Plaza San Martín (Buenos Aires)

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Bird's-eye view of Plaza San Martin in 2018. Plaza San Martin, Buenos Aires (27146002798).jpg
Bird's-eye view of Plaza San Martín in 2018.

Plaza San Martín (English: San Martín Square) is a park located in the Retiro neighbourhood of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Situated at the northern end of pedestrianized Florida Street, the park is bounded by Libertador Ave. (N), Maipú St. (W), Santa Fe Avenue (S), and Leandro Alem Av. (E). Its coordinates are 34°35′42″S58°22′32″W / 34.59500°S 58.37556°W / -34.59500; -58.37556 .

English language West Germanic language

English is a West Germanic language that was first spoken in early medieval England and eventually became a global lingua franca. It is named after the Angles, one of the Germanic tribes that migrated to the area of Great Britain that later took their name, as England. Both names derive from Anglia, a peninsula in the Baltic Sea. The language is closely related to Frisian and Low Saxon, and its vocabulary has been significantly influenced by other Germanic languages, particularly Norse, and to a greater extent by Latin and French.

Retiro, Buenos Aires Barrio in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Retiro is a barrio (district) in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Located in the northeast end of the city, Retiro is bordered on the south by the Puerto Madero and San Nicolás barrios, and on the west by the Recoleta barrio.

Buenos Aires Place in Argentina

Buenos Aires is the capital and largest city of Argentina. The city is located on the western shore of the estuary of the Río de la Plata, on the South American continent's southeastern coast. "Buenos Aires" can be translated as "fair winds" or "good airs", but the former was the meaning intended by the founders in the 16th century, by the use of the original name "Real de Nuestra Señora Santa María del Buen Ayre". The Greater Buenos Aires conurbation, which also includes several Buenos Aires Province districts, constitutes the fourth-most populous metropolitan area in the Americas, with a population of around 15.6 million.



Plaza San Martin's great Ombu tree Gomero Ficus elastica, Plaza San Martin.jpg
Plaza San Martín's great Ombú tree

A succession of colonial Spanish governors had their official residences built on what today is the plaza and, in 1713, the land was sold to the British South Sea Company. The South Sea Company operated their slave trade out of the former governor's residence and a fort and bullring were later built nearby. The land was the site of Gen. John Whitelocke's 1807 defeat upon Britain's second attempt to conquer Buenos Aires, whereby the area became known as the "Field of Glory". The Revolution of 1810 brought an autonomous government to Buenos Aires, which entrusted the Mounted Grenadiers to José de San Martín and allowed him to establish his main barracks at the plaza. An 1813 resolution abolished the slave trade in the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata and the slave quarters were shuttered. Following his decisive military victories, Gen. San Martín was forced into exile in 1824 for political reasons; but a reappraisal of his place in history led to his becoming nearly eponymous in Argentina after his death in 1850. Accordingly, French sculptor Louis-Joseph Daumas was commissioned in 1862 to create an equestrian statue of the hero of the Wars for Independence and the square was renamed in his honor in 1878, upon the hundredth anniversary of his birth.

Spanish Empire world empire from the 16th to the 19th century

The Spanish Empire, historically known as the Hispanic Monarchy and as the Catholic Monarchy, was one of the largest empires in history. From the late 15th century to the early 19th, Spain controlled a huge overseas territory in the New World and the Asian archipelago of the Philippines, what they called "The Indies". It also included territories in Europe, Africa and Oceania. The Spanish Empire has been described as the first global empire in history, a description also given to the Portuguese Empire. It was one of the world's most powerful empires during the 16th and first half of the 17th centuries, reaching its maximum extension in the 18th century. The Spanish Empire was the first empire to be called "the empire on which the sun never sets".

British Empire States and dominions ruled by the United Kingdom

The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom and its predecessor states. It originated with the overseas possessions and trading posts established by England between the late 16th and early 18th centuries. At its height, it was the largest empire in history and, for over a century, was the foremost global power. By 1913, the British Empire held sway over 412 million people, 23% of the world population at the time, and by 1920, it covered 35,500,000 km2 (13,700,000 sq mi), 24% of the Earth's total land area. As a result, its political, legal, linguistic and cultural legacy is widespread. At the peak of its power, the phrase "the empire on which the sun never sets" was often used to describe the British Empire, because its expanse around the globe meant that the sun was always shining on at least one of its territories.

South Sea Company British joint-stock company founded in 1711

The South Sea Company was a British joint-stock company founded in 1711, created as a public-private partnership to consolidate and reduce the cost of national debt. The company was also granted a monopoly to trade with South America and nearby islands, hence its name. When the company was created, Britain was involved in the War of the Spanish Succession. Spain and Portugal controlled most of South America. There was no realistic prospect that trade would take place, and the company never realised any significant profit from its monopoly. Company stock rose greatly in value as it expanded its operations dealing in government debt, peaking in 1720 before collapsing to little above its original flotation price; the economic bubble became known as the South Sea Bubble.

View of Plaza San Martin in 1920, when the Argentine Pavilion (left) still graced the park as an art museum Plaza San Martin y Pabellon Argentino (ca. 1920).jpg
View of Plaza San Martín in 1920, when the Argentine Pavilion (left) still graced the park as an art museum
Monument to Jose de San Martin, the plaza namesake. Monumento SanMartin BA.jpg
Monument to José de San Martín, the plaza namesake.
Monumento a los caidos en Malvinas (Monument for the fallen in the Falklands War) is located in Plaza San Martin Monumento Malvinas Plaza San Martin I.jpg
Monumento a los caídos en Malvinas (Monument for the fallen in the Falklands War) is located in Plaza San Martin

Following remodeling works by British architect Edward Taylor and Argentine architect José Canale, the fort, bullring and other buildings were demolished in 1883 by order of Mayor Torcuato de Alvear, converting the area into a plaza. Numerous Ombú, Linden and Floss Silk trees were planted. The same administration also shaped the Plaza de Mayo, nearby and in 1889 French urbanist Charles Thays was commissioned to give the plaza its approximate current form (among numerous other designs he left Argentina over the next twenty years). The plaza became the preferred surroundings for some of Argentina's wealthiest landowners around 1900. Three architecturally significant mansions facing the plaza surviving today were the Beaux Arts San Martín Palace (today the ceremonial annex of the Foreign Ministry), the Second Empire Paz Palace (today the Military Officers' Association) and the Neogothic Haedo Palace (today the offices of the National Parks Administration).

Torcuato de Alvear Mayor of Buenos Aires

Torcuato de Alvear y Saenz de la Quintanilla was a 19th-century Argentine conservative politician. He was the son of soldier and statesman Carlos María de Alvear and father of Marcelo Torcuato de Alvear, president of Argentina from 1922 to 1928. He was also a Freemason.

<i>Tilia</i> genus of plants

Tilia is a genus of about 30 species of trees or bushes, native throughout most of the temperate Northern Hemisphere. In the British Isles, they are commonly called lime trees, or lime bushes, although they are not closely related to the tree that produces the lime fruit. Other names include linden for the European species, and basswood for North American species. The genus occurs in Europe and eastern North America, but the greatest species diversity is found in Asia. Under the Cronquist classification system, this genus was placed in the family Tiliaceae, but genetic research summarised by the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group has resulted in the incorporation of this genus, and of most of the previous family, into the Malvaceae.

Plaza de Mayo square in Buenos Aires, Argentina

The Plaza de Mayo is a city square and main foundational site of Buenos Aires, Argentina. It was formed in 1884 after the demolition of the Recova building, unifying the city's Plaza Mayor and Plaza de Armas, by that time known as Plaza de la Victoria and Plaza 25 de Mayo respectively. The city centre of Buenos Aires, Plaza de Mayo has been the scene of the most momentous events in Argentine history, as well as the largest popular demonstrations in the country. On the occasion of the one-year anniversary of the May Revolution in 1811, the Pirámide de Mayo was inaugurated in the square's hub, becoming Buenos Aires' first national monument.

The park was the site in 1909 of the inaugural of both the first premier hotel in Argentina (the Plaza) and of the new National Museum of Fine Arts, for which the glass and steel pavilion used at the 1889 World's Fair in Paris was enlisted; structurally inadequate, the pavilion was demolished in 1932, however. Plaza San Martín and its surroundings acquired their current physiognomy in 1936, when Charles Thays' son, Carlos León Thays, designed the esplanade surrounding the monument and when the 33-story Art Deco Kavanagh building was completed. Though the surrounding area has since seen much of its older architecture replaced by high-rises (notably the 1975 Pirelli building), the plaza has remained timeless. Its western section was separated to make way for a rerouting of Maipú Street in 1972; but President Néstor Kirchner ordered the change reverted in 2004, in response to long-standing appeals by neighbours and friends of the park.

Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (Buenos Aires) Art museum in Buenos Aires, Argentina

The Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes is an Argentine art museum in Buenos Aires, located in the Recoleta section of the city. The Museum inaugurated a branch in Neuquén in 2004.

Art Deco Influential visual arts design style which first appeared in France during the 1920s

Art Deco, sometimes referred to as Deco, is a style of visual arts, architecture and design that first appeared in France just before World War I. Art Deco influenced the design of buildings, furniture, jewelry, fashion, cars, movie theatres, trains, ocean liners, and everyday objects such as radios and vacuum cleaners. It took its name, short for Arts Décoratifs, from the Exposition internationale des arts décoratifs et industriels modernes held in Paris in 1925. It combined modern styles with fine craftsmanship and rich materials. During its heyday, Art Deco represented luxury, glamour, exuberance, and faith in social and technological progress.

Kavanagh building architectural structure

The Kavanagh Building is an Art Deco skyscraper in Buenos Aires, located at 1065 Florida Street in the barrio of Retiro, overlooking Plaza San Martín. It was the highest skyscraper in Latin America.


In spring 2009 an exhibition of the "United Buddy Bears" was held in the park, for the first on the American continent. The exhibition consisted of more than 140 bear sculptures, each two metres high and designed by a different artist.

United Buddy Bears sculpture series

Buddy Bears is the name given to painted, life-size fiberglass bear sculptures developed by German businesspeople Klaus and Eva Herlitz, in cooperation with sculptor Roman Strobl. The raised arms of the standing Buddy Bears are aligned on the dissemination of friendliness and optimism, and thus mediate a positive mood. "The Buddy Bear has become an unofficial ambassador for Germany and is a symbol of Berlin since 2001. The story of the Buddy Bears started with an artistic event in Berlin in 2001. Inspired by the idea of bringing art in the streets of a metropolis like the cow parade in Zurich and New York." In addition to the Classic Buddy Bears presented far beyond Berlin’s city limits, the circle of United Buddy Bears came into being in 2002. The Exhibition travel around the world promoting "peace, international understanding and tolerance among the nations, cultures and religions of this world".

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