Plaza de Mayo Buenos Aires History
Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires is probably one of the most important landmarks in the city and was built in 1580, the same year as the city. It was the first central square and over time played a very important role in the history of Buenos Aires.
A couple of months ago I was in Buenos Aires and decided to walk to Plaza de Mayo really early one morning. I planned to be there before the city came alive. It was on this square that I took a couple of minutes to turn 360 degrees and to absorb what I see around me.
If you stand in the middle of the square you will see Casa Rosada or the Pink Palace as it is often called by foreigners. This is the official government building where the president is working from. It was also in this square where thousands of people cheered Evita Peron, where protestors were fired upon by police during the 2001 crisis and where people voice their opinions. No wonder there is such a strong political connection between Plaza de Mayo and the people of Buenos Aires.
Over the years this prominent square has heard many cries and cheers and seen many protests.
Plaza de Mayo buenos aires facts and landmarks
Plaza de Mayo is surrounded by many historical buildings dating back to the 18th century. To the left you will see the Banco de la Nacion (Central Bank), The Cathedral and the Cabildo, to name a few.
The square itself has several important statues and monuments. Here you will find a statue of General Belgrano on his horse holding a flag. He was a very important figure in the history of Argentina, fought and won many battles and one of the leaders of the Argentine Declaration of Independence. It is very symbolic that the Argentine flag is mounted on the same marble monument as General Belgrano.
Facing the financial district of the city and in the center of the plaza is a large white monument called the Piramide de Mayo. It was constructed in 1811 to celebrate the 1st anniversary of the May Revolution of 1810. The monument measures 18.76 meters and at the top of the monument is a allegory of liberty by the French sculptor, Joseph Dubourdieu.
On the far left side of the plaza white crosses have been planted. I am not sure what this signifies but it wasn’t there on my last visit to the city. If I can remember correctly somebody said it might have something to do with the soldiers that fought in the Falkland War, but I am not sure about the accuracy.
plaza de mayo buenos aires events
There are regular events in Plaza de Mayo Buenos Aires. Every Thursday at 3:30 pm the Madres de los Desaparecidos ((Mothers of the Disappeared) gather in Plaza de Mayo and they walk with pictures of their children who have disappeared during the Dictatorship of the 1970`s. It is very moving to watch them.
Plaze de Mayo is famous for marches and that was one of the reasons why I wanted to go there early. During the day there is so much movement, noise and distractions and you don`t have a quiet moment to appreciate it`s beauty. There are nice benches and walking paths where you can sit and relax for a while.
While I was sitting on one of the benches I also saw the other side of Buenos Aires. The one where beggars scratch in dustbins for food, where graffiti is written on historical buildings, where homeless people sleep in front of the church and where trash is lying around. By the time the financial district opens, the trash has been cleared but the beggars and graffiti remain.