Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Wandering Recoleta

Recoleta is a largely residential suburb of Buenos Aires sandwiched between the super trendy Palermo and the gritty Centro and San Telmo districts. However despite this, Recoleta has several interesting features that make it worth a visit.

The most famous landmark is the Cemetery (which I have written about in a separate post) but around the Cemetery are several parks and monuments.

Next to the Cemetery is a 17th century basilica which is architecturally interesting albeit not as impressive as other basilicas that I've visited. The cloisters of the basilica have been converted into a museum, telling the story of the church.

The basilica from the Cemetery
The main altar of the basilica

Further down from the basilica is the Plaza Francia. The monument in the Plaza was a gift from France to Buenos Aires celebrating the independence of Argentina.

Plaza Francia

Close to Plaza Francia is Plaza Mitre which has a large statue of Bartolomé Mitre, 6th president of Argentina and an important military figure in the history of Buenos Aires.

Statue of Bartolomé Mitre

Next to Mitre Plaza is another park with a monument to Eva Péron - another important, if controversial, figure in Argentine history.

Monument to Eva Péron

The parkland continues towards the railway and is crossed by several major thoroughfares until it reaches a small park with a major piece of public sculpture - Floralis Genérica.

Floralis Genérica
Another angle of the Floralis Genérica sculpture

The giant stainless steel flower which opens and closes during the day/night was a gift to the city by architect Eduardo Catalano in 2002. It is an impressive piece of public art.

All of these plazas and parks surround the Cemetery and make for a very pleasant wander around Recoleta, topped with a relaxing beer and epanadas.

Beer and epanadas

But if beer is not your thing, up on Avenue Santa Fe is an excellent coffee shop in an incredible bookshop (they also do very tasty epanadas).

Ataneo bookshop in a converted theatre
The old second level of the theatre
The stage (coffee shop) from the second level

The bookshop is a converted theatre, and to their credit, they have kept all the original fittings of the theatre which gives the bookshop a nice atmosphere. There are several reading sections in the stalls and the stage has been converted into a very nice coffee shop - a perfect place for a seriously hipster brunch :)

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