Barrio Monserrat

Barrio Monserrat is the oldest neighborhood in Buenos Aires, located to the south of Avenida de Mayo. I started exploring the neighborhood at Iglesia de San Ignacio de Loyola, built in 1675. It’s one of the oldest churches in the city. Next to it is the Colegio Nacional de Buenos Aires. It’s one of Argentina’s most prestigious high schools.

San Ignacio de Loyola in Buenos Aires, Argentina

San Ignacio de Loyola

Continue east and you will find Calle Defensa. During the week it isn’t very special, but on Sundays, there is a craft market that runs several blocks, all the way from Plaza de Mayo to Plaza Dorrego in San Telmo. You can literally spend a half day walking through the market. Many classic porteño souvenirs are for sale, including plaques and posters with fileteado script, which originated in Buenos Aires in the late 19th century.

Calle Defensa on a Sunday in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Calle Defensa on a Sunday

Fileteado on Calle Defensa in Barrio Monserrat, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Fileteado on Calle Defensa

Along Calle Defensa, you can find the Farmacia de la Estrella building. This is the oldest pharmacy in town, founded in 1834 and built in 1885. The building is now the Museo de La Ciudad since 1969. Across the street from the Farmacia de la Estrella is the Basílica de San Francisco, built in 1731.

Farmacia de la Estrella in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Farmacia de la Estrella

Basílica de San Francisco in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Basílica de San Francisco

A block further south of Calle Defensa and to the east is the Museo Etnográfico Juan B. Ambrosetti. It features exhibits on several indigenous cultures of Argentina and South America. I didn’t have a chance to visit because it was closed the day I walked by.

Museo Etnográfico Juan B. Ambrosetti in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Museo Etnográfico Juan B. Ambrosetti

Another block south on Calle Defensa, at the corner of Avenida Belgrano, is one of the more historic churches and convents in Buenos Aires, Basílica Nuestra Señora del Rosario y Convento de Santo Domingo. Construction started in 1751 and was completed about 100 years later. Manuel Belgrano, designer of the Argentinian flag, is buried in a mausoleum in front.

Nuestra Señora del Rosario in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Nuestra Señora del Rosario

Tomb of Manuel Belgrano in Barrio Monserrat, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Tomb of Manuel Belgrano

A few blocks to the west on Avenida Belgrano is Edificio Otto Wulff. It’s a strange building built in 1912 in the Jugendstil architecture (German Art Nouveau) by Danish architect Morten F. Rönnow.

Edificio Otto Wulf in Barrio Monserrat, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Edificio Otto Wulf

Edificio Otto Wulff in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Edificio Otto Wulff

At the very east end of Avenida Belgrano is a nice park with tall trees, Plaza General Agustín Pedro Justo. The customs building, or Aduana Central, sits on one end of the park. It was built in 1910.

Plaza General Agustín Pedro Justo in Barrio Monserrat, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Plaza General Agustín Pedro Justo

Plaza General Agustín Pedro Justo in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Plaza General Agustín Pedro Justo

Aduana Central in Barrio Monserrat, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Aduana Central

Just north of the park is the massive Edificio Libertador. It’s Argentina’s Minstry of Defense and was built in 1938. There is a tank and monument in front.

Edificio Libertador in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Edificio Libertador

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