Alsina, Diagonal Sur streets
Bus Lines: 7,24, 26, 28, 29, 38, 45, 56, 59, 64, 67, 105, 132
The Jesuits settled down here in 1633. The “Company of Jesus” built several buildings, some of which still remains here: the Procuraduría de las Misiones (Prosecutor’s Office in the Jesuit Missions), the Casa de Renta (Income House) and the Prosecutor´s House. After Jesuits were expelled, in 1767, these buildings hosted the old Buenos Aires University - Medicine Academy and Hard Sciences Department and the House of Representatives - National Legislature and Congress. In 1822, the “El Argos” newspaper named it “La Manzana de las Luces” (the block of lights) in honor to the "illuminist" doctrine followed by those educative institutions that several years before had been there in place.
The set of buildings also presents tunnels built in the XVIII century to connect the Cabildo (government´s cradle in the colonial period and currently a museum) and the Cathedral with the San Ignacio, San Francisco, Santo Domingo, San Juan, Del Salvador churches, the old Irish convent, the Capuchinas monastery, the Vice-queen´s house, the Socorro de la Recoleta and other surrounding buildings. These originally defensive tunnels were then used for smuggling activities. Today, you can visit some of them. Everyday, at the Manzana de las Luces, you can enjoy cultural activities and a handicraft market.