Friday, June 17, 2016

San Miguel de Tucuman - The birthplace of independence

Government House in San Miguel

San Miguel de Tucuman is the capital of Tucuman province and is the place at which Argentinian independence was declared on 9 July 1816.

The bicentennial is this year so unfortunately many of the sights were closed to prepare for the celebrations.

In the centre of the city is the original government house. It's a very unassuming building considering its significance and I was assured that it was much more impressive Inside - however it was closed due to the bicentennial.

Independence House

As San Miguel is quite an old city, there are many examples of Spanish style architecture - including a Spanish market. Sadly the market has closed and in a fit of architectural vandalism, a Hilton hotel and boutique shops have been allowed to be built there.

This is how the market looked before:

This is how it looks now:

Which is ok, until you take a step back:

It is a grand pity that this beautiful building has been ruined.

However, San Miguel de Tucuman has many other more beautiful buildings such as its many churches,

San Miguel Cathedral

The Cathedral from another angle
St Francis Church 

La Merced Church 

An amphitheatre (which was once a swimming pool),

The Amphitheatre

And the very impressive government house:

Government House at night

Outside of San Miguel in a little town called Simoca there is a traditional market on Saturday. The market claims to be 300 years old and is one of the oldest in Argentina.

The entrance of the market

It sells all types of food, clothing and souvenirs.

Items for sale

Pigs - both live and butchered

Including the traditional "Pastel de Novia" (Girlfriend Cake).

Pastel de Novia

The cake consists of beef, dried fruit and sweet cake covered in meringue. Although it is a strange mixture of sweet and savoury, it kind of works in an odd way.

In general the food in Tucuman was very good - the epanadas in the North are superior to those in Buenos Aires and the champion of epanadas can be found in Tucuman.

 If you visit be sure to seek out the old lady with the basket of empanadas across from Independence house in San Miguel - you'll not regret trying these champion delicacies.

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