One Way to Do Buenos Aires Part 1

On completion of our 14 night Antarctica cruise, on board the Celebrity Infinity, my wife and I dis-embarked in Buenos Aires for a 3 day extension to our South American holiday.

We had brought many notes that we had made from internet researches as well as a trusted Guide Book…


Our hotel, the NH City and Tower, was ideally placed on the edge of the lively Bohemian district of San Telmo,  and within five minutes walking distance of the Plaza de Mayo.

One of the great Buenos Aires Plazas it is surrounded by many famous Buenos Aires buildings:  the most prominent being the palatial mansion officially known as ‘Casa de Gobierno’,  the Executive Mansion and Office of the President of Argentina.

Also in this Plaza is the  ‘Piraide de Mayo’, …dedicated to the revolutionaries of 1810, who orchestrated Argentina’s independence…

A short walking distance from the Plaza de Mayo is the  Barrio (District)  of Puerto Madero, a redeveloped old port area.   The old warehouses now converted to Restaurants, shops and offices, this is a lively tourist area both during the day and at night…

Puente de la Mujer (Spanish for “Women’s Bridge”) is a rotating footbridge for Dock 3 of the Puerto Madero

It was here we got our first glimpse of the many street performances of the Argentinian Tango we would see during our stay…

Buenos Aires is renowned for these street performances and, as lovers of the Tango ourselves, we appreciated  every performance we saw. It was to one of these waterfront  restaurants  that we were to return for our first taste of Argentinian steak with the atmosphere to match.

Continuing along the waterfront towards the district of Retiro, our next point of interest was also our landmark guide,

the tower of ‘The Torre de los Ingleses’

Torre Monumental and before 1982 Torre de los Ingleses (Tower of the English) is a clock tower located in the barrio (district) of Retiro

A gift from the local British community to the city in commemoration of the Centennial of the 1810 Revolution, it was renamed, after the Falklands War, as the ‘Torre Monumental’.

It has a central position in the Plaza San Martín, on whose periphery  is the Estación Retiro. The French style station building was designed by the British architects Eustace L. Conder, Roger Conder and Sydney G. Follet together with the engineer Reginald Reynolds. Building began in June 1909 and the station was opened on 1 August 1915. The steel structure for the building was made in Liverpool  and re-assembled in Argentina. Though fully operational it is also a National Monument….

Estación Retiro in Spanish, Retiro Station is a large railway terminus. The French-style station building was designed by the British architects and is directly opposite Plaza San Martín, a large public square.

There are two other monuments in the  Plaza San Martín, named after  José de San Martín, an Argentine general and the prime leader of the southern part of South America’s successful struggle for independence from the Spanish Empire…

……as well as the Monument for the Argentinian fallen in the Falklands War…

Leaving the Retiro District and crossing into that of Recoleta, we were now heading for one of our prime target visits.

At this point I would add that Buenos Aires is a city of many attributes none more so than its rich architecture. It is certainly very negotiable on foot and only crossing between San Telmo and La Boca, on our second day, could beat our walk through the streets of Recoleta.  

We arrived at La Recoleta Cemetery, a 14 acre site containing 4691 vaults, all above ground, of which 94 have been declared National Historical Monuments: including those of Eva Peron, Presidents of Argentina, the founder of the Argentine Navy and a granddaughter of Napoleon…

The Entrance to La Recoleta Cemetary

The tomb of the First lady, Eva Peron…

Evita’s body is buried in the Duarte family tomb in La Recoleta Cemetery

Set in 14 acres, the site of Recoleta Cemetery contains 4691 vaults, all above ground, of which 94 have been declared National Historical Monuments

I attach the Wikipedia link for those wishing to see examples of the tombs, an amazing variety of ostentatious remembrance…

Heading back to our hotel we took a route through the Barrio of Monserrat that gave us the opportunity to take in Argentine Congress on the Avenida de Mayo

The Monument to the Two Congresses and behind it, Congress

The Argentine Congress

and on the same Avenue is the Palacio Barolo, a landmark  building in the Barrio of Monserrat, When it was built it was the tallest building in the city and South America. Its twin brother, Palacio Salvo, is a building designed and erected in Eclectic style, but of greater height, built by the same architect in Montevideo. Indeed, the lighthouse at the top of the building can be seen all the way from Montevideo, Uruguay.

The Palacio Barolo was designed in accordance with the cosmology of Dante’s Divine Comedy.

No visit to Buenos Aires would be complete without a walk along Avenida 9 de Julio with its landmark  Obelisco de Buenos Aires, a national monument and icon of Buenos Aires. It was built to commemorate the fourth centenary of the city’s foundation…

…and only a stone’s throw away, The Teatro  Colón , the main opera house in Buenos Aires,  acoustically considered to be amongst the five best concert venues in the world…

The Teatro Colón is the main opera house in Buenos Aires, Argentina, acoustically considered to be amongst the five best concert venues in the world. The present Colón replaced an original theatre which opened in 1857.

That completes the first day in Buenos Aires and  I hope it shows just what can be achieved in one day. This was our chosen route because we had planned the monuments and  architecture that Buenos Aires is famous for as one package.

I hopefully intend another two parts, one to cover the colourful and atmospheric tango dance areas of San Telmo and La Boca:  and one to illustrate the evening transformations that take place in this vibrant city.

So can Solent Richard tango?…

You’ll have to wait and see, but I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.

One response to “One Way to Do Buenos Aires Part 1

  1. Pingback: Cruising Mates | Solent Richard's Cruise Blog·

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