Buenos Aires Cabildo
The Buenos Aires Cabildo is the public building in Buenos Aires, used as seat of the town council during the colonial era and the government house of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata. Today the building is used as a museum. Mayor Manuel de Frías proposed the building of the cabildo in what is now the Plaza de Mayo on March 3, 1608, since the government of the city lacked such a building, its construction financed with taxes from the port of Buenos Aires, the building was finished in 1610 but was soon found to be too small and had to be expanded. In 1682, due to lack of maintenance, the building was in ruins, the construction was planned of a new cabildo, two stories high and 11 arches wide. Construction of the new building did not start until 23 July 1725, was suspended in 1728, restarted in 1731. Soon construction was, again suspended due to lack of funds; the tower of the new cabildo was finished in 1764, yet by the time of the May Revolution in 1810 the cabildo was still not finished.
In 1880 the architect Pedro Benoit raised the tower by 10 meters and with a dome covered with glazed tiles, instead of the traditional colonial red tiles. The tower was demolished nine years in 1889 to create space for the Avenida de Mayo avenue and the three northernmost arches of the original eleven were demolished. In 1931, to create room for the Julio A. Roca avenue, the three southernmost arcs were removed, thereby restoring the central place of the tower, but leaving only five of the original arches. In 1940, the architect Mario Buschiazzo reconstructed the colonial features of the Cabildo using various original documents; the tower, the red tiles, the iron bars on the windows and the wooden windows and doors were all repaired. The cabildo hosts the National Museum of the Cabildo and the May Revolution, in which paintings, artifacts and jewelry of the 18th century are on display; the patio of the cabildo still has its 1835 ornamental water well. Trofeos de la Reconquista de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires en el Año 1806.
Buenos Aires: Litografía, Imprenta y Encuadernación de Guillermo Kraft. 1882. CityMayors profile
The May Revolution was a week-long series of events that took place from May 18 to 25, 1810, in Buenos Aires, capital of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata. This Spanish colony included the territories of present-day Argentina, Paraguay and parts of Brazil; the result was the removal of Viceroy Baltasar Hidalgo de Cisneros and the establishment of a local government, the Primera Junta, on May 25. It was the first successful revolution in the South American Independence process; the May Revolution was a direct reaction to Spain's Peninsular War. In 1808, King Ferdinand VII of Spain abdicated in favor of Napoleon, who granted the throne to his brother, Joseph Bonaparte. A Supreme Central Junta led resistance to Joseph's government and the French occupation of Spain, but suffered a series of reversals that resulted in the Spanish loss of the northern half of the country. On February 1, 1810, French troops gained control of most of Andalusia; the Supreme Junta retreated to Cadiz and dissolved itself, the Council of Regency of Spain and the Indies replaced it.
News of these events arrived in Buenos Aires on May 18, brought by British ships. Viceroy Cisneros tried to maintain the political status quo, but a group of criollo lawyers and military officials organized an open cabildo on May 22 to decide the future of the Viceroyalty. Delegates denied recognition to the Council of Regency in Spain and established a junta to govern in place of Cisneros, since the government that had appointed him Viceroy no longer existed. To maintain a sense of continuity, Cisneros was appointed president of the Junta. However, this caused much popular unrest, so he resigned under pressure on May 25; the newly formed government, the Primera Junta, included only representatives from Buenos Aires and invited other cities of the Viceroyalty to send delegates to join them. This resulted in the outbreak of war between the regions that accepted the outcome of the events at Buenos Aires and those that did not; the May Revolution began the Argentine War of Independence, although no formal declaration of independence was issued at the time and the Primera Junta continued to govern in the name of the deposed king, Ferdinand VII.
As similar events occurred in many other cities of the continent, the May Revolution is considered one of the early events of the Spanish American wars of independence. Historians today debate whether the revolutionaries were loyal to the Spanish crown or whether the declaration of fidelity to the king was a necessary ruse to conceal the true objective—to achieve independence—from a population, not yet ready to accept such a radical change. A formal declaration of independence was issued at the Congress of Tucumán on July 9, 1816; the United States' declaration of independence from Great Britain in 1776 led criollos to believe that revolution and independence from Spain were feasible. Between 1775 and 1783, the American patriots of the Thirteen Colonies waged the American Revolutionary War against both the local loyalists and the Kingdom of Great Britain establishing a popular government in the place of the British monarchy; the fact that Spain aided the colonies in their struggle against Britain weakened the idea that it would be a crime to end one's allegiance to the parent state.
The ideals of the French Revolution of 1789 spread across Europe and the Americas as well. The overthrow and execution of King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette ended centuries of monarchy and removed the privileges of the nobility. Liberal ideals in the political and economic fields developed and spread through the Atlantic Revolutions across most of the Western world; the concept of the divine right of kings was questioned by the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, by the oft-quoted statement that "all men are created equal" in the United States Declaration of Independence and by the Spanish church. However, the spread of such ideas was forbidden in the Spanish territories, as was the sale of related books or their unauthorized possession. Spain instituted those bans when it declared war on France after the execution of Louis XVI and retained them after the peace treaty of 1796. News of the events of 1789 and copies of the publications of the French Revolution spread around Spain despite efforts to keep them at bay.
Many enlightened criollos came into contact with liberal authors and their works during their university studies, either in Europe or at the University of Chuquisaca. Books from the United States found their way into the Spanish colonies through Caracas, owing to the proximity of Venezuela to the United States and the West Indies; the Industrial Revolution started in Britain, with the use of plateways and steam power. This led to dramatic increases in the productive capabilities of Britain, created a need for new markets to sell its products; the Napoleonic Wars with France made this a difficult task, after Napoleon imposed the Continental System, which forbade his allies and conquests to trade with Britain. Thus Britain needed to be able to trade with the Spanish colonies, but could not do so because the colonies were restricted to trade only with their parent state. To achieve their economic objectives, Britain tried to invade Rio de la Plata and conquer key cities in Spanish America; when that failed, they chose to promote the Spanish-American aspirations of emancipation from Spain.
The mutiny of Aranjuez in 1808 led King Charles IV of Spain to abdicate in favor of his son, Ferdinand VII. Charles IV requested.
ARA Presidente Sarmiento
ARA Presidente Sarmiento is a museum ship in Argentina built as a training ship for the Argentine Navy and named after Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, the seventh President of Argentina. She is considered to be the last intact cruising training ship from the 1890s; the ship was built for the Argentine Naval Academy. ARA Presidente Sarmiento made thirty seven annual training cruises including six circumnavigations of the globe; the ship was retired as a seagoing vessel in 1938, but continued to serve without sails on Argentine rivers around 1950 and as a stationary training ship until 1961. She is now maintained in her original 1898 appearance as a museum ship in Puerto Madero near downtown Buenos Aires. In addition to its sailing rig this ship includes a large triple expansion steam engine supplied by two coal-fired boilers exhausting through the rear stack. An additional auxiliary boiler exhausting through the forward stack provides steam for other than propulsion, including two engines driving electrical generators on the main deck.
A single coal bunker is positioned between the main and auxiliary boiler rooms A three-wheel chain drive allows up to six helmsmen to control the rudder. Such a crew of operators was not always required due to the inclusion of an electric servo-drive for normal operation but was useful for the training of cadets. Four five inch mounts are positioned two on each side, with additional smaller weapons. Documentation on the ship shows these having had some armor. A single torpedo scuttle using gravity expulsion exited at the bow; the scuttle has been removed and the exit port welded shut, but in the current museum configuration a torpedo is suspended in a position on the main deck ready to enter the former scuttle entrance. Additional torpedo storage is provided below this main deck. ARA Uruguay, a smaller historic tall ship moored nearby in basin number three. Argentine peso moneda nacional. Google Maps location of the Presidente Sarmiento "Buque Museo Fragata Presidente Sarmiento". Armada Argentina.
Retrieved December 26, 2009. Google translation of above
Pirámide de Mayo
The Pirámide de Mayo, located at the hub of the Plaza de Mayo, is the oldest national monument in the City of Buenos Aires. Its construction was ordered in 1811 by the Primera Junta to celebrate the first anniversary of the May Revolution, it is used as a Spanish project by many middle schoolers and high schoolers who are taking Spanish classes. It was renovated under the direction of Prilidiano Pueyrredón. In 1912, after having undergone many modifications, it was moved 63 metres to the east, with the idea that a much larger monument would be constructed around it; the monument is crowned by an allegory of Liberty, the work of the French sculptor Joseph Dubourdieu. From the ground to the peak of the statue's Phrygian cap, the Pyramid measures 18.76 metres. On April 5, 1811, with the approval of the Buenos Aires Cabildo, it was decided that the program of festivities commemorating the first anniversary of the Revolución de Mayo would include the construction of a pyramid. History does not record.
Some speculate that it was an attempt to emulate the pyramids carved into the pillars of Paris' Porte Saint-Denis, to which the Pirámide de Mayo bears some resemblance. Since 1763 the Plaza de Mayo had been divided by the Vieja Recova into two smaller plazas: the one facing the eventual site of the Casa Rosada was known as the Plazoleta del Fuerte, the one facing the Cabildo was known as the Plaza de la Victoria; the pyramid was situated in the center of the latter. At the insistence of architect Pedro Vicente Cañete and Juan Gaspar Hernández, professor of sculpture at the University of Valladolid, it was decided that the monument would be constructed out of solid materials, including 500 bricks, rather than out of wood, as had been planned originally. On April 6, the cement was poured to form the foundation, amid music and raucous celebration; the monument was inaugurated as planned on National Day, despite the fact that Cañete had failed to meet the schedule and would not complete construction for several days.
The pyramid was festooned with the banners of various illustrious regiments who had formed the garrison of Buenos Aires, including the patricians, highlanders and blacks, gunners and grenadiers. The Pyramid as well as the Cathedral were illuminated; the Recova was illuminated with 1,141 tallow candles. The festivities lasted four days and included dancing and the manumission of slaves. Although Cañete's original plans were lost, studies determined that the Pyramid had been left hollow, rather than filled with masonry, in order to save time, it was made of baked adobe and stood thirteen metres tall, not including its three-hundred-and-five-metre-tall pedestal. A platform supported its pediment, built on top of two grades, it had a simple quadrilateral pedestal and a floating cornice that extended around the entire structure. It was crowned by a decorative globe; the edifice was surrounded by a railing supported by twelve pillars, each terminating in a rounded knob. At each of the fence's four corners was a pointed pole from which lanterns were hung.
On national holidays the Pyramid was decorated with banners, paper lanterns, inscriptions. In 1826 president Bernardino Rivadavia announced plans to erect a monument to the Revolución de Mayo which would consist of a magnificent bronze fountain "in place of what exists today", it was debated. In any case, due to Rivadavia's resignation the following year, the project was never carried out, despite the fact that it had been approved by the legislature. In 1852 the Jaunet brothers illuminated the Pyramid with gas; the public, accustomed to the small oil lanterns, was awestruck by the effect. By 1856 the museum had fallen into disrepair; the painter and architect Prilidiano Pueyrredón was charged with the restoration. He set out to transform the monument into something more grandiose; the modern pyramid was built directly over the old, covered in bricks and masonry to form a suitable foundation for the new additions. The top of the statue was furnished with an allegory of Liberty, crowned with a Phrygian cap.
This statue, standing 3.6 metres, was created by the French sculptor Joseph Dubourdieu from a combination of materials. Dubourdieu was responsible for four other allegories, Commerce, The Sciences and The Arts, which were placed at the four corners of the pedestal; the eastern face of the obelisk was adorned with a golden sun, which now faces toward the Casa Rosada. The remaining three sides are decorated with crowns of laurels in alto-relievo. Pueyrredón modified the original pedestal and capital, increasing their height and breadth; each of the four sides of the base was adorned with the national arms. A new fence was constructed and a gaslight placed at each corner. In 1859, the deteriorating condition of the plaster led the city to reface the base in marble. By 1873 the stucco and terracotta statues installed by Dubourdieu had not begun to decay, they were replaced with four Carrara marble statues, located on the first floor of the Banco Provincia on Calle San Martín. These were Geography, Astronomy and Industry.
These remained until 1912. In 1972 they were installed — and remain to this day — in the old Plazoleta de San Francisco, at the intersection of Calles Defensa and Alsina, 150 metres from the modern Pyramid. In 1883, on the orders of intendente de la ciudad de Buenos Aires Torcuato de Alvear, the Recova was demolished, joining the Plazoleta del Fue
The Libertador Building is a government building in Buenos Aires, housing the Ministry of Defense. The growing and modernizing Argentine military of the 1920s, whose budget had risen threefold in the decade, lacked a commensurate headquarters, had been housed since the late 19th century in a Montserrat neighbourhood structure used by the National Mint. Seeking to remedy this, President Agustín Justo ordered the construction of a new War Ministry, commissioned Carlos Pibernat, chief architect of the General Engineers' Office, for its design. Pibernat's plans, submitted in 1935, called for twin buildings east and west of the presidential offices at the Casa Rosada. However, these plans were dropped in favor of imposing new headquarters on a 3 ha lot east of the Casa Rosada. Designed by Ministry of Public Works architects Enrique Lopardo, Néstor Pastrana, Héctor Campini, the twenty-story, 82,625 m² building would be the largest in Argentina up to that point; the building would thus be divided into three sections: two wings to be anchored by a central section staggered outwards in the 230 m long façade, distinguishable by a portico and its four additional floors.
The structure, designed in French Renaissance style and begun in 1938, was equipped with Siemens elevators and communications networks, whose installation was overseen by German engineers. Following the installation of security systems, archives and a tunnel connecting the building to the Casa Rosada, as well as the lengthy and politically sensitive process of assigning wings and pavilions to the myriad Argentine military bureaus, the new War Ministry was inaugurated in April 1943. President Juan Perón renamed the landmark the Edificio Libertador in 1950 to honor the centennial of the death of General José de San Martín; the tunnels connecting the building to the presidential offices helped save the populist leader's life during the September 16–19, 1955, Revolución Libertadora coup against him, when he took refuge in the War Ministry before being deposed and exiled. Perón returned to power in 1973, but his break with erstwhile supporters, the far-left Montoneros, led to a violent conflict between them and his successor, Isabel Perón.
Among the most noteworthy attacks in this conflict was the detonation of a car bomb by the Montoneros in front of the Libertador Building on March 15, 1976, which killed a civilian staffer and wounded 29 officers, helping trigger a coup d'état on March 24. Its importance as the effective nerve center of Argentine government during the subsequent dictatorship was dramatized by a scene filmed in the building by director Fernando Solanas for his acclaimed 1987 drama, Sur; the Libertador Building was again in the center of military friction in Argentina when, on December 3, 1990, during a state visit by U. S. President George H. W. Bush, far-right Carapintadas faction leader Col. Mohamed Alí Seineldín temporarily seized the headquarters in a failed coup attempt against President Carlos Menem. Occupied only by the Army Headquarters, since the late 80s the building houses the Ministry of Defense and the General Joint Staff, which had until been located at a smaller building right across the street.
Defense Minister Nilda Garré ordered the departure of a Technical Cooperation Mission from the United States Armed Forces on April 20, 2009. The bureau, but for a brief interruption in 1973, had occupied offices in the building's 13th story since the 1960s. Argentine Ministry of Defense
The Café Tortoni is a coffeehouse located at 825 Avenida de Mayo in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Inaugurated in 1858 by a French immigrant whose surname was Touan, it was named Tortoni after the Parisian café of the same name located on Boulevard des Italiens; the café itself was Inspired by Fin de siècle coffee houses. Café Tortoni was selected by UCityGuides as one of the ten most beautiful cafes in the world; the space the café occupies was the location of the Templo Escocés, the Tortoni was located on the corner of Rivadavia and Esmeralda. In 1880 it moved to its present location, but had its entrance on the other side of the block in Rivadavia Street. In 1898 the entrance on Avenida de Mayo was opened, the facade was redesigned by architect Alejandro Christophersen. At the end of the 19th-century the café was bought by Celestino Curutchet. In the basement, La Peña was inaugurated in 1926, which fomented the protection of the arts and literature until its disintegration in 1943. Among its visitors were Alfonsina Storni, Baldomero Fernández Moreno, Juana de Ibarbourou, Arthur Rubinstein, Ricardo Vines, Roberto Arlt, José Ortega y Gasset, Jorge Luis Borges, Molina Campos, Benito Quinquela Martín.
Over the years the café has been visited by many renowned people including politicians Lisandro de la Torre and Marcelo Torcuato de Alvear, popular idols Carlos Gardel and Juan Manuel Fangio, international figures like Albert Einstein, Federico García Lorca, Hillary Clinton, Robert Duvall and Juan Carlos de Borbón. The basement works as stage for jazz and tango artists, for the presentation of book and poetry contests; the café has conserved the decoration of its early years, has a library and at the back facilities to play billiards and dice. Media related to Café Tortoni at Wikimedia Commons Official website
Kirchner Cultural Centre
The Kirchner Cultural Centre is a cultural centre located in Buenos Aires, Argentina. It is the largest of Latin America, the third or fourth largest in the world, it was opened on May 21, 2015, is located in the former Buenos Aires Central Post Office. The cultural centre was named after former president of Argentina Néstor Kirchner; the 9 floor centre has a concert hall. The need for a new central post office in Buenos Aires was first raised in 1888 by the director of the Correo Argentino at the time, Dr. Ramón J. Cárcano; that year a Congressional bill providing for its construction was signed by President Miguel Juárez Celman. The Ministry of Public Works commissioned French architect Norbert Maillart for its design in 1889. Designating a 12,500 m² city block on the corner of Leandro Alem and Corrientes Avenues for its construction, the Public Works Ministry chose the site as a means to beautify a land reclamation site where the shores of the Río de la Plata had reached just a decade earlier.
The sudden onset of the Panic of 1890 and the subsequent crisis led to President Juárez Celman's resignation, however, as well as to the project's suspension. The national government revived the plans only in 1905, in 1908 Maillart returned to Buenos Aires, where his new plans for a larger post office were approved the following April. Differences arose between Maillart and the Argentine government, the French architect abandoned the project in 1911. Construction, which had just started, was left to the supervision of Maillart's chief assistant, Jacques Spolsky. Spolsky reengineered the design, which featured masonry supports, to consist of a steel-reinforced concrete structure, for which 2,882 steel pillars were placed onto the bedrock, 10 m deep. Limitations on the city's public works budgets resulting from the onset of World War I forced another major design alteration in 1916; the planned construction of an elevated causeway on Leandro Alem Avenue was cancelled, a mezzanine was added to the plans to compensate for an entrance which would now be one floor below the original's.
Spolsky achieved this without substantial changes to the building's exterior, though the number of delays led to considerable cost overruns on the project, its budget was exhausted in 1923. President Marcelo Torcuato de Alvear, obtained Congressional support for a new appropriation, on September 28, 1928, the new Secretaría de Comunicaciones was inaugurated; the building's eclectic design, drawing prominently from French Second Empire architecture, was typical of the public buildings and upscale real estate built in Buenos Aires and other Argentine cities early in the 20th Century. Despite their differences, Maillart went on to design the Buenos Aires National College and the Argentine Supreme Court, Spolsky designed post offices for Rosario and San Miguel de Tucumán in a similar style while at work on this structure; the largest public building completed in Argentina up to that point, the building measured eight stories and 60 m in height and included over 88,000 m² of indoor space. The central hall was decorated with marble throughout, features stained glass windows, numerous bronze sculptures and mail drop boxes, a 4-story-high domed ceiling.
The grandiose setting led President Juan Perón to move his offices in the building during the early years of his 1946-55 tenure, the First Lady, Eva Perón, designated a wing as the first headquarters of the charitable Eva Perón Foundation. During the subsequent automobile boom in Argentina, the plaza facing the post office was made into a parking lot. Opposition to the 1979 sale of the parking lot for the construction of a local Bank of Tokyo headquarters proved insurmountable, the plans were cancelled. Guillermo del Cioppo, the Minister of Urban Development and Mayor, ordered the construction of an underground parking structure instead, the lot above was converted into a park in 1983; the building was designated a National Historic Monument in 1997. Most of its postal activities had been transferred to a newer structure during the Perón administration, it handled only international mail in years. In 2005, its last remaining postal bureau was closed. President Néstor Kirchner proposed the conversion of the abandoned building and landmark into a cultural centre in June 2005, two years plans were approved for the construction of two concert halls and an exhibition gallery for the creation of the Bicentennial Cultural Centre.
The centre's winning design was provided by a team of architects led by siblings Enrique and Nicolás Bares. It was scheduled to be inaugurated on the Argentina Bicentennial, May 25, 2010. Completion of the new centre was delayed however, in 2012 its designated name was amended as Centro Cultural del Bicentenario Presidente Dr. Néstor Carlos Kirchner, in honor of the late former president. Upon opening in May 2015 it was named the shorter Centro Cultural Kirchner; when the architects added new spaces and elements, they purposely used different materials such as clear and frosted glass and stainless steel, to maintain sight of the ornate Beaux-Arts style beauty of the original building. The main concert hall La Sala Sinfonica, seating 1,950 people, is a blimp-shaped three-storey auditorium