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Buenos Aires is the most magnificent metropolis in South America, recognized for its vibrant nightlife, European charm and as the birthplace of tango. But there is much more about the city to explore and learn beyond that sensual dance. Below, we give you our list of the eight little-known essential facts about the capital of our country.
Declared intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO, although tango may seem all of high class and elegance, its origins are quite the opposite. Dance originated in the middle of the 19th century in brothels and other spaces in the then working class port areas of Buenos Aires, such as San Telmo, La Boca and Barracas, where recent immigrants, liberated slaves and other marginalized in society were mixed. Only around the 1910s, when world-renowned singers like Carlos Gardel brought music to Paris, Argentine high society embraced dance.
Today, you can enjoy seeing professionals in specific places. Many spaces offer lessons before the performances. Alternatively, visit Carlos Gardel's house, now converted into a museum, which also houses a tango library and an exhibition on his life and career.
According to a report from the 2019 World Cities Cultural Forum, Buenos Aires has more bookstores per capita (25 per 100,000 inhabitants) than any other city in the world. The shops are located on two of the city's most famous avenues, Corrientes and Santa Fe, including the beautiful Ateneo Grand Splendid, a converted library of a former theatre. With more than 800 bookstores and thousands of kiosks selling affordable pocket books throughout the city, from San Telmo for used and old books, to Palermo Viejo, a favorite neighborhood of one of the greatest Argentine writers, Jorge Luis Borges.
One of the privileges enjoyed by the rich and powerful of Buenos Aires in the last century was to be able to spend eternity in a garden of magnificent hand-carved stone mini mansions.
The cemetery of La Recoleta, opened in 1822, extends over four blocks and is most famous for being the last resting place of the First Lady Maria Eva Duarte de Perón. Stroll among the tombs, many covered with exquisite statues, and the visitor will see the final resting place of many of the most important historical figures in Argentina, whose names also appear on the streets of Buenos Aires.
One of the most notable places in Buenos Aires is Avenida 9 de Julio. Among the widest roads in the world, the avenue crosses Buenos Aires from south to north and houses, among others, the Obelisk, its most outstanding landmark. Planned since 1888 as part of the redesign of the city to look more like Paris, work did not begin until the 1930s, reaching its current width of 12 lanes (six in each direction) in the 1960s. In this century, two lanes were available for public passenger transport, called Metrobus.
Hidden among the abundant parks of the Palermo neighborhood, between the avenues of Libertador and Alcorta, along Casares Avenue, the Japanese Garden of Buenos Aires opened in the late 1960s to honor the visit of a Japanese prince. With its ornamental landscape, Japanese lighthouse and red bridges, it feels like you're entering a new secret world. The gardens are the site of numerous Asian festivals, a community center and a tea house are also located in the garden complex.
Opened in 1913, the Buenos Aires subway is the oldest system in Latin America and the fourth oldest system in America, after New York, Boston and Philadelphia. His first line, Line A, connected the Rosada House, with Congress. This historical line is beautifully ornamented, and some stations have a story depicted on their walls.
Many seasons are decorated with golden, brightly colored venecites, from Moorish designs to original patterns from the 1970s. The newest line is Line H, which has the only underground station in the world named after a figure of LGBT civil rights, Carlos Jáuregui, on the corner of Santa Fe and Pueyrredón avenues.
The central monument of the Puerto Madero neighborhood is the Puente de la Mujer, designed by the famous Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. He intends to evoke a man and a woman embraced.
The pedestrian bridge is a favorite place to visit, especially at sunset. It is also fitting that a bridge in honor of the female half of the world is in a neighborhood where all its streets have names of important women in Argentine history, such as Alicia Moreau de Justo, a prominent figure of feminism and Argentine socialism. Another street is reminiscent of one of the co-founders of the Mothers of Plaza de Mayo, Azucena Villaflor.
No city has a greater passion for football than Buenos Aires. It is evident in the love that people show for their teams that fact is concrete in being the city with more football stadiums than anyone else in the world.
Two courses are competing for fame, one La Bombonera, home to Boca Juniors and the other, a real stadium, River Plate, where the final of the world championship played in the country was played and where Argentina won its first title.
Publication Date: 29/10/2020
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