In the early part of the 1900s Buenos Aires had plenty of money, as it served as the meat and grain market for much of Europe. As a result there are many grand buildings from that era throughout the city, including numerous in the Art Nouveau style.
Much of the ornamentation of these buildings are on the upper floors, so when we went on a tour with the Art Nouveau club we spent much of the morning looking up – as did everyone who was walking by on the sidewalks.
Our tour met at the very cool Savoy Hotel on Callao. Before we started down the street we checked out the interior – including the bar (which was closed at the time!)
Across the street from the Savoy is a Louis Duboise classic apartment building. Duboise is considered one of the fathers of the movement in Buenos Aires.
The corner of Callao and Mitre have examples on all 4 corners.
Just down the street is the Palacio del Congresso Nacional Argentino, aka – The National Congress Building. While not Art Nouveau, it none the less has a lot of interesting detail.
The tour continued down Rivadavia.
The building at Rivadavia 2009 has a glass dome with more than 950 pieces of mirrored glass. In addition the terrace has iron replicas of the Dragon Gate in Barcelona.
Rivadavia has a number of great buildings.
Even some of the garages in this area are designed in the style.
On Hipolito Yrigoyen are two amazing buildings directly across from each other. At 2562 is Casa Calise, the work of Viginio Colombo.
With numerous statues from Ercole Pasina, it looks like a palace, but since it’s completion in 1911 it has always been an apartment building.
While across the street is another Colombo apartment building with amazing style.
As we returned to Rivadavia the area became far more commercial however there are still some Art Nouveau examples that have survived.
Once Train Station anchors the neighborhood. Built in the Renaissance style in the 1890s, it continues to serve tens of thousands of commuters each day.
We headed over to Corrientes for our final stops, passing by this classic Bank of Argentina building.
Our final stop is Abasto. For nearly 100 years buildings on this site, including this one, served as the main produce market for the city.
Today it is a shopping mall.
But an amazing architectural mall. The Art Nouveau tour was operated by the Art Nouveau Club of Buenos Aires – it was well done and thorough, showing us many places we likely would’ve never seen in the city.
Argentina has a tradition where everyone decorates for Christmas on the same day. We happened to choose that day to go to San Isidro to look around. The result was a very quiet city, but one with some nice architecture.
We took the Tren De La Costa (Train of the Coast) up. While billed as a tourist train, it seemed like any other train, only smaller.
A walk through a mostly empty park to the riverside gave us a view of a few vintage cars.
The highlight of San Isidro is the cathedral.
The area around the cathedral has some interesting buildings.
Eventually we gave up and went to another quiet train station for the ride home. Ciao San Isidro.
Another sunny Saturday was the perfect day to take a ‘Tours for Tips’ of a neighborhood, this time back in San Telmo. Unfortunately the tour guide didn’t show so we set off on our own – finding plenty of unique sights.
We arrived at the 2nd major rail station in Buenos Aires – Constitucion. It is a classic!
Next stop was Parque Lezama, and the Palacio within.
We continued on into the main part of the neighborhood.
… checked out the shops in and around San Telmo Market.
Santo Doningo Basilica
A close up of the Casa Rosada
And finally at the Kirchner Cultural Center. Who needs a tour guide!
It was a great 10 days in Buenos Aires. I am not certain what I was expecting but whatever it was, BA exceeded it!
The Nueve de Julio Avenue is the center of the city. Created in the 1930s by wiping out an entire city block wide, and nearly 3 miles long, it is an impressive sight.
The city exists because of the huge estuary of the Rio de La Plata, creating one of the world’s great ports.
The city is full of great architecture starting with the Retiro Train Station.
The Torre Monument is in the plaza in front of Retiro. The tower was completed in 1916 by the same architect who built Big Ben.
Just down the street is the Kavanagh Building, an Art Deco masterpiece.
One of the highlights of the city is the number of ‘Palacios’ remaining from the early 1900s. While there were once more than 100, less than 40 remain, but those that still stand are magnificent.
In addition to the Palacios there are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of impressive buildings.
The city was the first city in South America to have a subway, starting over 100 years ago.
As with any city, not all are enjoying the good life. Buenos Aires has some ‘Villa’s, basically shantytowns for the very poor. The city says they have a plan to help improve the lives of the people living in the Villas, but only time will tell.
No visit to Buenos Aires is complete without a stop at the Obelisk.
For now it is time to fly, but not before joining the crowd to watch a soccer game while waiting on the plane. True Buenos Aires!