20 reasons to love Buenos Aires 2018: No.14 – seeing the sights!
As the countdown to the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) Buenos Aires 2018 continues, we are highlighting 20 reasons to get excited ahead of the 3rd Summer YOG.
With its wide boulevards, elegant architecture and rich European heritage, Buenos Aires is often called the “Paris of South America”, and just like its French cousin, it boasts plenty of must-see sights…
Obelisco de Buenos Aires
Soaring 71 metres above the Plaza de la República, the Obelisco de Buenos Aires is one of the city’s most iconic sights. This much-loved attraction was built in 1936 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the founding of the city, and it remains the place to be when porteños have something to celebrate. This October, that will include the Opening Ceremony of Buenos Aires 2018!
Dominating the Plaza de las Naciones Unidas, this unique moving sculpture was erected in 2002 as a “homage to flowers”. Designed by Argentine architect Eduardo Catalano, the 20-metre-tall sculpture features six steel petals that open at 8am each morning before closing again at sunset, when the centre of the sculpture emanates a spectacular red glow.
Buenos Aires is home to more than 300 theatres, but none is more famous than the internationally acclaimed Teatro Colón. First opened in 1908, the Teatro Colón boasts almost 2,500 seats – plus standing room for 1,000 people – and was the world’s largest opera house until the completion of the Sydney Opera House in 1973. Widely regarded as one of the best opera houses in the world thanks to its renowned acoustics and architecture, it has since played host to some of the most important conductors, singers and dancers of the 20th century, including Igor Stravinsky, Herbert von Karajan, Daniel Barenboim, Maria Callas, Luciano Pavarotti, Plácido Domingo, Rudolf Nureyev, Julio Bocca and Maximiliano Guerra.
A cemetery may not be everyone’s idea of a must-see attraction, but the Cementerio de la Recoleta is not your average cemetery. First opened in 1822, this eerily beautiful and tranquil “city of the dead” is now home to over 6,400 statues, sarcophagi, coffins and crypts that commemorate some of Argentina’s most celebrated citizens, including presidents, military heroes and influential politicians. Its most famous resident is undoubtedly Eva Perón – the First Lady of Argentina from 1946 until her death in 1952 – whose mausoleum is usually blanketed in flowers from the many visitors who come to pay their respects.
The iconic Estadio Alberto J. Armando – commonly known as la Bombonera (“the chocolate box”) due to its unique shape – is one of the most famous football stadiums in the world. The home ground of Boca Juniors opened in 1940 and since then has built a reputation as one of the loudest and most raucous venues in sport. The atmosphere usually reaches fever pitch during the renowned superclásico between Boca and River Plate.
Occupying seven hectares, the city’s botanical gardens are home to some 6,000 tree and plant species, as well as a botanical library, Roman, French and oriental gardens, a herbarium, and five greenhouses. There’s also a large collection of sculptures and an English-style house used to host temporary art exhibitions and workshops, all of which provide a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of Buenos Aires.