The 1861 Mendoza earthquake occurred in the Province on March 20th, with a magnitude of 7.2 on the Surface wave magnitude scale. The earthquake devastated the city, killing almost 5,000 of its 12,000 residents and injuring 750. Most of the buildings were destroyed, including the cabildo (colonial government house). The city was rebuilt, incorporating innovative urban designs that would better tolerate such seismic activity, including large squares and parks, along with wider streets and sidewalks than any other city in Argentina. These urban design principles allow downtown residents and workers to assemble outside quickly during an earthquake in whats referred to as “safe zones.” And, buildings are no longer permitted to be constructed of adobe, which is not as strong as other types of materials.
The city is filled with outdoor restaurants, cafes, shopping streets, parks, statues, monuments, churches and government buildings, along with more humble residential, retail, and office buildings. The people are very friendly, the food delicious, and the atmosphere relaxed. The collage of photos that follow shows a variety of images that will help give you the flavor of downtown Mendoza.