Museum of the City or Museo de la Ciudad Buenos Aires
I always make sure that I squeeze in a visit to a museum when in Buenos Aires. I have often walked past the Museum of the City or Museo de la Ciudad in Calle Defensa but never gone inside. The last time it was closed but I was lucky to find it open on this day.
A very friendly old man greeted me at the entrance of the museum. The building is a huge mansion with an exquisite entrance hall and beautiful wooden stairs that leads to the first floor. I asked him if I could take photos and he agreed as long as I don`t touch anything.
As I was making my way through the museum I quickly realized why this one in particular is so important and called the “Museum of the City”. It managed to freeze time and to capture a piece of Buenos Aires that is now long gone. Artifacts and exhibits take you back in time and here you can get a glimpse of what life was like for people in the 17th and 18th centuries.
The museum has different rooms and each one has a specific theme and exhibits. The museum focuses a lot on fashion as it was at the time for both men and women. Display cabinets features hats,pipes,gloves,shoes and other items worn by famous people in the city. I really enjoyed looking at all the beautiful items on display.
One of the halls is dedicated to toys. It almost took my breath away when I saw the exhibits. Dolls,trains,wooden horses,cars,trucks and many precious items can be seen here. I recognized some items that I have seen before in a museum in South Africa. Back in the 17th and 18th centuries Buenos Aires was a melting pot of different cultures. I think that is why you will see such a variety of items at this museum.
The last room was a typical bedroom at the time with beautiful furniture. This room specifically intrigued me because a beautifully wooden carved crib was standing here. I asked the man about it and he told me that the origin is not known but they suspect that it was made in France. There are not many of them in the world in this one is in a very good condition.
Museums in Buenos Aires city
A little bit about the building. The building itself is a historical building. It is located in the Montserrat neighborhood or commonly known as San Telmo. Most settlers set up their communities in this neighborhood and majority of the historical buildings can be found here. It is interesting to note that 5 different buildings make up the “Museo de la Ciudad”. Let`s take a look at the other 4 buildings that form part of the City Museum.
- Cherubim House (Casa de los Querubines which is located in Calle Defensa 219)
- The Star Pharmacy
- Elorriaga Heights (Los Altos de Elorriaga, Calle Alsina 417/21 and Calle Defensa 185/187)
- The House of María Josefa Azcurra (La casa de María Josefa Azcurra, Calle Alsina 455/63)
I haven`t visited any of the above and will definitely include them on my next visit to Buenos Aires.
The museum was moved to its current location in 1973 after it was established in 1968. The preservation and protection of architectural heritage in Argentina is very important. So often it happens that property developers destroy older buildings and raise new modern apartments in its place. This happened a lot in the San Telmo area. Luckily laws are now in place to protect the heritage of Buenos Aires.
If you have enough time in Buenos Aires and you want to learn more about the history of the city then this is the museum to visit. Entrance is for free but they accept donations.
where to find the museum of the city in buenos aires?
Where: Calle Defensa 219/223. Alsina 412
Tel: 4331-9855 / 4442 – Fax: 4343-2123.
When: 1 March 2013