Friday, 28 April 2017

Chronicles from Buenos Aires | Recoleta

The Recoleta district evolved around the area where was located the monastery of the monks Recoletos (Recollects). This was also an area of ​​orchards and farms until, in the late 19th century, the wealthy families of Buenos Aires arrived there, trying to escape the epidemic of yellow fever that hit the neighborhood of San Telmo. Since then, Recoleta has become one of the most elegant and expensive neighborhoods in Buenos Aires, concentrating mansions, embassies and luxury hotels, around splendid parks, landscaped squares and large avenues. Avenue Alvear is one of the most traditional and elegant avenues in the city, with its striking French palaces, including the iconic Hotel Alvear and the embassy of France.

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The church of Our Lady del Pilar is one of the most modest churches of the capital, with its white painted façade. It was built in 1732 by the Jesuits and was intended for the prayers and spiritual practices of the Franciscan monks. Today is one of the landmarks at Recoleta district.

Not far from the church you can find the entrance to the Recoleta cemetery, famous for the architecture of its mausoleums and for the statuary. Being the resting place of Buenos Aires elite, this cemetery is a repository of some fine pieces of funerary art. The cemetery is open for visitation every day from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and it's possible to take a guided tour, free of charge, that presents the history of the place, showing some of its main tombs. This visit is about an hour long and takes place every day at 11:00, being held in various languages: Spanish - from Tuesday to Sunday - English - Tuesday and Thursday - and Portuguese  on Friday. Also famous are the cemetery cats. I was hopping to get some photos of them, but a cloud of mosquitoes made run for my live, without a single picture.

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In front of Our Lady del Pilar church you can find green lawns where you can chill out for a while or, if its Saturday or Sunday, walk around and check the craft stalls at Recoleta Street Market. The market started at Plaza Francia in the late 1970s, when a small group of "hippies" start selling their handcrafted pieces in the park. Since then, the market has grown considerably and became an attraction in this part of the city.

At Recoleta there is a succession of landscaped squares where you can find statues and sculptures and in the buildings around there are many restaurants and cafés where you can have a nice meal or a drink. One of the most famous is Bar la Biela.

Not far you can find the Cultural Center of Buenos Aires, the Cristal Palace and the National Museum of Fine Arts. The National Museum of Fine Arts was inaugurated in 1896, and its collection is the largest in the country and one of the most important in Latin America. The permanent collection houses works by Argentine artists, as well as masterpieces of renowned artists like Picasso, Goya, Renoir, El Greco, Rodin, Degas and Cézanne. As I did not have much time, choices had to be made and just visited the museum of modern art - MALBA.

Walking down the lawns and then crossing Avenue Presidente Figueroa Alcorta, you will find a large park with an amazing sculpture by the Argentine architect Eduardo Catalano. Floralis Genérica is a large metal sculpture, located in the Plaza de las Naciones Unidas, with the shape of a flower that opens and closes its petals according to the time of the day. The ever changing reflections of the skye in the metal petals its absolutely breathtaking.

Once more I want to thank the two amazing Instagramers whose photos are once more featured in one of my BsAs posts. You surely have noticed their pictures above and if you are not following them on Instagram I strongly advise you to. Tannia is a young lady suffering of a terrible case of wanderlust and you can find her colorful feed at Wanderlustladies. Tania and her travel buddy Erin have a travel blog where they tell us all about their adventures. Please visit Wanderlust Ladies, its really worthwhile. Juan Pablo has the knowledge of a local and a strong talent to photograph the beautiful city of Buenos Aires, please visit his amazing feed at Somebody 4 Someone. To both of them I'm much grateful!


  1. Lovely photos. I also like taking pictures of beautiful old churches. This area reminds me a little of Paris with the sculptures and architecture.

    1. You are right. Buenos Aires looks a lot with the European capitals (Paris, Madrid). More than any other South American city that I know.

  2. Lady del Pilar church is so magnificent. I just returned from a trip to Paris, but didn't stumble on something as beautiful. This is the place to visit. Next time I will visit here for sure.

  3. Absolutely gorgeous! I would love to visit this place sometime!

  4. So many beautiful and unusual sculptures, I like it.


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