Mi Buenos Aires Querido: “El Bajo”

Let’s continue touring Buenos Aires around the area known as “El Bajo” which includes the newest neighborhood in the city such as Puerto Madero, and some historic like Retiro, San Telmo and La Boca.

In Retiro, you will find the train station and subway line C, also Plaza San Martin (square), Kavanagh Building, skyscraper became the highest in South America that in 1999 was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

In this neighborhood is located the Parisian Arroyo Street with important architectural buildings, stately palaces and huge French-style residences. Among them stands out the Estrugamou Palace built in 1929, the Mihanovich Tower or Torre Bencich. On the corner with Suipacha Street was the Embassy of Israel, destroyed by an attack on March 17, 1992; today is a square in memory of the victims. This street is the nerve center of art galleries, fashion houses, embassies and social activities, with the event “the night of art galleries”. Arroyo Street was renovated this last year, being one of the most elegant streets of Buenos Aires.

Also this year, the Retiro Train Station corresponding to the Mitre Railroad was reopened with the modernization and restoration of the terminal, including the central hall, the platforms, the façade and the entrance. Surely you will know if you take public transportation. In case you don’t at least once try to go to see this true jewel of the city.

In front of the Retiro Train Station, you will see the Argentine Air Force Square where the Monumental Tower stands, known to locals as “The Tower of the English“. Sixty meters high, the Tower is lined with red bricks and stone. The structure is placed on a basement with four staircases on each side and landfills at its corners. The foundation stone was placed in May 1910, and it was inaugurated on May 24, 1916. On the 7th floor is the clock, for which the Tower was originally known as the Clock Tower.

In front of this square, you will see the Sheraton Hotel building, as part of the Retiro postcard next to Leandro N. Alem Avenue. Crossing Del Libertador Avenue begins the historic Plaza San Martin (square), one of the oldest in the city. The French landscaper Carlos Thays, responsible for the main green spaces of the city also incorporated new vegetation’s species. The Plaza San Martín shows important monuments and sculptures.

On Florida Street at 1000, where it is no longer pedestrian, the Kavanagh Building is located, an architectural symbol of Buenos Aires with its Art Deco style, shaped like a ship’s prow. A few steps take a walk along Reconquista Street, now pedestrian, there are many bars to sit and have a drink and enjoy watching the rhythm of the city.

Walking along Leandro N. Alem Avenue, you will come across another square, Plaza Roma.

Leandro N Alem Avenue at sunset

In the corner of Alem Av. and Corrientes Av. is the Kirchner Cultural Center. During the weekends and holidays they offer guided tours to know the history of the building that between 1928 and 2003 was the Post and Telecommunications Palace (Palacio de Correos). You can learn about its history, the beautiful architecture, see its rooms and halls, where today you can enjoy concerts and artistic activities for all audiences.

Already in the previous post (/) about the city I commented on nearby places like Luna Park, Casa Rosada that are also about this area but they belong to the neighborhood of Monserrat.

Continuing towards the south, after passing the Plaza de Mayo, the neighborhood of San Telmo will begin, with its traditional Plaza Dorrego (square) and antique stores. Every Sunday the Feria de San Telmo (a fair) operates in this plaza, becoming an ideal tour for both the inhabitants of Buenos Aires and tourists. There are many antique stalls with an air of flea market. The square is surrounded by nineteenth-century mansions, which have been recycled and transformed into cafes, antique shops (especially on Defensa Street) and upscale restaurants. The bar in the area put tables on the street and is one of the places with more street artists in the city. The square is considered “Historical Place” since the Independence of the country was announced to the people of Buenos Aires in 1816, declared months before in the city of Tucumán.

Between the historical buildings of San Telmo, they emphasize the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Buenos Aires on the Avenue Columbus Walk with neoclassic style, the Market of San Telmo on the streets Defense and Carlos Calvo, inaugurated in 1897, the Russian Orthodox Church of the Holy Trinity and the Parish of San Pedro González Telmo. Other attractions in the neighborhood are the Plaza de la Historieta (ideal for going with the little ones), the Minimum House, the San Lorenzo Passage, the Museum of Modern Art, the National Historical Museum, the Lezama Park and the Atelier of the world famous goldsmith Juan Carlos Pallarols.

Continuing towards the south of the city, the neighborhood of La Boca appears, many know him for his football team. Caminito, that little typical street of the city very colorful, makes it an emblematic walk. In this area you will find gastronomy, bars, street artists. In La Boca visit the Benito Quinquela Martín Museum, La Ribera Theater, Proa Foundation (a space for disseminating artistic movements of the 20th century, including current proposals and special national and international projects), the Usina del Arte (multidisciplinary cultural center) and the Boca Juniors Stadium, better known as La Bombonera.

Bordering the neighborhoods of La Boca to the southwest, San Telmo, Monserrat and San Nicolás to the west and Retiro to the northwest, with the Ecological Reserve of Buenos Aires and the Río de la Plata to the east is the most “new” and modern: Puerto Madero. It’s a neighborhood with a lot of port history since the founding of Buenos Aires. Although in the mid-1990s a recycling plan was decided with a master plan for Puerto Madero as we know today. It started as an area of ​​elegant offices and restaurants and then also became a residential neighborhood, being the most expensive square meter of all Buenos Aires, millionaires, businessmen, celebrities and many expatriates live in this privileged area.

Offices and Residence Building in Puerto Madero

On the Alicia Moreau de Justo Avenue there are the old docks, today modern offices and loft-type apartments. On the other side of the levees were opened numerous streets, boulevards and avenues (all are named after Latin American women of recognized trajectory), squares and parks were created such as Micaela Bastidas and Mujeres Argentinas, installing monuments and fountains. Historical infrastructure was also restored such as the Walk of Costanera Sur and the old parks designed in the 1920s.

Since December 2001 the Woman’s Bridge (Puente de la Mujer) work of the Santiago Calatrava, Spanish architect, is a wonderful artwork which has a lighting system allowing seeing at night the view that provides us.

Woman’s Brigde.

As always useful links to build this second tour of the city, which in one day can do it perfectly without missing the most important points of these neighborhoods:








And finally, I leave you a gastronomic recommendation from the neighborhood of San Telmo to eat Argentine meat and other specialties of my country in La Brigada http://www.parrillalabrigada.com.ar/


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