Presentacion Paseos Distancias Agenda Iglesias Medios de Transporte

 

RETIRO

HISTORICAL BACKGROUNDS:
In the XVI century, the waters of the River Plate reached the hill of the present San Martín square, where there was a wharf. An hermitage called Saint Sebastian, where spiritual retirements took place, was built in that area. In the early 1700s, a countryhouse was built next to the hermitage. It was known as the Retirement Countryhouse, it was similar to the one that had the Kings of Spain in Madrid, named “The Good Retirement” (“El Buen retiro”). That is why the neighborhood is called Retiro (Retirement). Some time later, because the countryhouse was sold, a slave market was established. In 1726, due to commercial differences between Spain and England the market was closed and the area was abandoned until 1801 when the bullfight square which was in Montserrat neighborhood was placed there. It held 10,000 spectators. Its contour is still kept in San Martín square on Santa Fe Avenue. Its walls were used as defense during the second English Invasion in 1807. In that place there was a memorable confrontation, so it received the name of the Field of Glory. Also, in that place the grenadiers were instructed by general José de San Martín and the barracks replaced the bullfight square. From that moment the place was known as Mars Field.
Because of the wharf that was described in a previous paragraph, several industries such as soap factories, salteries and tanneries were established in that area. In 1826 under Bernardino Rivadavia’s presidence the industries were moved to a different place so as not to bother the neighbours. From that moment until 1874, the place was used as a summer holiday resort. In 1856 the factory of the Primitive Gas Company, which was from England, was built where it is the present Air Force Square. It worked until 1909.
As a consequence of the yellow fever outbreak in the south of the city in 1871, rich families started to establish in the area. They built the palaces around the park and therefore they transformed the neighboourhood for ever.

PLACES TO VISIT:

SAN MARTÍN SQUARE: it is surrounded by del Libertador Avenue, Maipú Street (today Crucero Gral. Belgrano St.), Santa Fe Av. and San Martín St. It is a vey important square in the city of Buenos Aires because of three reasons: its location, Florida, a pedestrian street is born there, and because of its hills. In the past there used to be a bullfight square, a battlefield and the barracks of the San Martín’s Mounted Grenadiers The square receives the present name oficially on February 25, 1878, centenay of the birth of the great man. The monument to San Martín, made by the French artist Louis Joseph Daumas, was opened on July 13, 1862.

MONUMENT TO THE HEROES OF MALVINAS: it is in San Martín square, on del Libertador Av. It was opened in 1990, in homage to the fallen in the Malvinas and South Atlantic War. It is made up of 25 black marble plates which have all the names of the soldiers that died in that battle in 1982.

ANCHORENA PALACE-STATE DEPARTMENT: it is at 761 Arenales Street. It is a luxurious French style building which was opened in 1905 as the residence of Mercedes Castellanos de Anchorena. In 1936 it was acquired by the government that established the State Deparment there. Nowadays it is used to celebrate official ceremonies. In its facade, the sculptures and the majestic iron doors stand out.

ANNEX OF THE STATE DEPARTMENT: It is at 1212 Esmeralda Street. It is a tall and modern building which was inaugurated in 1998. There the administrative activities of the Department take place.

PAZ PALACE- MILITARY CIRCLE: It is at 750 Santa Fe Av, if you want a guided visit call on 4311-1071/9. It was built in 1912 as a residence for Dr. José C. Paz, founder of La Prensa newspaper. In 1939 it was acquired by the Military Circle. In this building you can also find the Argentinian Arms Museum, which shows a general panorama of world armament through time and the Military National Library. Its entrance is at 1030 Maipú St.

HAEDO PALACE-NATIONAL PARKS BUILDING: It is at 690 Santa Fe Av. and Marcelo T. de Alvear, in a small block of irregular shape. This building was built in 1880 as a residence for the Haedo family. Nowadays it is used by National Parks Service.

PLAZA HOTEL: It is on Florida and Marcelo T. de Alvear. It was opened in 1909 to put up the distinguished visitors that would arrive in Buenos Aires to celebrate the centenary of its independence.

KAVANAGH BUILDING: It is at 1065 Florida St. It was built in 1936 for Corina Kavanagh. In that time it was the tallest building in Buenos Aires. It has 30 stories and a height of 120 meters, it occupies a surface of two thousands four hundred roofing square meters cuadrados cubiertos. It has five stairs and one hundred and five apartments occupied by about one thousand people. An important detail to mention is that because of the echelon of the different parts of the building, 30 % of the apartments have terrace balconies.

HOLY SACRAMENT CHURCH: It is at 1039 San Martín St. It was opened in 1916, and its architects were the French men Coulomb and Chauvet, who performed an eclectic architecture with romanic influences. See more information.

 



CATALINAS TOWERS:
They are surrounded by Leandro N. Alem Av., Córdoba Av., Eduardo Madero Av. and San Martín St. They are modern towers. Until 1961 an amusement park firstly known as Japanese Park and later as Retiro Park used to be there.

AIR FORCE SQUARE: It is opposite San Martín square. Until 1982, it was called British Square, as a gratitude to the British because of the donation of the towers that are in the middle of the square. The name was changed due to the Malvinas War.

MONUMENTAL TOWER: It is in the middle of the Air Force Square. It is popularly called English Tower. It was donated to Argentina by British residents because of the centenary of the May Revolution of 1810. It is placed where there used to be the gas power plant that distributed the fuel for public lighting. The fundamental rock was placed in May, 1910 and the building was inaugurated on May 24, 1916. It is 70 meters high. On the sixth floor (35 meters high) there is a balcony where you can see an amazing view of Retiro, North Dock and part of the Ecological Reserve and the River Plate. The clock, which has four quadrants of 4.40 meters of diameter made of opaline, has five bronze bells. There are permanent and temporary exhibitions on all the floors. You can visit the tower and the balcony on the sixth floor from Thursday to Sunday, 12.00 – 18.00. The entrance is free.

 
View from the balcony in the Monumental Tower.



RETIRO TRAIN STATION: It is on Dr. Ramos Mejía Av.,between Del Libertador Av. and Antártida Argentina Av. Three different railways finish there. They are:
-Ex Línea Mitre, which was inaugurated in 1915. Nowadays it is called Trenes de Buenos Aires. Short distance trains go to and come from Retiro (Tigre, Bartolomé Mitre and José León Suarez), middle distance ones(Capilla del Señor and Zárate) and long distance trians (Rosario and Santa Fe)
-Ex Línea Belgrano, which was opened in 1913. Nowadays it is Ferrovías. It has trains to Villa Rosa, in Pilar, Province of Buenos Aires.
-Ex Línea San Martín, opened in 1886, the oldest railway station, you can tell because it is made of wood and iron unlike the other two. At present it is called Trenes Metropolitanos and has trains to Pilar, Province of Buenos Aires.

BUS STATION OF THE CITY OF BUENOS AIRES: It was opened in 1983. All the passenger transport companies of middle and long distance gather here. The buses travel to cities in Argentina and in bordering countries.

CANADA SQUARE: It is on Dr. Ramos Mejía Av. and Antártida Argentina Av, across from the Air Force Square. In the middle of it there is a totempole that stands out. It was made by carvers who belonged to an Indian tribe in Columbia Británica, Canadá. It is a group of carvings which represent mythological animals. They are set in a 21-meter-high wooden pole. Totempoles are originally from American and Canadian northeast coast and represent theTribe’s protective and organizing emblem. They are considered sacred and preside ceremonies related to birth, marriage and death.