Buenos Aires Metropolitan Cathedral.
Close to Plaza de Mayo and Casa Rosada is the beautiful Metropolitan Cathedral. It is the main Catholic Church in Buenos Aires and one of the most beautiful churches in Argentina. I always make a point to visit the Cathedral when I am in the city. I get time to escape the busy city life and be quiet for a few minutes.
Architecture and design of the Metropolitan Cathedral.
From the outside the Cathedral doesn`t look like a Cathedral at all. Initially I thought it was a Government building or a Bank. It has 12 huge columns that represent the 12 Apostles. You enter the Cathedral through beautiful wooden doors and the cool interior is so refreshing after you have been outside in the sun. The Church is a mixture of different architectural styles from Rococo to Classical to Neoclassical but as a whole it looks unified and pleasant to the eye.
Must see inside the Metropolitan Cathedral.
- The Mausoleum of General San Martin.
- The Main Altar.
- Changing of the guards.
- Free entrance.
- Tombs of famous Argentines.
The main altar.
I normally take a couple of minutes to stand at the back, where I have a breathtaking view of the inside of the Cathedral. The floor is exquisite! From there I make my way to the front and to the massive and impressive altar. Look up and you will see one of the many domes and high windows. The windows allow enough light to cast a soft light in the Cathedral.
The mausoleum of General San Martin.
Next stop inside the Cathedral is the mausoleum or resting place of General San Martin. He was the liberator of Argentina and freed the country and it`s people from Spanish oppression. To this day he is considered a National Hero. His mausoleum is impressive. It is worthwhile to wait and see the changing of the guards.
San Martin died in France but in 1880 his remains were brought back to Argentina. It was placed in the black sarcophagus that can be seen inside the Metropolitan Cathedral. He is surrounded by 3 life-size female figures representing the 3 countries he freed: Argentina, Chile and Peru.
The remains of two other great men are also resting here: Generals Juan Gregorio de las Heras and Tomás Guido. The Unknown Soldier of the Independence’s tomb is also here.
Tombs of famous Argentines.
Behind the main altar and below the Cathedral is a small chapel. Here you can see tombs of other famous Argentines.
The Cathedral is well worth a visit when in Buenos Aires. For a moment you forget that you are in Argentina and it feels like you have stepped into Europe.
You are free to take photos inside the Cathedral and even of the guards in front of the mausoleum of General San Martin. Be respectful when mass is taking place.