Buenos Aires is Argentina’s biggest, cosmopolitan, capital city. At its center is the Plaza de Mayo, lined with stately 19th-century buildings including Casa Rosada, the iconic balconied presidential palace. First founded in 1536 and then again in 1580 under new leadership, Buenos Aires has thrived in the even under the most constricting and trying circumstances. The name Buenos Aires means "fair winds" in Spanish, the dominant language of Argentina. After almost 300 years of European meddling and oppression, the city led the battle for Argentine independence. The city of Buenos Aires is truly the soul of Argentina.
In 1536 Buenos Aires was founded under the name "Nuestra Señora Santa María del Buen Aire" (Our Lady St. Mary of the Good Air) by Spaniard Pedro de Mendoza. However, the settlement was shortly overrun by Indians and was abandoned- not a good start. 44 years later, Juan de Garay led another expedition to settle Buenos Aires, named it "Ciudad de Trinidad" (City of Trinidad), and began to rebuild the settlement.
While having a good port, the city's trade was restricted by the Spanish restrictions on their American colonies, where only certain ports could be used for trade. It would take roughly 2 years to complete any transaction to or from Buenos Aires. Instead of suffering from neglect, the people of Buenos Aires thrived, developing their own culture and practices for centuries.
1806 marked the beginning of a successful rebellion against the city's foreign oppressors and of Argentine nationalism. 4 years later Buenos Aires alone declared independence from Spain, attempting to lead the rest of the Americas from oppression. In 1816 the rest of Argentina pledged allegiance to Buenos Aires and it was named the capital of the new state.
ERNESTO "CHE" GUEVARA
Born June 14th, 1928, Ernesto Guevara (often known simply as "Che") is now known as an Argentine Marxist revolutionary, physician, author, guerrilla leader, diplomat, and military theorist. A major figure of the Cuban Revolution, his stylized visage has become a ubiquitous countercultural symbol of rebellion and global insignia in popular culture.
While best known for his involvement in the Cuban Revolution and the Castro regime, Che began his life as an aspiring medical student crossing the continent to tend to the sick and weary. However, his plans were quick to change once he saw the poverty, starvation, and disease plagued upon Latin America thanks to the cruelty of American corporations such as United Fruit Company.
His nickname, Che, is actually an homage to his being from Argentina as it is a unique linguistic term meaning "dude" used only there. While his efforts are questioned by many today, he will always stand as a hero to the people of Buenos Aires and Argentina as a whole, fighting against their oppressors.
CONTEMPORARY ARGENTINE CULTURE
Buenos Aires has been made famous by many things- perhaps the foremost being its creation and popularization of tango. The bohemian attitude went forth to birthing these intoxicating moves can still be felt in these neighborhoods, where visitors can enjoy everything from low-key social “milongas” to professional choreographed shows.
Visitors can also appreciate the quality of the steaks at traditional “parrillas” (barbecue grill restaurants), as well as corner vendors selling tasty empanadas and ice cream parlors said to rival classic Italian gelato! After some good food and dancing you can find yourself watching the world renowned superclásico football derby or perhaps at the more refined Teatro Colón, a grand opera house with nearly 2,500 seats. If you're one for the finer arts another appreciable hotspot is the modern MALBA museum, displaying Latin American art.
The city offers such a wide array of culturally significant attractions for visitors and locals alike. Truly the spirt of Argentina flows through Buenos Aires, with its grand displays and prowess. No other city in the world can be said to waft its culture through the streets such as Buenos Aires; the glittering gem of Argentina.