Fun Facts about Plaza de Mayo

It’s the oldest plaza in the city

But it hasn’t always been this big, nor had that name. In 1580, the founder of the city, Juan de Garay, created a plaza called Plaza Mayor in the part of town that today is limited by Rivadavia Ave., Hipólito Yrigoyen St., Defensa St, y Bolívar St. Towards the west, in what today is Rivadavia Ave., Yrigoyen St., Defensa St. and Balcarce Stt, there was a plot of barren land that in time would be known as Plaza de Armas.

Both plazas were unified in 1884, creating the 2-hectare plaza we know today. Its name honours the Argentinean Revolution for Independence of 1810.

La Recova of Buenos Aires

Between the first two plazas there used to be a building called La Recova built in 1804. It consisted of two big structures, with 11 arches each, united in the middle by a grand arch which connected both plazas. This building was the 1st market of the city. Here people came to buy shoes, clothes, meat and vegetables. It was demolished in 1884 to create the Plaza de Mayo.

The Pirámide de Mayo

Built in 1811, it is the first patriotic monument of the city. It celebrates the first anniversary of the May Revolution. But the monument we see today is not the original. The original monument is hidden inside the structure we see today. By 1856, the pyramid was very neglected, so the artist Prilidiano Pueyrredon restored it. He built a new pyramid around it and added a small Statue of Liberty that wears Phrygian cap in representation of the Argentinean Republic.

piramide de mayo

 

The Hollow of the Souls

It was believed that in today’s corner of Reconquista St and Rivadavia Ave. there used to be a place where the devil and the witches gathered to perform rituals. It was an area with unfinished buildings where the homeless laid to sleep. As the first Colon Theatre as built, the hollow disappeared.

Public executions

The western part of the plaza was the place for public executions. Thieves were hanged or shot in front of the people. Their bodies were left hanging for a couple of hours.

Bullfights

In 1609 the first bullfight was organized on what used to be Plaza Mayor. It took two centuries to finally forbid them. Until then, the balconies of the buildings around the plaza were rented as theatre boxes, while the authorities and the most important people watched the bullfight from the balcony of the Cabildo (the house of government). These bullfights were followed by different performances with actors, dwarfs and masks.

The Fort

In the area where today we find the Pink House, there used to be a stone fortification built in 1598 to keep European pirates away. Although the fort was demolished in 1882, you can see find some of its walls in the Pink House Museum.

 

Plaza de Mayo is one of the highlights of our Free Walking Tour City Center!

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Caminito is the most famous pedestrian street in Buenos Aires. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city due to its colorful houses and its deep historical and cultural significance.

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Important things to know for your trip to Buenos Aires

  1. BRING CASH

In Argentina, cash is king. Given the several financial problems in the last decades, Argentinians make most of their daily transactions in cash. Many places don’t take credit cards and unfortunately there are very high commissions for taking cash out of the ATM. This is quite annoying for travellers visiting our country who are usually used to pay everything with credit card or just take cash out of the ATM.  Many places take credit cards, such as hotels or big stores obviously, but you have to know that many restaurants, small shops or services such as taxis, vendors, etc. won’t have a system for credit card payments.

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How to behave like a local in Buenos Aires

  1. INFORMALITY IS THE RULE.

Argentines are very open people and like chatting a lot. It is normal to engage in conversation when buying something, taking a cab or any situation. It is common for people that you just met to tell you things about their family, friends or are willing to hear about your feelings, thoughts or whatever you want to share with them. While in some countries this can be rude, in Argentina it is very normal. Just take it easy and know it is not mandatory to share back!

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What is a Free Tour

The Walking Tour offered in Buenos Aires was originated in Europe precisely in Berlin, Germany. It started when a tourist tired of high prices in tours, decided to provide quality tours for everyone, letting them decide the price. The modality proposes a tour under the concept of paying what one is willing to do, that is to say, tip-based.

free tourThe tip that the tourist leaves is influenced by several factors, not only varies according to the quality of the tour received, which implies a good guide, but also fits to everyone’s pocket. In this Tours participate people from high class to backpackers, who seek to enjoy the city spending the minimum necessary.

This type of tours, quickly expanded throughout the world to land in Buenos Aires in 2013.

 

Buenos Aires Free Walking Toursfree tour

The Walking Tours in Buenos Aires are provided by the company Buenos Aires Free Walks, the most popular in Latin America. We invite you to enjoy it, regardless of your budget. The company provides 2 tours per day, every day of the year except for Christmas and New Year, even if it rains! Check the walking tours!

 

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Global Free Tours is a website that is developing a Free Tours network in all cities of the world. It includes the best Tours of each city, developed by local entrepreneurs and not multinationals.

 

 

 

Religions of Buenos Aires

In the previous article we talked about the Best Catholic Churches that can be found in the City of Buenos Aires, since more than 90% of Argentina’s population is Catholic, it is possible to see many basilicas and imposing churches built since colonial times.

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Best Churches of Buenos Aires

As is well known the Americas has been explored by several European countries, including Spain and Portugal. They conquered indigenous lands and inculcated or imposed, depends on the perspective, their culture and religion. Therefore it is possible to find that the dominant religion in the continent is Christianity. Most of the people of the different countries are Catholic.

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Cafes in Buenos Aires

With just one day in Buenos Aires you are going to notice a big amount of cafes within the city. Is undeniable to say that the locals love to stop at any time of the day for coffee, whether to read the newspaper, start the morning or have a chat with some friend, relative or acquaintance.

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What to do in Buenos Aires?

There are plenty of things to do in Buenos Aires.  As it is the second largest city in South America after Sao Paulo, Brazil, it is possible to find many activities within the city of every kind.

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China Town – Barrio Chino

Thanks to the massive immigration experienced by Argentina, in Buenos Aires is possible to appreciate different cultures. Taking our free city tours you will notice the architectural contrast of Buenos Aires. We find mainly French style, but also Spanish, Greek, Italian, Victorian, romantic, Byzantine, etc.

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