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Plaza San Martin
Named after General José de San Martin, one of the most famous Argentine heroes, Plaza San Martin is a lovely square in the middle of busy downtown Buenos Aires.
The square is filled with lots of trees and provides the resting people with some shade during hot (sunny) summer days. Iyt has a couple of statues, for instance the impressive statue of General San Martin and the Falklands/Malvinas monument.
Plaza San Martin is surrounded by some famous buildings like the Kavanagh building and the Palacio San Martin.
Do just like the 'portenos' when they are sitting on the green hills and enjoy the views to the Rio de la Plata or the shade of the trees.
Retiro is famous for its train station, which is the central train station of Buenos Aires. But around it, there are some beautiful parks, one of them having the monument that pays homage to the victims of the Malvinas war. And right across the station is this tower, which was a present from the English that immigrated to Argentina.
As grand as it gets
Avenida Alvear is one Buenos Aires' best addresses - a few short blocks of elegant small palaces and old houses, the city's most exclusive shops and art galleries and some very, very grand hotels. Strolling stylishly (no-one runs in Avenida Alvear) between Recoleta at its western end to Plazoleta Carlos Pellegrini near Ave 9 de Julio in the east, it used to be longer but the widening of 9 de Julio in the 1960s saw it being truncated - though not as much as the planners wanted - the French Government refused to allow them to demolish their embassy. One victory for the lovers of beautiful architecture.
The Palacio Ortiz Basualdo ( the French embassy) and the Palacio Pereda (the Brazilian embassy) are the most famous of the Avenida's many gorgeous belle époque buildings. Others of the same era to look out for include the Palacaio Duhau (recently converted into the Park Hyatt hotel) and Palacio Fernández de Anchorena (now known as the Nunciatura Apostolica - the Vatican embassy). The spendid Hotel Alvear came later - it was built in 1932.
My favourite is the pretty house that now houses the Ralph Lauren shop (Alvear 1780) - not a palace but a charming Art Nouveau mansion that retains many of its original internal features. You might like to combine sight-seeing with a little shopping here - their prices are a bit lower than in North America and Europe.
An English Park
This park is a great place to sit and read Jorge Luis Borges and people watch. The park was a gift from the UK which all well and good until the war in the Malvinas - Falklands for the rest of the world. Now the park has Malvinas monument to the war dead.
- Arts and Culture
San Martin sq and Retiro station
I found this square at the end of Florida street. In fact, it’s a park! A lot of green trees around, I stand for a while to rest and read some info about the hero of San Martin. His statue is at this square and now I can remember a statue like this in every city I visited in Argentina! Then I noticed it’s their here and they have many streets and square named San Martin…
Another important local monument is the memorial for Falklands war (Malvinas for the Argentinians). There is an eternal flame burning. The war took place in 1982, between UK and Argentina and Argentina lost. The locals are very sensitive about this issue.
Around Retiro Railway Station
The Retiro railway station is the first things many people see in Buenos Aires if they arrive by train or by bus by the nearby huge bus terminal. The station was built in 1915. I guess they will be shocked when they go outside and see crowds of people and hundreds of buses, cars and taxis. If you calm down you will notice some nice parts!
The Clock Tower is one of them right opposite the station. It’s called Torred de los Ingless, given as a donation by the Buenos Aires’ british community in 1916. It’s 76m high and you can visit it Thursday to Sunday 12:00-19:00. Avoid the area around the station when the sun is going down…. it’s really dangerous!
Don’t miss the Kavanagh building(built in 1935), a 120m high skyscraper that used to be the tallest in South America some years before.
Retiro & San Nicolas : Suipacha
Suipacha is a very narrow, dark, noisy with a lot of traffic. However, it has a lot of very nice buildings if we look at it with another eye!!!
It has also a lot of leather shops and chic hotels.
There are also one of the most famous cafe and tango venue of Buenos Aires : Confiteria Ideal. You will also find there three different tango shoes shop next to it!!!
Retiro & San Nicolas : Avenue L.N. Alem
Walking back from Puerto Madero to the Plaza de Mayo, I crossed this Avenue and I was impressed by the wonderful houses that exist along it! It was dark and the impression of beauty was magnified with the yellow lights! Finally what I miss till there in Buenos Aires : a street with enough backward distance (thanks to an opening to to the harbor and a parking) to admire the high glorious buildings!!!! It is maybe stupid, but it made me think about houses along a canal in Amsterdam... in much higher! (If I forget the numerous cars!)
Plaza San Martin
This equestrian statue in the center of Plaza San Martin is in tribute to General Jose de San Martin, the "Father of the Nation". This is a nice park that has a grassy hillside that slopes down toward the Torre de los Ingleses and plenty of park benches to enjoy a nice afternoon.
Torre de Los Ingleses
The Torre de los Ingleses (English Tower) is an impressive building in Plaza San Martin in Retiro. It supposedly offers great views over the district but like many places we visited in the city it wasn't open to visitors, meaning we could only admire it from outside. The tower is covered in graffiti like "Las Malvinas son Argentinas" (The Falklands are Argentinian) showing that there is still plenty of strong feeling about the islands and the Falklands War.
Retiro & San Nicolas : Retiro neighborhood
The name Retiro (literally "retreat") goes back to the period when spiritual retreats were held outside the city, but now the words traffic and clamor are synonymous whith this zone which surrounds the train station built by the English, the renovated Bus Terminal and the Torre Monumental (formerly the English Tower) with its Big Ben style clock which was donated by the British government.
English Tower / Torre de los Ingleses
This is Torre de los ingleses. It's located in Retiro.
It's origin is curious. When Bs. As. was preparing for the celebrations of the centenary of the May Revolution all the countries they sent their delegations with the exception of England, cause their king, Eduardo VII had recently died. The British residents decided to offer this monument, which project belongs to the architect Ambrose Poynter, to the country that it had received them.
su origen es curioso. Cuando Bs.As. se aprestaba para los festejos del centenario de la Revolucion de Mayo todos los paises enviaron sus delegaciones a excepcion de Inglaterra, que se hallaba de luto por la reciente muerte del rey Eduardo VII, por lo que la representacion britanica no participo de los festejos. Los residentes britanicos decidieron ofrecer ese monumento, cuyo proyecto es del arquitecto Ambrose Poynter, al pais que los habia acogido. De estilo renacentista, todo el material empleado para la construccion fue traido especialmente de Inglaterra. Tiene 70 metros de altura, y esta bien definido en tres niveles. Un primer nivel inferior que comprende escalinatas y el amplio balcon balaustrado, el nivel medio donde se destacan los escudos de las dos naciones y un pequeño balcon, y el superior, ocupado por el campanario de capitel corintio, que encierra en su interior cinco campanas. Solo las piezas que ponen en funcionamiento la maquinaria del reloj pesan una tonelada cada una. El cuadrante posee un diametro de 5,50 metros.
- Historical Travel
A SAD MONUMENT
In the Plaza San Martin I, across from Retiro Station, stands a sad monument to the hundreds of soldiers who died for the vanity of a failed dictator. This is the monument to the war dead form the short war over the Islas Malvinas or Falkland Islands (April - June 1982). In the early 1980s Argentina was still controlled by the brutal military regime headed by General Leopoldo Galtieri. His disastrous economic policies lead to the people openly questioning the junta’s authority and he hoped that the war would rebuild support for his regime and fan nationalist fervour. The Falkland Islands had been a small fishing outpost and territory of Britain for several hundred years and there had been an on again/off again war of words over ownership. Galtieri invaded the virtually undefended islands and declared victory. He sent ill-equipped and un-trained conscripts who were soundly defeated by professional soldiers and elite special forces. He even sent a WWII battleship (The Belgrano) against modern nuclear submarines and lost that with the lives of hundreds of sailors.
The defeat ultimately led to the ousting of the bloody military dictatorship and the restoration of democracy in Argentina.
The large horizontal monument has metals plaques depicting the islands, the 3 branches of the military (Army, navy and Air Force) and has an eternal flame. It is guarded by one of the armed services on 2 week rotations. It strategically faces the Torre Monumental, previously known as the British Clock Tower, which was a gift from British citizens living here (1916).
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The English Tower
This English Tower was a gift to the Argentine people from the UK. There is a big English influence still to be seen in Argentina, as the English came and built the railways. This tower is located just across from the main railway station called Retiro. On certain days, you can go up to the top of the tower via elevator, free of charge, from where you have a great view of the city skyline and Plaza San Martin.
Cafe in Retiro Train Station
The picture shows you a beautiful cafe inside the main train station of Buenos Aires called Retiro. The interiior of this cafe is 1 of the most beautiful in all of Buenos Aires! It is an excellent place to stop in to have a snack and a drink. You really feel like you are in Europe! I would only recommend to go during the daytime, and in front of the station and inside the station do watch for pickpockets. But don't miss this place!
San Martin Square (Plaza San Martin)
It is Buenos Aires's most beautiful plaza, especially in early November when the brilliant purple jacaranda trees are in bloom.
This square has two monuments of historical relevence. One is dedicated to General Jose de San Martin, the Father of the Nation (see the picture). The other one is dedicated "To the Fallen in the War of the Island of Malvinas and the Southern Atlantic".-
Es la plaza más bella de Buenos Aires, especialmente a principios de Noviembre, cuando los jacarandáes púrpura están en flor. Esta plaza tiene dos monumentos de relavancia histórica: uno está dedicado al Padre de la Nación, el General José de San Martín ( ver foto). El otro está dedicado a los caídos en Guerra de las Malvinas y del Atlántico Sur
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