A tour of the iconic “Avenida de Mayo” – Part 2

Hotel Castelar: (Av. de Mayo 1152, C1084, CABA)

A hotel famous for it’s illustrious guests, it was here that the Andalusian writer Federico Garcia Lorca lived for six months after being invited to Buenos Aires by actress Lola Membrives and her husband. In 1933 Lorca had the American premiere of his play Bodas de sangre or Blood Wedding in English, which he directed and had a ran for over 150 showings. It was whilst in Buenos Aires that Lorca met and befriended other famous artists such as Pablo Neruda

Lorca had this to say about Buenos Aires: 

“Buenos Aires is a wonderful city. It’s what I would like Spain to be: cosmopolitan, full of friends, unprejudiced, busy, overflowing with life and culture. Whilst in Madrid they whistle   and kick when they don’t understand a play, in Buenos Aires they thank you for the difficulty, they enjoy challenging themselves. They are a wonderful audience. From London, from Paris and from New York I left almost delighted in the departure, but I shall suffer a great deal when I leave Buenos Aires.”

 

castelar

Photo Credit: turismo.buenosaires.gob.ar

 

Café Iberia: (Av. de Mayo 1196, C1084, CABA)

Café Iberia, formerly known as La Toja, was a historically relevant meeting point for the members of the Civic Union. During the Spanish civil war, it was a favorite of republican supporters, many of whom would engage in such violent quarrels with the francoists sitting in the Cafe Español opposite them, that chairs would be thrown across Av. De Mayo with many injured. 

 

Teatro Avenida: (Av. de Mayo 1222, C1084, CABA)

Previously called Teatro de la Avenida, this theatre opened it’s doors in 1908. Historically home to many cultural events from the Spanish community in Argentina, it was here that Federico Garcia Lorca premiered Bodas de sangre in 1933. In 1945, nine years after his murder, La Casa de Bernarda Alba (The House of Bernarda Alba), Lorca’s final play, had it’s world premiere at the Teatro Avenida. 

After being damaged by fire in 1978, the theatre was rebuilt and once again opened it’s doors in 1994. 

teatro_avenida_1200_0.jpg

Photo Credit: turismo.buenosaires.gob.ar

 

Palacio Barolo: (Av. de Mayo 1370, C1084, CABA)

Arguably the most well known building in the avenue, the Palacio Barolo was designed by Italian architect Mario Palanti in a neogothic romantic style. At the start of the XX century, fearing the total destruction of Italy, Luis Barolo together with Mario Palenti planned a building that could be home to the remains of Dante where that to become a necessity. Boasting a hight of 108 meters it once was the tallest building in America, an achievement surpassed in 1928 by the Palacio Salvo in Montevideo and latter, in 1931, by the Empire State Building.

Palacio Barolo is probably best known for it’s design inspired by Dante’s Divine Comedy: a little over 100 meters of hight (one meter for each canto), 22 floors (the number of stanzas), divided into three sections. The ground floor and the basement representing “hell”, floors 1 to 14 representing the “purgatory” and floors 15 to 22 representing “heaven”. A star can be found in floor of the entrance hall which was meant to be the final resting place of Dante Alighieri, it points towards the spire which aligns with the Southern Cross constellation, in a way elevating his soul. 

Nowadays people can book guided tours of the building as well as enjoying a drink in its terrace alongside its lighted beacon, representing the nine choirs of angels.

For guided tours: https://palaciobarolotours.com.ar/en/home/

barolo

Photo Credit: turismo.buenosaires.gob.ar

 

Hotel Majestic: (Av. de Mayo 1317, C1084, CABA)

The Majestic opened it’s doors in 1910 and it’s best known for it’s eclectic design. Originally designed by architects Federico Collivadino and Ítalo Benedetti, this building combines the art nouveau and, primarily, the art decó styes. Today it’s home to the Federal Administration of Public Income (AFIP). 

 

Diario Crítica: (Av. de Mayo 1333, C1084, CABA)

Formerly home to Diario Crítica, a traditionally sensationalist newspaper, and designed by Hungarian architects Gyorgy and András Kálnay, this building is characteristic for being the only one to follow exclusively an art decó style in the whole avenue. Particularly notable in the buildings facade are the stained glass windows and the four statues guarding what once was Natalio Botana’s office. 

 

Palacio del Congreso de la Nación Argentina: (Av. Rivadavia 1864, C1033AAV, CABA)

This tour culminates, as does the avenue, in between the Mariano Moreno, where a replica of Rodin’s The Thinker can be found, and Lorea squares. With an owe inspiring view of the Congress Palace and it’s dome, the biggest in Buenos Aires, this neoclassiacal building was initiated by Vittorio Meano, also involved in the Colon Theatre construction, and finished by Jules Dormal after Meano’s murded at the hands of his former butler. 

 

congreso

Photo Credit: turismo.buenosaires.gob.ar

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