"Centro Cultural Victoria Ocampo "Villa Victoria""
This prefab residence, was brought from England in the first decade of the XX century by Francisca Ocampo, aunt-grandmother of writer Victoria Ocampo. Many relevant personalities stayed in this house, such as Jorge Luis Borges, Gabriela Mistral and Igor Stravinsky. In 1973 Victoria bestowed this house to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). In 1981 the house became municipal property.
The three buildings are different: the main house (english style), the housekeepers´ house (french style) and the italian style house with garage for the former servants.
The house was inherited by Victoria Ocampo and became the perfect place for writers and friends. María Rosa Oliver, Enrique Pezzoni, Eduardo Mallea, Jorge Luis Borges, Bioy Casares shared moments with the writer. Waldo Frank, Roger Callois, Gabriela Mistral and Saint John Peerse, found in Villa Victoria the perfect environment for a rich work reflected in the magazine "SUR".
The gravel path, the colours of the flowers, the smell of the evergreen shrubs and the white magnolias, invite visitors to enter the house and soak up its stories.
"Museo Municipal José Hernández"
The José Hernández Municipal Museum was founded on 11th March, 1960 by an Association devoted to Argentinian traditions, with a main goal in mind: to preserve, encourage and develop the Argentinian traditions, specially those of Buenos Aires Province. The name of the Museum, “José Hernández” reminds us of the fact that the most representative writer of our literature, lived in this region by the middle of the 19th Century. The activities of the museum include, not only lectures and cultural performances, parades and festivals, but also rodeos where expert riders lasso cattle. These rodeos take place in the nearby corral.
In 1996 the activities of the museum were focused on the rural history of the region, gathering historical documents of the "Estancia Laguna de los Padres", and recording oral information from people who had worked in this rural area and former owners of the land and their descendants.
The old building which houses the Museum, was built by its former owner, Eusebio Zubiaurre in 1882.
The main building is U-shaped. 8 rooms in the left and rigth wings house the permanent exhibitions which are open to visitors.
The 4 rooms of the central wing house staff offices, the workshop where exhibits are repaired, and the storeroom.
The garden is directly connected to the park of De los Padres Lake.
What does the museum exhibit?
Authentic Indian objects which belong to the interethnic Indian – Spanish period of the 18th century, such as “boleadoras” (3 stone balls tied together by means of long leather strings used to hunt a special kind of patagonian ostrich called “ñandú”, or to fell (“bolear”) enemy horses or cattle; “matras”, stone arrow heads; and hand-made colt leather boots.
Objects and elements used for bartering in the Indian frontier area. Includes a great variety of “mates” (special containers which are filled with dry “yerba mate” leaves and twigs, and hot water. It is the national Argentinian drink made of a typical plant of North – eastern Argentina, Paraguay and South of Brazil called “yerba mate”. This infusion is drunk through a small metal straw called “bombilla”)
Tools related to rural tasks.
Photographs and documents of the first “estancias” in the area.
Clothes and personal belongings of the men and women who lived in the “estancias” in those days: trousers, shoes, irons, an old music box, sewing machines and “ponchos”.
A collection of “Martin Fierro”, José Hernández`s masterpiece, translated to different languages.
Old carriages, such as sulkies and four wheeled carriages.
Guided tours for students and tourists.
Courses, workshops and events.
Rodeos which take place in the nearby corral on celebration days in Argentina: 25th May, 9th July and 10th November among other dates.
The Research, Reception and Information Native Institute provide researchers with bibliography on the regional folklore.
Library and files of Mar del Plata pre-foundational period.
History of the region
The Museum focuses on the lives of the people who settled in the area during the last centuries – since the first encounter between Europeans and Indians, through the barter period, covering the conflicts that arose between both groups, the settling of “criollos” (natives of the land of Spanish descent) in the South-east of Buenos Aires Province, the military campaigns against the Indians “malones” (Groups of Indians commanded by leaders called “capitanejos” that attacked the settlers), the foundations of villages, posts and forts which finally pushed the Indians westwards.
Special attention is paid to the history of Estancia Laguna de Los Padres, taking into account the social and economic relationship between the wealthy families, owners of the land, and the poor rural settlers.
By the 1950s the "Estancia Laguna de Los Padres" stopped producing due to the expropriation of the land. The use of the land was granted to small producers devoted to vegetable gardening and the Estancia and the land around it, including the Lake became Museo José Hernandez and De los Padres Lake.
"Museo Municipal de Arte Juan Carlos Castagnino"
Built in 1909 by the Ortiz Basualdo family as their summer residence, it looks like a Loire castle-inspired palace. It was re and enlarged in 1919. It exhibits its original furniture, manufactured in Belgium by designer Serrurier-Bovy.
In addition, there is an important work of art collection by national and international artists: painting, sculputure, engraving and photography.
The facade is anglo normand style. The art-nouveau pieces are unique and represent a valuable patrimony.
First floor: Visitors may take a close look to:
The central hall, the main dining room, the balcony for musicians, the reading room, three bedrooms with complete furniture, illumination and decorations specially set for this residence.
Other styles: Neogothic (oratory) and French (music room).
"Museo Histórico Municipal "Don Roberto T. Baril""
A regional history museum was opened in 1938 in the City Hall.
In 1969, the Municipal History Museum was opened in 1671 Hipólito Yrigoyen St. until 1981 when it was moved to "Villa Mitre".
"Villa Mitre" was one of the magnificent residences located in a zone that was known as "The Dove Shooting".
The Museum succeeded in achieving the important goal of spreading Mar del Plata´s history. Roberto T. Barili organized and directed the museum and gathered an important collection of official and private documents.
This institution fulfills three different activities: File, Museum and Library, where unique documents are kept for those who are interested in defending the city´s history through different objects, pictures, slides, municipal files, newspaper collections, etc.
This neo-colonial style residence belonged to Angiolina Astengo de Mitre, Emilio Mitre´s widow. Some old locals used to call the house "Mitre´s manor-house". The estate covered eight street blocks surrounded by the following streets: Tucumán, Sarmiento, Matheu and Almafuerte.
María Delfina Astengo de Moores, inherited the house which she bestowed in 1979 and became the permanent headquarters of the Municipal History Museum.
"Museo Municipal de Ciencias Naturales"
The new building was opened in 1967.
The museum gathers palaeontological, geological, zoological and archaeological material (several pieces are unique).
The aquarium shows visitors live animal specimens from different parts of Argentina.
Scientific research into disciplines such as zoology, palaeontology and entomology is carried out in the museum.