Walking through the area of Recoleta in Buenos Aires, Argentina feels a lot like walking through Paris; there are beautiful gardens, historical monuments, sculptures scattered throughout, high end shopping, small craft fairs and of course some beautiful churches. Rather than just reading through a guide book, I personally feel churches provide a wonderful insight to the culture of the country you are visiting.
I know you would rather read my posts on restaurants or activities, but since I like am a bit of a history buff, I am providing you with the option to learn about some of the sites you are going to visit. Some history for you: In 1708, the Recoletos monks of Spain, began to build the Church of Our Lady of Pilar in the current neighborhood of Recoleta. They finished building the tower (30m) and most of the church in 1732. However, in 1821, the Recoletos were expelled, and the church was closed for several years while the famous Recoleta Cemetery was created in the old orchard. It was then reopened and completed in 1866.
When you walk inside Our Lady of Pilar Basilica you will notice the beautiful Baroque art, and the High Altar, in which the central niche is the image of the Virgen del Pilar. After you have taken all of the church in, duck through a passage way on the left side and head to the Claustros Historicos Del Pilar.The former convent area (cloisters), have been turned into a religious art museum full of gorgeous pieces from Buenos Aires’s early years. The convent retains the original flooring, stairs, walls, and other components from its 1732 construction. It was fascinating to see the ecclesiastical wardrobes and old prayer books on display.A few meters from the Basilica of Our Lady of Pilar, is the main entrance to the famous Recoleta Cemetery. It is currently the oldest church in Buenos Aires that retains its original baroque style.
The Cloisters are open Monday-Saturday 10:30am-6:15pm, Sunday 2:30pm-6:15pm
* For those of you who aren’t a huge fan of actual history, enjoy some Drunk History on me:)