cemetery, which was also built in 1732, was first a churchyard.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
On weekends and holidays there are several shows
of street art, and you can visit the extensive and
traditional craft fair.
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.
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".
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
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”.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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