The “Paris of South America” | Buenos Aires, Argentina

Tribunales | Congreso | Microcentro Districts

These Districts make up the central business district of the city . . . the “downtown.”  Probably the most common element within these three Districts is July 9 Avenue, the widest avenue in the world. Its name honors Argentina’s Independence Day, July 9, 1816. latin735-500x349The avenue runs from the Retiro district in the north to Constitución station in the south. The avenue has up to seven lanes in each direction and is flanked on either side by parallel streets of two lanes each. There are two wide medians between the side streets and the main road.400px-Buenos_Aires_-_Monserrat_-_Avenida_9_de_Julio The Obelisco de Buenos Aires dominates the area, and can be seen from a variety of vantage points throughout the city. The Obelisco is a national historic monument and icon of Buenos Aires. Located in the Plaza de la República, in the intersection of avenues Corrientes and 9 de Julio, it was built to commemorate the fourth centenary of the first foundation of the city. In order to enrich the surroundings of the iconic monument, the government has started the project Punto Obelisco, creating a zone full of LED signs. Since the Obelisk of the city is always associated with the night and entertainment of Buenos Aires, this project will create a zone similar to Times Square in New York and Piccadilly Circus in London.

Tribunales encompasses the area surrounding the Supreme Court building and Teatro Colón, which borders the Corrientes theater district. It’s full of government buildings and is close to the Microcentro’s shopping, but is far less noisy than this neighboring area. Tribunales is the theater district of Buenos Aires. Frente_del_Teatro_ColónThis part of downtown has many theater shows, especially on Avenida Corrientes. Our walking tour took us past the Teatro Colón, the main opera house in Buenos Aires, Argentina. It is ranked the third best opera house in the world by National Geographic, and is acoustically considered to be among the five best concert venues in the world. Our guide told us that Luciano Pavarotti, when being interviewed by a local newspaper, said that there was only one thing wrong with the opera house . . . the acoustics were too good! – one could hear his imperfections! Since it was raining and near noon, Marcel led us to Petit Colon, one of the local cafes just a few blocks away for a warm cup of coffee and a bite to eat.

Microcentro, the hub of the Buenos Aires financial district (and the site of the first European settlement that became Buenos Aires) includes many historical sights, interesting architecture, great shopping, and some of the most prestigious hotels and restaurants the city.

Congreso is an historic district that surrounds the building Congreso, at the western terminus of the Avenida de Mayo. In addition to Congreso, the neighborhood contains other grand and imposing buildings, some almost imperial in scale and design. Together, these three Districts give downtown a vibrant mix of work, live and play environments. On our walking tour through the downtown districts, there were several other points of interest worth mentioning, including Plaza de Mayo, Cabildo, Buenos Aires Metropolitan Cathedral, and the Presidential Palace.

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