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MP3 Audioguides - Buenos Aires City - English

 

Download the MP3 Audioguides of: Abasto, La Boca, Monserrat, Puerto Madero, Recoleta, Retiro, San Telmo, Palermo, Plaza de Mayo and more...

  • Abasto: The name "Abasto" does not appear on the city’s cadastral records. However, this area of Balvanera District is thus known by Porteños –Buenos Aires’ dwellers– since the beginning of the 20th century. This is because a Food Supply Market (known as Mercado de Abasto), operated here until 1984, turning the life of these farming suburbs into a bustling and colorful place. Immigrants of different origins were welcomed by this district, where small theatres, circuses, inns and bars were built. Some of the artists that shaped the modern music of this city lived in the surroundings of the Market, such as Aníbal Troilo, Osvaldo Pugliese,and the most famous tango icon, Carlos Gardel.

 

  • La Boca: The history of La Boca District began with the arrival of the first Spanish commander don Pedro de Mendoza in 1536. Some theories, such as that supported by historian Paul Groussac, state that the first Fortress that later on gave rise to the city was settled in the area surrounding the river known since then as the Riachuelo (small river). Although there is no evidence to prove this, Pedro de Mendoza and his lieutenants did in fact walk around this marshy area full of willows and straws. A few years later, that settlement was abandoned. In 1580, when don Juan de Garay founded the city, he established the port by the Riachuelo, this being the only safe place on the coast to shelter ships. These low-lands were usually flooded and, from time to time, lashed by the southeast wind, typical of this southern region. For a long time, La Boca –the Spanish word for "mouth" in reference to the mouth of the Riachuelo– was a poor area full of humble dwellings and grocery stores. In the mid-19th century, due to the increase in the number of vessels coming along, shipyards, silos, salteries, tanneries, wool and carbon warehouses began to cluster around the port, and soon a maritime district developed. A good deal of immigrants chose this neighborhood to settle down, owing to work opportunities offered by the port. They built their houses with lumber and zinc sheets, mounted on piles to face the floods of the Riachuelo, and asked for paint leftovers at shipyards to color their walls. Bohemians, painters, sculptors, musicians and singers were also attracted by this lively neighborhood immortalized by Benito Quinquela Martín’s palette. 

 

  • Monserrat: Monserrat is the most ancient district in Buenos Aires: it was here that the first Spanish settlers established in 1580. Plaza de Mayo, located at this neighborhood, was the earliest public square of the city, and site of many of the major events in the history of Argentina, such as the 1810 May Revolution, or the marches held by the Mothers of Plaza de Mayo during the 1976-1982 military dictatorship. The district took its name in 1769, after the establishment of the Parish of Nuestra Señora de Monserrat (Our Lady of Monserrat). Nowadays it encloses public buildings, banks, office buildings, museums and the seat of both the Argentine and the Buenos Aires Governments.

 

  • Puerto Madero: By the end of the 19th century, the authorities decided to provide the city with adequate port facilities. This sparked off a debate in society about two projects: one submitted by engineer Luis A. Huergo and the other, by Eduardo Madero. The latterÂ’s proposal, which planned the location of the port in the area surrounding Plaza de Mayo, was passed by the Argentine Congress in 1882. The facilities were eventually inaugurated in 1897. Later on, at the turn of the 20th century, the red brick warehouses, which have become the landmark of this District, were built. Then, by 1916, Costanera Avenue, one of the favorite promenades of the city dwellers, was opened, together with the Municipal Riverside Resort. Owing to the deterioration of the facilities, between 1911 and 1930 Puerto Nuevo (New Port) was built to replace that designed by Madero, which was abandoned for more than five decades. In 1989 the Government decided to rescue the old port area from oblivion and integrate the city with the River. The project, led by Corporación Antiguo Puerto Madero –a mixed corporation formed by both the National and city governments– meant the retrieval of 170 hectares for dwellings and public spaces. This District, whose streets pay homage to outstanding women in Argentine history, soon became an exclusive residential, gastronomic and business center in the city.

 

  • Recoleta: When don Juan de Garay founded Buenos Aires in 1580, he distributed the land among the members of his expedition. The area which is included in current Recoleta District was granted to Rodrigo Ortiz de Zárate. This district is named after the Convent and Church settled here by the secluded friars at the turn of the 18th century. Religious orders used to build their convents away from the town center –by then limited to the surroundings of Plaza de Mayo– for their retreats and contemplation practices. By the end of that century, large farms and estates, together with wastelands, began to be divided and settled. The only way joining this area with the center of the town was a long road, present-day Quintana Avenue. By 1830 Recoleta District underwent significant urban development changes, such as the opening of Callao Avenue. After frequent cholera outbreaks, together with the epidemic of yellow fever in 1871, the wealthier families from the south of the town moved northwards, thus settling the area. The final consolidation of the district was attributed to the first major of Buenos Aires, don Torcuato de Alvear. From then on, huge stately palaces were built, surrounded by gardens resembling those in Europe, especially in France. Both architects and workers were generally foreigners, and the building materials were brought from overseas. Today, Recoleta District stands out for the quality of its architecture, the aristocratic character of its residences and palaces, and its gorgeous squares. The Church, the Cemetery, and the present Cultural Center constitute a set of noteworthy historical buildings. A series of inviting amusement spots attract visitors combining music, food and leisure. The parks and squares, profuse in their vegetation and old trees, hold a wide range of activities, from art, recreation and concerts to fairs and exhibitions.

 

  • Retiro: In its origins, this part of town was far from the city’s layout. By late 17th century, Governor of Buenos Aires Agustín de Robles built here a luxurious country house which he named El Retiro (The Retreat), thus setting a starting point for the urban gradual development of this neighborhood. In 1801, a bullfighting plaza with capacity of an audience of 10,000 people was built in the area. In 1819, however, this sort of entertainment was prohibited in the city, but throughout its life the plaza served as headquarters for the English invaders in 1807, and as stable for the horses of the Cavalry Grenadier Regiment created by General San Martín in 1812. Dubbed Campo de la Gloria (Field of Glory) after the defeat of the English, and Campo de Marte (Field of Mars) owing to the military exercises that took place on these lands, the district, witness of major events in the history of Buenos Aires, gradually gained significance. At the end of the 19th century, a yellow fever epidemic devastated the city, and high-society families that resided south of Plaza de Mayo began moving to this area in search of a healthier environment. At present, Retiro District is one of the most elegant neighborhoods in Buenos Aires. With its wide parks, stately residences, luxury hotels and tall office buildings, it comprises a mosaic where the city’s present and past merge.

 

  • San Telmo: San Telmo is one of the most ancient and traditional districts in Buenos Aires. Part of the old town, it has maintained much of its architectural heritage. Its cobblestone streets, low buildings, and courtyards with wells, convey the image of a place stopped-intime. Also noteworthy are the cafés, restaurants, tanguerías (tango bars) and, most especially, the wide range of antique shops. At the heart of San Telmo lies Plaza Dorrego, the second earliest square in Buenos Aires, after the legendary Plaza de Mayo. On Sundays, it becomes the setting of the most important open-air antique fair in the city. Pedro González Telmo, the patron saint of sailors, was a Dominican friar who lived in Spain in the 13th century and preached to sailors and fishermen coming from Galicia and Portugal. In the 17th century, much of the life of this district revolved around the port, and thus San Pedro González Telmo was chosen as patron saint.

 

  • Palermo  

 

  • Palermo Viejo 

 

  • Plaza de Mayo 

 

  • Av. Corrientes 
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