Presentacion Paseos Distancias Agenda Iglesias Medios de Transporte

 

RECOLETA

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND:
Dr. Rodrigo Ortiz de Zárate got the property of these parcels as a consequence of the land division done by Juan De Garay in 1583.
In 1716 a chapel and a rudimentary convent were built, and the steps to build a bigger one for the priests of the Recoletos Franciscan order were taken.
The funds to build the convent church were given by an Aragonese trader called Juan de Narbona. Because he was from Aragon, he dedicated the church, which was opened in 1732, to the Virgin of Pilar.
The cemetery, which was also built in 1732, was first a churchyard.
During Rivadavia period, the churchyard was expropriated and it became the North cemetery. At this point, it began to be known as Recoleta.
Because of the yellow fever and cholera epidemics in 1871, the richer families left their residences in the southern part of the city and went to the north where they built new houses.
The definite consolidation of the neighbourhood started in 1880 due to public works performed by Mayor Torcuato de Alvear. With earth that came from digs in Puerto Madero, low areas were filled up, so new parks and squares were created to transform Recoleta in the most elegant neighbourhood in the city.
In 1885, the Mayor ordered the construction of Alvear Avenue as a tribute to his father, General Carlos María de Alvear, where expensive palaces were built.
The name of the neighbourhood is due to the Recoletos Order, the first inhabitants of this place.

PLACES TO VISIT:

1) ALVEAR SQUARE: It is surrounded by Pueyrredón Avenue, Del Libertador Av., Alvear Av. and Junín street. It is a very important place surrounded by historical and cultural buildings. This park was created during Torcuato de Alvear mayoralty and its first name was Recoleta Square. On the hill there was originally the Recoleta Convent, which had different uses until it became a very important Cultural Center. On the hill there is a monument dedicated to Torcuato de Alvear, which was inaugurated in 1900.
It is made up of a Doric marble column and on top of it there is a winged figure that represents the glory. In the middle part, on the shaft, you can see the great man’s bust. On the base of it there are three bas-relieves which represent “The opening of May Avenue”, “The surfacing of the city”, and “ Improvement to Recoleta", some of the main works performed by Alvear during his mayoralty.
On weekends and holidays there are several shows of street art, and you can visit the extensive and traditional craft fair.

2) THE MONUMENT TO GENERAL ALVEAR: In the American States Organization (Organización de Estados Americanos) small square, which is surrounded by Del Libertador Av., Alvear Av. and Posadas street you can see the monument to Gral. Carlos María de Alvear, which was done by the French sculptor Antonio Emilio Bourdelle, disciple and collaborator of Rodin. The monument was built on a platform of 20 square meters, its pedestal measures 13 meters high and it is made of polished granite. The equestrian figure which is on top of the monument is made of bronze and it is 5 meters high. On its base there are four statues that symbolize "Freedom", "Victory", "Strength" and "Eloquence".
The General Alvear helped San Martín to create The Regiment of Mounted Grenadiers. He was the president of the Assembly of the Year XIII, the Supreme Director of the United Provinces of the River Plate in 1815 and Plenipotentiary Minister in the United States, where he died in 1852.

3) PALAIS DE GLACE: It is situated at 1725 Posadas St. It is called Palais de Glace because the first ice rink that was built in Buenos Aires was there between 1911 and 1921. Afterwards it became an elegant ballroom where tango was danced. In1932, the architect Alejandro Bustillo renovated the building and transformed it into an exhibition hall. Since then it has been known with both names: Palais de Glace and National Exposition Hall (Salas Nacionales de Exposición). Nowadays there are temporary exhibitions.

4) ALVEAR AVENUE: It begins in Cerrito street and ends in Alvear Square. It was originally called Nice View (Bella Vista). It was laid out in 1885 by Torcuato de Alvear’s initiative. He was the first Mayor of Buenos Aires City. This avenue is a tribute to his father, Carlos María de Alvear. There is more information about this avenue in the city tour: “Palaces of Buenos Aires”.

5) RECOLETA CULTURAL CENTER: It is situated at 1930 Junín St. This building belonged to the the Recoleto Friars’ Convent from 1716, but in 1823, the government minister, Bernardino Rivadavia, expelled the friars and the building was used as an agricultural school and later it was an immigrant asylum. From1880, Mayor Torcuato de Alvear ordered several modifications, and between1894 and 1978 it was used as an old people’s home, known as Viamonte Home.
It was renovated again in 1980, and it became the Cultural Center of the City of Buenos Aires (Centro Cultural de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires) and since1989, it has been known by that name. In the latest renovation, the original structure of the building was kept and the oldest part of the convent was restored. The auditorium, former chapel of the asylum, keeps the same doors and stained-glass windows. The center offers a wide variety of activities, art exhibitions, concerts, plays, dance, books presentations and special events. In 1993, the Buenos Aires Design Center was created next to the Cultural Center. It is a shopping mall that has stores devoted to all branches of design.

6) OUR LADY OF PILAR BASILICA: It is situated at 1892 Junín St. See more information.

7) RECOLETA CEMENTERY: It is situated at 1790 Junín St. It used to be the fruit garden, place to rest and gardens of the Recoletos Convent. The burials of poor people took place next to the church in the churchyard, and rich people were buried inside the church, in its floor, in its walls or in catacombs. The use of the place as a public cemetery supervened the expulsion of the Recoletos monks, as a consequence of the general reform of the ecclesiastical order, which among other things forbade the burials inside churches. The fruit garden became a cemetery and on November 17,1822 the North Cemetery was created.
The engineer Felipe Bertres designed the plans and in 1828 Manuel Dorrego, governor of Buenos Aires, had it extended until its present area. Some years later, Juan Manuel de Rosas entrusted engineer Próspero Catelin, who created the cathedral facade, with the plan of the inside streets and divisions. After 1881, Torcuato de Alvear had it renovated, so vaults and luxurious monuments were built, some of them are considered historical sepulchres. There are works by famous national and international sculptors, monuments, stained-glass windows, all of them performed with great artistic quality. The solemn Doric Greek porch and the peristyle hall where the last tribute to the deceased pople is performed were created by the architect Juan Buschiazzo.
Because of the importance of its funerary architecture, the Recoleta Cemetery is the third most famous cemetery in the world. In its almost six hectares, several important people are buried, such as great men, independence warriors, presidents of Argentina, writers, scientists and plastic artists. Some of them are buried in vaults and mausoleums done by important architects and ornamented with sculptures. The first work was the sculpture in Facundo Quiroga’s sepulchre.

These are some of the famous and important people buried here: Gral. Facundo Quiroga, Gral. Carlos María de Alvear, brigadier Juan Manuel de Rosas, Almirante Guillermo Brown , Coronel Manuel Dorrego, Dr. Florencio Varela, Gral. Bartolomé Mitre, Gral. Juan Lavalle, Eva Duarte de Perón, Dr. Nicolás Avellaneda, Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, and Gral. Pedro Eugenio Aramburu. Among so many works of excellent architecture, we want to emphasize Leloir family’s mausoleum, where Luis Federico Leloir, Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1970, is buried, because of its great refinement and richness of materials. It is formed by a base where a dome crowned by a circular colonnade with bronze capitals juts out. The visit to this cemetery will lead you to meet with Argentinian history, surrounded by beautiful architecture.

8) THE RUBBER PLANT (EL GOMERO): On the corner of A. Quintana and Presidente Ortiz you can find this living monument which is more than 200 years old. The bottom of its trunk is 7 meters.It was planted in1878 and everyone can see it in front of the Pilar Church. Its branches are more than 28 meters long, and its top is 100 square meters.

9) QUINTANA AVENUE: It begins in Parera street and ends in Presidente Ortiz (a pedestrian street), across from the park. It was originally called “the long street” because it wasn’t crossed by any street up to Callao Avenue.
The first communications between the city and the Recoleto Monks Convent were possible due to this street.
The famous La Biela cafe, first called like this in 1942, has a long tradition on the corner of Quintana Av. and Roberto M. Ortiz St. It was the meeting point of young people who were automobile fans. Afterwards it became a restaurant, and it was the predecesor of gastronomic business in the area. In 1999 it was declared Place of Cultural Interest by the Legislature of the City.