This tour was another free walking tour through http://www.buenosairesfreewalks.com/.
This one begins in the morning at the Colon Theatre, named after Christopher Columbus. It had many different architects as they kept dying…One notices that the style on the first level is different than that of the second, which is different that that of the third.
Nearby is the Supreme Court of Argentina. Its judges have lifelong terms as long as they can prove they are healthy, which include a 96 year old.
The justice system is very slow here, as a result there is a 2 for 1 law regarding sentences. Every year you spend in jail without a sentence, counts as two off your eventual sentence due to the slowness.
Just in front of the court is a statue of the person who killed the Governor of Buenos Aires whose family lived only a block away. The family stopped opening the doors to that side of their courtyard as a result.
- Buenos Aires is full of gumtrees. They are BIG and beautiful, especially as they grow out and not up.
- Buenos Aires has the 6th largest Jewish community outside of Israel. At the oldest temple in the city, there is a security guard station and a barrier for car bombs. The first terrorist attack in BA was on the Embassy of Israel in the 1990s. It is now a memorial with a tree planted for each person killed.
- The main street in BA is 9 de Julio de 1816, indicating when BA gained independence.
- The Palacio San Martin is where all of the heads of state are welcomed. For instance, President Obama fairly recently. It is a ceremonial building only, with paperwork handled next door.
- The former palaces of politicians and important people are now embassies. Apparently the U.S. has one but I didn’t feel like walking around the entire massive compound/fortress to find it.
- The French Embassy/palace is where 9 de Julio de 1816 Avenue splits/ends. It was going to be incorporated in the avenue as part of eminent domain but the owner sold it to the French, thus giving it diplomatic immunity as it was now an extension of French land.
- The Four Seasons has a palace as part of their hotel. The bottom is a club for its top customers and the top is a $25,000 per night suite where stars have stayed, including Madonna (who played Eva Peron in the movie). This palace used to have a conservative owner who disliked artists as they were considered the “prostitutes of society.” Now artists regularly stay there.
- In order for the Spanish colonies in South America to get independence, all had to band together and achieve it because they were all surrounded by each other and would be suppressed by each other if there was an uprising.
- Jose de San Martin is the only person in Argentine history to be liked by all Argentinians.
- Take a close look at this photo. Do you notice anything off?
- The whole facade is painted! Those aren’t actually windows.
- A dog park in BA!
- Art deco building in BA.
- The Recoleta neighborhood has the highest income per capita in the city. It also used to be in the country side.
- The tour ends at the Recoleta Cemetery which I will cover in a separate post.