Posted on May 25, 2017
The date: May 25, 1810.
The place: Buenos Aires, Argentina.
The event: The start of a revolution!
Once upon a time there was a large region in South America known as the Viceroyalty of the Rio de la Plata. It included land that is now carved up into four nations: Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Bolivia.
Buenos Aires was the capital of this Viceroyalty.
Ever since the Viceroyalty was formed, in 1776, there was unrest and a growing desire by the people to rule themselves. This desire for independence came to a head in Buenos Aires, and the Viceroy was deposed. This was considered the first step to Argentine independence, and soon the country was embroiled in a war with Spain.
The May Revolution was so important, the entire week is celebrated for all of the events that led up to May 25. It's called Semana de Mayo (Week of May).
Speaking of Buenos Aires....
The current capital of Argentina, Buenos Aires is very beautiful:
Check out this neighborhood, called Caminito, which is pretty much a street museum. Argentine artist Benito Quinquela Martín took an eyesore - an old railroad line that was becoming something of a landfill - and he slowly painted the area in a variety of pastel colors. Now local artists use the street as a great place to see their works.
Other neighborhoods in this city are famous for their street art and graffiti. There are even graffiti tours!
People in Buenos Aires love to drink mate, which is a hot beverage a bit like green tea, made from the yerba mate plant. People drink if through metal straws in silver-rimmed gourds.
The Galarias Pacifico is a shopping mall that is housed in a building that has been used in many ways. There was a shopping area, an art museum, an office building for a railway company... And, from the late 1970s until the early 1980s, basement rooms in the building were used as a kind of torture chamber! That's right, the military dictatorship that then ruled Argentina used to hold "interrogations" in the deep-down bowels of the mall!
In 1945, the amazing cupola of the shopping mall were painted with frescoes by twelve different artists.
This is surely one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world, if not THE most beautiful! The El Ateneo Gran Splendid is located in what used to be a gorgeous theatre. Most of the theatre seating has been removed and replaced with bookshelves, but the theatre boxes are still intact and can be used as reading nooks. There is a café on the back of what was the stage, but the red stage curtains remain!
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