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San Telmo Neighborhood

This old neighborhood of Buenos Aires keeps its colonial style, resisting modernization.

Bordered by the following streets,

  • Chile
  • Piedras
  • Av. Caseros
  • Defensa
  • Av. Martín García
  • Av. Paseo Colón
  • Av. Brasil
  • Av. Ing. Huergo

Close Neighborhoods

  • South – Barracas and La Boca
  • West - Constitución
  • North - Monserrat
  • East - Puerto Madero

Neighborhood Day

By 2723 Act, the legislature of the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires has established May 31 as the day of creation of the San Pedro González Telmo, which by extension, gave his name to the surrounding neighborhood

History of the Neighborhood San Pedro Telmo

Considered as one of the first suburbs of Buenos Aires, and as neighborhood of the primitive city port. It was first known as Alto de San Pedro ( XVII and XVIII centuries). Due to its physical highest position, it was also known as “Neighborhood of the port".

Those who initially inhabited the area, were a small group dedicated to the nearby port tasks. They settled down near the Plaza Dorrego, and on the present Defensa street, considered one of the oldest of the city. In 1708 the place was registered in the city map with the name of “Hornos y Barracas de San Pedro” (“Furnaces and Barracks of San Pedro”).

The neighborhood is characterized by its famous ancient mansions. Among others, the one where the Viceroy Santiago de Liniers lived, the one where Manuel Belgrano lived and died, the one that belonged to Dr. Vicente López y Planes – considered as the oldest in Buenos Aires – among others. Cobbleston streets, colonial houses and “Conventillos” (tenement houses) with mysterious yards and iron balconies, Museums, Gorvernment buildings, bars and restaurants, squares and fairs, all form part of the neighborhood tourist attractions.

Tourist Attractions

  • Colonial Houses and “Conventillos”
    • The Minimum House - San Lorenzo 380
      With a façade of only 2.2 meters wide is the remaining portion of a construction of the second decade of the XIX century. It used to be common that this type of additions to the houses be occupied by slaves of the family.
    • Juan Carlos Castagnino House- Balcarce 1016
      The artist Juan Carlos Castagnino lived here(1908-1972, a well-known painter, his illustration of the Martin Fierro, in its edition of 1963 was outstanding). This house, together with the one on the corner, is from late XVIII century.
    • Galery of the Old Hotel - Balcarce 1053
      Built around 1890 as a hotel. Once the neighborhood was declared historic area in 1979, it was turned into an art gallery, and painters and sculptors atelier.
    • Old Tasca de Cuchilleros - Carlos Calvo 319
      The front room dates back to late XVIII century. The rest of the construction is of a later century. Currently there operates a restaurant.
    • Esteban de Luca House - Defensa and Carlos Calvo
      Esteban de Luca, militar, poet and journalist, lived there. He actively participated during the English invasions (1806-1807), as a sub-lieutenant in the Patrician 3 Battalion. The house dating from the late XVIII century, was recycled maintaining architectural features of the time. Currently there is a restaurant. It is a national historic monument.
    • San Telmo Market- Bolívar, Carlos Calvo, Defensa, Estados Unidos.
      Its facade presents characteristics of an italian style. Its interior has an excellent iron structure with plates and glass roofs. It was inaugurated in 1897. Juan Antonio Buschiazzo was the architect.
    • Solar de French Gallery - Defensa entre Humberto 1º and Carlos Calvo.
      Domingo French lived here. The front structure dates from years1900-1910, and the rest of 1930 decade.
    • Passage La Defensa - Defensa 1179
      It is a traditional old house of the 1880s, residence of the Ezeiza Family. It has two floors, with many rooms looking onto a lateral gallery. Currently there operate antique stores.
    • Former San Telmo Foundation - Defensa 1344
      The house was built around 1860, remodeled by Osvaldo Giesso in the 1980s. Currently operates an art gallery and a theatre school. Its facade is a replica of a XVIII century house. Its construction plans are kept in the General National Archive.
  • Museums
    • National Historical Museum - Defensa 1600
      It was founded on May 24, 1889. It occupies what once was the residence of the Lezama Family back in1897. Its style corresponds to the existing italian architecture between 1850 and 1880. The residence highlights the traditions of the May Revolution and the Independence wars, as well as other important periods of the national history of the XIX century. Its 30 rooms show the customs of the time. The most impressive exhibition is the reproduction of the room and furniture where General San Martin died in France
    • Modern Art Museum of the City Government - Av. San Juan 350
      It was opened in 1989. Previously it was a deposit of the “43” cigarettes Factory. The building with a brick facade dates from 1918 and it was recycled keeping its original architecture. The museum shows exhibitions of contemporary plastic artists whose collection belongs to Ignacio Pirovan
    • Argentine Prison Museum "Antonio Ballvé" - Humberto 1º 378
      Building from the year 1760. Its construction drawings were made by architect Antonio Masella. It was originally the House of Spiritual Exercises for men. Be expelled the jesuits in 1767, the place became to depend on the Cabildo. Later, and up to 1974 it was converted into a Prison for women, being in charge the Good Shepherd Order and the Prison Service.. Once the Order withdrawls in 1974, the Prison Service is in charge until the year 1978. By that time the Women Prison was moved to the town of Ezeiza.
      In its interior, there is the Nuestra Señora del Carmen chapel,a 1734.
    • Cinema Museum - Defensa 1220
      It has a film library, posters collections, costumes, photographs and documents.
  • Squares, Parks and Fairs
    • Parque Lezama - Defensa, Brasil, Av. Paseo Colón and Av. Martín García.
      There is a crafts fair during weekends and holidays, from10am to 8pm.
      Locaed on natural boats around the Rio de la Plata up to the Riachuelo. This is generally believed as being the place where Pedro de Mendoza founded the city in 1536. By the end of XVIII century, the Real Company of Philippines installed a deposit of black men slaves. In 1806, during the first English Invasion, General Beresford entered street San Martín (today called Defensa) defeating the last local forces at the Barranca de Marcó (today Lezama Park). Years later, the english David MacKinley established their his country house, just opposite the river. On the building the English flag flew, that was why people used to call it “the country house of the English”.
    • Plaza Dorrego - Between Humberto Iº, Defensa, Anselmo Aieta and Bethlem. Today Park
      It used to be a market, but was made into a square in 1897. Every Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm there Works the flea market. The buildings surrounding the square have kept their original facades, and now hold elegant antique and coffee stores.
      It was declared National Historic Site, since it is the most ancient square, after Plaza de Mayo.
    • San Telmo Fair- Bolívar 950-98, corner of Carlos Calvo
      Designed by the architect Antonio Buschiazzo, was inaugurated in 1897. It is the oldest public market of the city and the only one of its kind still open.
  • Government Buildings
    • Secretary of Agriculture, Livestock and Fishing - Paseo Colón 922
      These is a group of buildings, work of the studies Andrés Vanelli e Hijos and Kimbau y Cía.
      Buildings of a Neo-gothic style, located on an avenue, that have the monumentality conceived for public buildings of late XIX and early XX century.
  • Churches and Temples
    • Russian Orthodox Church of the Holy Trinity - Av. Brasil 315
      It was inaugurated in 1904, according to the original Project of the architect of the Holy Synod of Russia Mihail Preobrazensky, adapted by the architect Alejandro Christophersen in 1898. Its style is XVII century Muscovite. On the front, in Venetian mosaic, there is a representation of the Holy Trinity in St. Petersburg. The first one built in Latin America with icons, carpets and stained glass Windows of incalculable value.
      Designed by the architect Alejandro Christophersen in 1898. It has 5 bright domes that date back to the 17th century, with Russian-byzantine style, decorated with mosaics and paintings. On Saturday and Sunday mornings a choir singing Orthodox liturgical music can be heard.
    • Danish Church - Carlos Calvo 257
      The tower and roofs respond to the neo-gothic style guidelines. It is a building made according the drawings of the danish architects Rönnow and Bisgaard. It was inaugurated in 1931.
    • Church of Nuestra Sra. de Belén [Parroquia de San Pedro Telmo] - Humberto 1º 340
      The church begun to be built at the end of 1734, under the Project of the Jesuit architect Andrés Blanqui and the intervention of Juan Bautista Prímoli and José Schmidt. The italian master Antonio Masella continued the work. The last restoration was done in 1918 by the architect Pelayo Sáinz. The façade is of an eclectic style, with architectural elements of neo-colonial style. On the upper part, there is the image of San Pedro González Telmo. It is a national historic monument.
  • Bars
    • El Federal - Carlos Calvo 595
      Remarkable bar, opened in 1864. Still has the original tiles in its floors. Its important bar is crowned by a wooden arch with vitraux details and an inactive clock in the middle.
    • Plaza Dorrego - Defensa 1096
      Outstanding bar. As it is said, it was here where the great writers, Ernesto Sábato and Jorge Luis Borges met.
    • Bar Seddon (remarkable bar): Defensa 695 Tel: 4342 3700
      With only twenty years of history, it started in 25 de Mayo Street, almost Cordoba Ave. It deserves the honor of being remarkable as it seems the time has stopped, due to its classical atmosphere with Antique furniture, chandeliers, antique showcases, a railroad clock and French and Italian sculptures
    • Bar Sur - Estados Unidos and Balcarce
      It started in 1967 and was a pioneer in the night show business in Buenos Aires.
    • Bar Británico - Brasil and Defensa
      One of the most traditional bars of the area, and of Buenos Aires. Started in 1930. Its name recalls the english immigrants settled in the area by the time the railway was built. It is said that it was here where the writer Ernesto Sábato wrote lots of pages of his books “Sobre héroes y tumbas” (About heroes and tombs)
    • El Hipopótamo - Brasil 401
      Remarkable bar
    • La Coruña - Bolivar 982/94
      Remarkable bar
    • Faculties and Schools
    • Engineering Faculty - Paseo Colón 850
      It is a neoclassical style building that replicates the Law Faculty. It is the result of the state architectonic conception of mid XX century. Here operated the former Maria Eva Duarte de Peron Foundation.
    • Examining Board of Physicians [Guillermo Rawson School] - Humberto 1º 343
      It was the first Medicine School in Buenos Aires in 1858. As from 1866 it became dependent on the Ministry of Education. Its architecture presents neo-colonial elements. From that time are the magnolias in the entry.
  • Monuments
    • Monument "Canto al Trabajo" (Singing to the work) - Paseo Colón 800
      It is a work of the Argentinian sculptor Rogelio de Yrurtia (1879-1950). It is a sculptural group of 14 human figures of bronze.
    • Fountain dedicated to don Pedro de Mendoza [Parque Lezama] - Brasil and Defensa
      Inaugurated on June 23, 1937, by sculptor Juan Carlos Oliva Navarro. The monument is composed of a square fountain with two dumping sinks which symbolize the Guadalquivir River and the Río de la Plata, beginning and end of the expedition. Don Pedro de Mendoza statue is made out of bronze and contrasts with a marble Wall with bas-reliefs representing an indigenous figure. Pedro de Mendoza is shown nailing the sword in the soil, as a symbol of taking possession of the lands.

    San Telmo Neighborhood