Tag Archives: Buenos Aires

La Boca and El Caminito, Buenos Aires

La Boca is probably the most blue-collar of all the neighborhoods in Buenos Aires, but it includes El Caminito, a popular spot for tourists due to the colorful buildings and its abundance of street vendors and street performers. The trademark colors on the buildings began when, after painting the barges on the nearby river, workers used leftover paint on their own houses. The walls of El Caminito are decorated with works of art, one of which, called “Esperando La Barca” (Waiting for the Boat) held special interest for me since it reminded me of my immigrant ancestors. Estadio Alberto J. Armando, the football (soccer) stadium owned by the Boca Juniors football club is also located in La Boca. Because of its shape, the stadium is better known as La Bombonera (the Chocolate Box). Continue reading

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The Retiro Neighborhood, Buenos Aires

The Retiro Neighborhood is one of most exclusive neighborhoods of Buenos Aires but, originally, the area was a country retreat (retiro) for Spanish governor Augustín de Robles. San Martín Plaza, which I described previously, is in the Retiro Neighborhood. Near the Plaza stands Palacio San Martín, built for Mercedes Castellanos de Anchorena and completed in 1909. Palacio San Martín is currently used for ceremonial purposes by the Ministry of Foreign Relations. Basílica Santísimo Sacramento, also nearby, was built by the Anchorena family in 1916. The last apartment occupied by Argentine writer and poet Jorge Luis Borges is here in Retiro, with a plaque commemorating him prominently displayed on the wall of the building. After exploring the Retiro Neighborhood, I stopped in a beautiful old church, the name of which I didn’t record. Nonetheless, the interior of this charming neighborhood church is a vivid memory for me. Continue reading

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San Martín Plaza, Buenos Aires

San Martín Plaza with its monument to General José de San Martin, national hero of Argentina and a leader of South America’s struggle for independence from Spain also is home to the Monumento a los Caídos de Malvinas, a monument to Argentine soldiers who lost their lives in the Fauklands War. Historically, the location of San Martín Plaza served as a slave market, a military fort, and a bullring. A replica of the monument to General José de San Martin was given to the United States by Argentina and now stands in Washington, DC. Continue reading

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Three Tombs in Cementerio de la Recoleta, Buenos Aires

Of the photos I took of tombs in Cementerio de la Recoleta, Buenos Aires, there remain but three. The first is a popular subject for photographers and provides an interesting story for visitors. Liliana Crociati de Szaszak (1944-1970) was in Innsbruck, Austria on her honeymoon when she was killed by an avalanche that struck the hotel in which she was staying. The grief of her father was enormous and he had a glass tomb constructed in front of which he placed a sculpture of Liliana in her wedding dress. Later, when Liliana’s dog Sabú died, a sculpture of the dog was placed on the tomb as well. The second tomb belongs to Juan Facundo Quiroga (1788-1835). Facundo’s tomb is crowned by a sculpture of La Dolorosa by Tantardini which, incidentally, is actually a likeness of Facundo’s wife. Facundo was an Argentine caudillo, a term that connotes the fact that he was more warlord than military leader. Facundo died at the hands of assassins and, interestingly enough, is buried standing upright. The third tomb is that of Bernardo de Irigoyen (1822-1906) and his father Fermen Yrigoyen (1795-1853). Bernardo de Irigoyen served many influential roles in Argentina’s political system including senator, governor of Buenos Aires, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Minister of Internal Affairs. He was instrumental in negotiating the borders of Argentina with its neighbors. Of all the tombs in Recoleta, Irigoyen’s is the only one I actually peered into, snapping a photo of the interior as I did so. Continue reading

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City of the Dead – Cementario de la Recoleta, Buenos Aires

Cementario de la Recoleta in Buenos Aires is as close as I’ve ever seen a cemetery meet the description of “City of the Dead”. The cemetery includes wide, paved streets and narrow alleyways bordered by mausoleums that often look like miniature houses. Here and there are green spaces punctuated by monuments and statues. The first image below looks down one of the wide avenues. Occasionally, one of the tombs includes interesting and sometimes frightening artwork, such as the skull seen on the tomb of the Family of Doctor Alexo Castex. Unfortunately, I was not able to learn much about Doctor Castex, which frustrates me as a genealogist! Finally, the tomb of Martin Rodriguez (1771-1845) shows a sculpture of this Argentine politician and soldier who participated in the resistance to the British Invasion of the Río de la Plata during the Napoleonic Wars and the subsequent May Revolution. Rodriguez later became governor of Buenos Aires. Continue reading

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Evita Perón’s Final Resting Place, Buenos Aires

Eva Perón (1919-1952), is buried in Cementerio de la Recoleta, along with many other famous Argentines. However, her body was not always laid to rest there. After she died on 26 Jul 1952, her embalmed body was displayed in her former office in the CGT Building (Building of the General Confederation of Labor), awaiting the construction of a permanent memorial. Unfortunately, her husband, President Juan Perón, was driven out of office in a military coup in 1955, and the new authorities removed Evita’s body to an unknown location. Sixteen years later, in 1971, the military revealed that Evita’s body had been buried in a crypt in Milan, Italy under the name María Maggi. In 1971, the body was exhumed and flown to the Perón home in Spain. Evita’s body was kept in Spain until after Juan Perón’s death, and was then returned to Argentina so that the bodies of Juan and Eva Perón could be displayed together. Eventually Evita’s body was interred in the Duarte Family Tomb in Recoleta Cemetery. To ensure that Evita’s body would be secure, it was buried two levels underground. Shown below are two views of the tomb, and details of three of the plaques that adorn the tomb. Continue reading

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Cementerio de la Recoleta, Buenos Aires

In Buenos Aires there is a saying that “It’s cheaper to live extravagantly all your life than to be buried in Recoleta.” Cementerio de la Recoleta is the final resting place for the wealthiest and most prestigious of Argentina’s citizens. The cemetery is, indeed, a city of the dead. Wide streets and narrow passages crisscross through Recoleta Cemetery where it seems that everyone is buried in a mausoleum to spend eternity in a house of granite. Among the rich and famous buried here are Bartolomé Mitre (1821-1906), a soldier, journalist, and the sixth president of Argentina. Mitre has been described as one of the Argentina’s best writers and is well known for chronicling South America’s wars of independence. Marco Avellaneda (1813-1841) was the son of a prominent Argentine politician. He, himself, became governor of the Province of Tucumán. He was put to death by the dictator Rosas who displayed Avellaneda’s head on a pike in the Plaza of Tucumán. Valentine Alsina (1802-1869) was an Argentine lawyer and politician. He served as governor of Buenos Aires and as a member of the Argentine senate. Continue reading

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The Japanese Garden, Buenos Aires

By the time I reached Jardín Japonés (the Japanese Garden) in the Palermo nieghborhood of Buenos Aires, it was closed for the day. Nonetheless, I snapped some photos through the fence. Perhaps I’ll be able to visit the Japonese Garden on some future visit. Continue reading

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Recoleta and Palermo, Buenos Aires

A stroll through the Recoleta and Palermo neighborhoods in Buenos Aires reveals many delights, too many to fully appreciate in a single day. The Facultad de Ingenieria (Engineering School) is described by my travel guide as a “decrepit neo-Gothic” building. With scraggly plants sprouting high on its crumbling structure, the decaying appearance still has a certain charm and allure. The postcard-perfect Floralis Genérica with its aluminum and steel petals that open with the day and close at night is a popular sight in the Plaza Naciones Unidas (United Nations Plaza). Further along in Plaza Irán (Iran Plaza) is La columna del Templo Persa (Column of the Persian Temple), in impressive monument, indeed. Continue reading

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The Rower, Buenos Aires

While sightseeing in Buenos Aires, Argentina, I spotted this rower in the diques. I took several pictures and thought they would make an interesting photo essay. Continue reading

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