Buenos Aires

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Buenos Aires
Montaje de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires.png
Basic data
Surface: 202 km 2
location 34 ° 36 ′  S , 58 ° 23 ′  W Coordinates: 34 ° 36 ′  S , 58 ° 23 ′  W
Height above d. M .: 25  m
Population (2010): 2,890,151
Density: 14,308 inhabitants / km²
Agglomeration : Gran Buenos Aires
  - Population: 13.176.866
(34 ° 35 ′ 59 ″ S, 58 ° 22 ′ 55 ″ W)
Province : City of Buenos Aires
Structure: Buenos Aires Barrios
Mayor: Horacio Rodríguez Larreta
Postal code : C1000 - C1440
Telephone code: 011
Buenos Aires website
Location of Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires [ ˈbwenos ˈai̯ɾes ] (former spelling Buenos Ayres ; officially Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires / Autonomous City of Buenos Aires ) is the capital and primate city , i.e. the political, cultural, commercial and industrial center of Argentina . Its founders named it after the saint Santa María del Buen Ayre ( Spanish for Saint Mary of Good Air ), who among other things. is venerated in the Basilica of Our Lady of Bonaria in Sardinia .

The city, officially only 202 square kilometers in size, forms the core of one of the largest metropolitan regions in South America, Gran Buenos Aires with around 13 million inhabitants. Today it stretches around 68 kilometers from northwest to southeast and about 33 kilometers from the coast to southwest. It is often referred to as the “head of water” of Argentina, as almost all of the country's important institutions are located here and around a third of all Argentines live in the city and, above all, in the surrounding area. It is also the only city in Argentina to be autonomous as a “Capital Federal”, ie not tied to a specific province . It is an important cultural center and was awarded the title City of Design by UNESCO in 2005.


Geographical location

Satellite image (Buenos Aires is at the bottom right)

The city of Buenos Aires is located on the Río de la Plata , a funnel-shaped confluence of the Río Paraná and Río Uruguay in the Atlantic Ocean , on the east coast of the South American continent an average of 25 meters above sea ​​level .

The water of the Río de la Plata in Buenos Aires is cloudy due to the high amount of loamy mud. The area has only shallow depths, generally less than 20 meters, so that, for example, ships with greater drafts in the region have to use dredged fairways .

To the west and south of Buenos Aires stretch the pampas , the most agriculturally fertile area of ​​Argentina.

City structure

Buenos Aires counties and neighborhoods
Districts by name
15 Comunas

Buenos Aires is divided into 48 districts ( barrios ).

Agronomía , Almagro , Balvanera , Barracas , Belgrano , Boedo , Caballito , Chacarita , Coghlan , Colegiales , Constitución , Flores , Floresta , La Boca , La Paternal , Liniers , Mataderos , Monte Castro , Montserrat , Nueva Pompeya , Núñez , Palermo , Parque Avellaneda , Parque Chacabuco , Parque Chas , Parque Patricios , Puerto Madero , Recoleta , Retiro , Saavedra , San Cristóbal , San Nicolás , San Telmo , Vélez Sársfield , Versalles , Villa Crespo , Villa del Parque , Villa Devoto , Villa General Miter , Villa Lugano , Villa Luro , Villa Ortúzar , Villa Pueyrredón , Villa Real , Villa Riachuelo , Villa Santa Rita , Villa Soldati , Villa Urquiza .

There are also traditional district names that are more common than the official names:

  • Abasto (area around the former central market and today's shopping center): Districts: Almagro and partly Balvanera
  • Barrio Norte (residential area of ​​the rich population): districts of Recoleta and Palermo
  • Congreso (around the parliament building)
  • Microcentro (stock exchange and business center): Retiro and San Nicolás districts
  • Once (area around the Once city station): Balvanera district
  • Tribunales (area around the Palace of Justice): San Nicolás district

In the course of decentralization , 15 Centros de Gestión y Participación Comunal (CGCP, German for example: municipal centers of administration and citizen participation; also: comunas ) were founded, which are numbered from 1 to 15. In all CGPCs to urban formalities can do, such as taxes and fines paid or civil operations such as marriages and birth certificate exhibitions make.


Buenos Aires is located in the subtropical climate zone and, according to Köppen, has a humid - subtropical climate (effective climate classification: Cfa). The average annual temperature is 17.73 degrees Celsius , the annual rainfall is 1214.6 millimeters on average.

The warmest month is January with an average of 23.7 degrees Celsius, the coldest is July with 10.5 degrees Celsius. Even in the Argentine winter, temperatures rarely drop below zero degrees, and so far there has only been a few exceptional cases of snow , for example in 1918, in July 2007 and in July 2010.

Most of the precipitation falls in March with an average of 153.9 millimeters, the least in June with an average of 50.0 millimeters.

Buenos Aires
Climate diagram
J F. M. A. M. J J A. S. O N D.
Temperature in ° Cprecipitation in mm
Source: World Weather Information Service , wetter.de ; wetterkontor.de
Average monthly temperatures and rainfall for Buenos Aires
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max. Temperature ( ° C ) 30.4 28.7 26.4 22.7 19.0 15.6 14.9 17.3 18.9 22.5 25.3 28.1 O 22.5
Min. Temperature (° C) 20.4 19.4 17.0 13.7 10.3 7.6 7.4 8.9 9.9 13.0 15.9 18.4 O 13.5
Precipitation ( mm ) 121.6 122.6 153.9 106.9 92.1 50.0 52.9 63.2 77.7 139.3 131.2 103.2 Σ 1,214.6
Hours of sunshine ( h / d ) 9.0 8.5 7.4 6.2 5.6 4.4 4.6 5.6 6.3 7.0 8.4 8.6 O 6.8
Rainy days ( d ) 9 9 9 9 8th 6th 7th 8th 7th 10 10 9 Σ 101
Water temperature (° C) 22nd 23 21 19th 15th 12th 11 11 12th 15th 17th 21 O 16.6
Humidity ( % ) 64 68 72 76 77 79 79 74 70 69 66 63 O 71.4
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Ecological problems

As a megacity , Buenos Aires has to struggle with numerous ecological problems. Although there is hardly any smog in the city, mainly due to the relatively windy weather , the pollution of the air due to the inadequately filtered industrial and car exhaust gases in some outskirts and suburbs, for example in Lanús , often reaches critical values ​​that lead to increased lung cancer rates . The high volume of traffic contributes significantly to this.

In the very narrow streets lined with high house fronts, the fresh air supply (for example from the sea) is very low. Street and courtyard plantings were seldom planned when the areas were cut, so that their dust-binding power is hardly available. Another problem is that the city and the surrounding metropolitan area have relatively few parks, bodies of water or open green spaces , and the surrounding area is also being built over by building projects that extend further and further into the periphery ( e.g. country clubs ).

Another problem is the pollution of the Río de la Plata and its tributaries in the city with sewage . The Riachuelo and Río de la Reconquista rivers flowing through the city are highly polluted and no longer allow any biological life. A renaturation of at least the Riachuelo was planned in the 1990s, but the project is still a long time coming. In the Río de la Plata itself, bathing was still possible until around 1980 (there was a bathing beach in Quilmes ), but today this is no longer possible due to pollution of the water after several deaths in the 1980s. On the opposite side of the Río de la Plata in Uruguay it is still possible without any problems.

Garbage disposal has always been a major problem . In the past, the garbage was burned decentrally, often even in the heating systems of the residential buildings, but this was no longer possible because of the pollution once the city had reached a certain size. Today, a large part of the waste lands on a ring located around the city landfill , which is designed and planted partially park similar and Cinturón Ecológico (ecological belt) is called. The project is criticized for the fact that the groundwater can be polluted by the pollutants found in the garbage (e.g. heavy metals ). In some cases, increased cancer rates are observed in the neighboring residential areas.


First foundation of the city (1536–1541)

Buenos Aires shortly after its founding in 1536

In search of a passage into the Pacific, the navigator Juan Díaz de Solís discovered the Río de la Plata as the first European in 1516 . The expedition on behalf of the Spanish Crown , however, came to a bloody end near today's Tigre as a result of an Indian attack in which de Solis himself was killed.

On the south bank of the Rio de la Plata, in the area of today's district of San Telmo founded conquistador Pedro de Mendoza on February 2, 1536 the settlement Puerto de Nuestra Señora Santa María del Buen Ayre ( "Port of Our Lady [the saints] Mary of good air ”). The name is said to have chosen Mendoza's chaplain, who worshiped the Virgen de Bonaria ("Virgin of the Good Air") from Cagliari in Sardinia . According to another tradition, the name was chosen because of the favorable winds in the Río de la Plata. A more plausible explanation for the reference to “good air” is that at the time of its foundation the port city was on the now discovered route around Cape Horn and was one of the first malaria-free places in eastern South America for all ships coming from the north. The name of the Virgen de Bonaria also goes back to such a safe place on Sardinia, which is otherwise traversed by malaria-infested swamps (cf. Bonaria - Malaria).

Mendoza commanded about 1,600 men who landed on 16 ships. Since they didn't arrive until late summer, it was too late to plant crops. The local Querandí Indians were hunter-gatherers and were forced by the Spanish to procure food for Mendoza's troops. They reacted with repeated attacks, so that Mendoza's settlers had to give up the place in 1541.

The Straubing patrician son Ulrich Schmidl , who took part in the expeditions and is sometimes counted among the founders of the city, became the chronicler of these events and early historian of Buenos Aires .

After the city was founded for the second time (1580–1776)

The Cabildo (City Hall) in the Plaza de Mayo (1817)
Monumento San Martín

The second, this time successful town was founded in 1580 by Juan de Garay . He gave the place the name Ciudad de la Santísima Trinidad y Puerto Santa María de los Buenos Aires ("City of the Holy Trinity and Port of Saint Mary of the Good Air"). In the meantime, several cities had been founded in what is now Argentina, all of which are in the northwest due to the settlement of Peru . The oldest continuously inhabited city in the country is therefore Santiago del Estero in the northeast of what is now Argentina.

Buenos Aires has depended heavily on cattle raising in the pampas surrounding the city and trade with Spain since its early days . However, the Spanish administration of the 17th and 18th centuries required that all goods that were sent to Europe first had to be brought to Lima in Peru in order to tax the goods. The long detour caused increasing resentment among traders in Buenos Aires towards Spain, and so a brisk smuggling developed . Charles III of Spain recognized this increasing instability of his power, initially relaxed trade regulations during his government (1759–1788) and finally declared Buenos Aires to be an open port.

Capital of the Viceroyalty Río de La Plata (1776–1810)

In 1776, Buenos Aires finally became the capital of the viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata , which was spun off from the viceroyalty of Peru . The city's population rose sharply, among other things due to the forced recruitment of slaves from Africa, between 1778 and 1815 the proportion of the black population was around a third.

During the time of the coalition wars , in which Spain was an ally of France's opponents of the United Kingdom , British troops under General William Carr Beresford occupied the city on June 27, 1806 after two days of fighting. The residents resisted, however, and on August 4, local forces under Santiago de Liniers recaptured the city. Liniers was also able to repel another siege by the British, which ended on July 7, 1807 with the surrender of General John Whitelockes .

The fact that the occupations failed not because of the resistance of the Spanish troops, but because of the bitter resistance on the part of the population, strengthened the nationalists in their ambitions. They prepared the country's independence by obtaining ever more extensive concessions from the viceroy to local civil associations, the so-called Cabildos Abiertos .

Struggle for independence and Rosa's dictatorship (1810–1880)

Historical situation plan (around 1888)

On May 25, 1810 armed citizens of the city of Buenos Aires expelled the viceroy Baltasar Hidalgo de Cisneros y la Torre . On July 9, 1816, the Congress of Tucumán formally declared the independence of the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata . After the declaration of independence, a dispute broke out between the Unitarians , who wanted a central state run from Buenos Aires, and the federalists , who wanted a strong independence of the individual provinces.

In 1829 the federalist Juan Manuel de Rosas took over the rule of Buenos Aires as governor. In March 1835 he was again elected governor and captain general. At times, Rosa's extraordinary power was transferred to herself and thus in fact received the power of a dictator . He led the republic until 1852 when he was defeated in the battle of Monte-Caseros by troops from Brazil , Uruguay and Don Justo José de Urquiza . With the fall of Rosa, the city opened up to immigrants from Europe.

In 1853 the city and province of Buenos Aires refused to attend the constitutional congress and separated from Argentina. In 1859 Buenos Aires joined the Argentine Confederation ( Federación Argentina ) founded in 1853 .

Capital of Argentina (1880–1976)

The Presidential Palace, the Casa Rosada in the Plaza de Mayo

In 1880 the city of Buenos Aires was separated from the province of the same name under Julio Argentino Roca and at the same time declared the capital of Argentina. In 1890 Buenos Aires was the largest and most important city in Latin America . At the turn of the century the population was close to one million. During this time, many Italian emigrants developed the mixed language Cocoliche , which was at times spoken by over 40 percent of the population.

In 1913, the first underground line was opened under Avenida de Mayo . The Subway of Buenos Aires was the first and only in Latin America until the opening of the subway of Mexico City in 1969. For the centenary celebrations of the independence of Argentina in the city center some diagonals in the road system and which have been Avenida 9 de Julio beaten . The plan was originally much more ambitious when it was finally carried out.

In 1919 there was a workers' uprising under the government of Hipólito Yrigoyen , which was suppressed by military force. The events in which 800 insurgents were killed went down in the history of Buenos Aires and Argentina as La Semana Trágica (the tragic week).

In the 1930s, a number of large avenues were drawn through the city center, such as the Avenidas Santa Fe , Córdoba and Corrientes , which are still the main arteries of road traffic today. After the Second World War , the growing city had reached and incorporated many former suburbs. The city was home to about a third of the Argentine population at the time.

Military dictatorship (1976-1983)

The main portal of the
ESMA Military Academy on Avenida del Libertador , where - while regular training continued - around 5,000 people were tortured and murdered. Today it is a memorial.
The memorial to the fallen of the Falklands War in Plaza San Martín

In 1976, after President Isabel Martínez de Perón was overthrown, the military under the leadership of Jorge Rafael Videla came to power in Argentina. During the dictatorship from 1976 to 1983 , 20,000 to 30,000 people (the Desaparecidos ) who were in opposition to the military or were even suspected of having disappeared without a trace . In the Núñez district , the largest secret prison and torture center in the country was set up in a naval training facility (the Escuela de Mecánica de la Armada ) . Around 5000 people were tortured there during the dictatorship and then almost always murdered, often by dropping the stunned, undressed victims from military aircraft over the nearby Río de la Plata or the Atlantic . Up to 2000 people died on these weekly death flights (“vuelos de la muerte”); they only became public knowledge in 1996 through the journalist Horacio Verbitsky .

After a certain period of military rule it became clear - although this was officially denied until the end of the dictatorship - that the government was behind the disappearance of the numerous missing persons without a trace. From April 1977 onwards, a number of the mothers of the disappeared (the Madres de Plaza de Mayo ) protested in the Plaza de Mayo in front of the presidential palace, Casa Rosada , which put their lives in danger.

Redemocratization and economic upswing (1983–1998)

Congress Palace in the Balvanera district
Congress Palace is reflected in the Library of Congress

After the lost Falklands War , the military could no longer hold on to power, and so there were democratic elections again. Raúl Alfonsín was elected as the first president of this new era . With the return of democracy in Argentina, the 1: 1 pegging of the Argentine peso to the dollar and the neoliberal reforms during the presidency of Carlos Menem , the Argentine economy began with a steep upswing, which was also reflected in increased building activity in the city of Buenos Aires manifested. Many new high-rise buildings were built in the Retiro district in particular.

On March 17, 1992, a car bomb destroyed the Israeli embassy in the Retiro district, killing 29 people and injuring 242. The attack was followed on July 18, 1994 by the most serious attack in Argentine history, an attack on a Jewish facility with 85 deaths and more than 300 injured. For years, the assassination attempt on the AMIA ( Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina , for example "Israeli-Argentine Association for Mutuality"), called social fund of the Jewish Argentines, was not cleared up, which led to political protests, especially on the anniversaries of the attack state institutions are accused of a lack of commitment.

On October 25, 2006, the investigating public prosecutor's office published an opinion in which the guilt of the former Iranian government was blamed and Hezbollah was the perpetrator; international detention requests have been made for eight members of the former Iranian government. Both attacks left scars in the city and resulted in the Jewish institutions being arguably the most heavily guarded buildings in the city alongside the government buildings. With around 180,000, Buenos Aires has the largest number of Jewish residents of any city in Latin America .

Argentina crisis and slow economic recovery (since 1998)

During the economic crisis between 1998 and 2003, Buenos Aires was the center of partly violent demonstrations, the largest of which took place on December 19-20, 2001 (the so-called Cacerolazo ) and led to the resignation of President Fernando de la Rúa . In addition, the so-called piqueteros have been active since 1999, blocking the city's most important entrances to this day (early 2005) at irregular intervals with roadblocks. Since 2003 they have become an important power factor, also on a national level.

On December 30, 2004, the worst fire to date occurred in the city: 194 people were killed in a major fire in the República Cromañón discotheque . As a result of this accident, the then mayor of the city, Aníbal Ibarra , was put on leave and charged with malpractice because he was held responsible for the failures in fire safety controls. On March 7, 2006, the court of the Argentine House of Representatives decided to remove Ibarra and transfer the office of mayor to his previous deputy, Jorge Telerman .

On June 24, 2007, the candidate of the conservative PRO party , businessman Mauricio Macri (including president of the Boca Juniors sports club ) was elected as the new mayor. He beat Daniel Filmus ( PJ ) in the runoff election with 61% of the votes, after the previous mayor Telerman was eliminated in third place in the first round. Macri did not take office until December 10, 2007.

Since 2006, the city has been divided into 15 individual communities (comunas) with autonomous governments. August 10, 2008 was set as the deadline for completing the transition process.

Population development

In 1833 the population of the city of Buenos Aires was just under 60,000, in 1869 it was about 180,000. In 1890, Buenos Aires was the largest and most important city in Latin America with a population of around 661,000. Due to the strong wave of immigration from Europe, the city already had around 1.6 million inhabitants in 1914. In 2001 the population of the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires was just under 2.8 million.

The city and the surrounding suburbs have a combined population of 13.1 million. This makes " Gran Buenos Aires " the largest metropolitan region in Argentina and, after São Paulo, the second largest in all of South America . In 2017, the population of the Buenos Aires agglomeration was estimated at 14.9 million. An increase to 17.1 million is expected by 2035.

The population is predominantly of Spanish and Italian origin. Other immigrants came from other European countries such as Germany, Ireland, Portugal, France and England. Syrians and Lebanese as well as Armenians have played an increasingly important role in trade and public life since the beginning of the 20th century. Immigrants from Bolivia, Peru and Paraguay have increased since the second half of the 20th century. In the 1990s there was a small wave of immigration from Romania and Ukraine.

The Jewish community of Buenos Aires has around 250,000 members, making it the largest in South America. Most of them are Ashkenazim from Central and Eastern Europe, their synagogue is the Gran Templo Paso , and most of the Sephardic Jews come from Syria.

The first East Asian immigrants came from Japan. These were known as flower growers and as owners of dry cleaning. Since the 1970s, however, mainly Chinese and Koreans came. The latter earn their living mainly from small supermarkets. The proportion of descendants of non-Spanish immigrants in Buenos Aires is much higher than in the rest of Argentina.

The population of Buenos Aires (called Porteños or Porteñas, if born in Buenos Aires) today speaks almost exclusively Spanish and the overwhelming majority of the inhabitants are Roman Catholic . German immigrants speak what is known as Belgrano German among themselves .

The following overview shows the number of inhabitants according to the respective territorial status. Until 1943 it is mostly an estimate, from 1947 to 2001 census results and 2005 a calculation. The population figures refer to the actual city without the suburban belt. With 14,308 inhabitants per km², the population density is around three to four times greater than in Berlin and even slightly higher than in the 23 districts of Tokyo . It should be noted that an increase in population in the urban area of ​​just 202 square kilometers is now almost impossible. The population development takes place today mainly in the suburbs, which are in the province of Buenos Aires.

The composition of the population is as follows: 88.9% white, 7% mestizo, 2.1% Asian and 2% black. The city's population is relatively old: 17% of the inhabitants are under 15, while 22% are over 60. The age structure is thus similar to that of European cities. Two thirds of the population live in multi-family houses and 30% in single-family houses. 4% live in very basic accommodation, including the Villas miserias ( informal settlements ), the most famous of which is Villa 31 in the Retiro district . The poverty rate in 2007 was 8.4% for the city and 20.6% for the metropolitan area.

Most of the 1.2 million people in employment in 2001 were employed in the service sector. The civil service employed only 6%, although Buenos Aires, as the capital, is the seat of administration and ministries. 10% were employed in the manufacturing industry.

Population growth of Buenos Aires from 1740 to 2005
year Residents
1744 11,000
1770 22,000
1800 40,000
1813 46,000
1825 55,000
1838 65,000
1857 99,000
1864 140,000
1869 180.329
1880 248,700
1884 295,000
1887 466,300
1895 661.205
1903 865,000
1906 1,057,000
year Residents
1914 1,582,884
1923 1,780,000
1928 2,079,000
1931 2,195,000
1938 2,345,200
1943 2,595,900
1947 2,981,043
1960 2,966,634
1970 2,972,453
1980 2,922,829
1991 2,965,403
2001 2,768,772
2005 2,746,761
2010 2,890,151
Population of Buenos Aires 1740-2010.png

Population development of the agglomeration 1950–2017

year population
1950 5,166,000
1960 6,762,000
1970 8,416,000
1980 9,920,000
1990 11,148,000
2000 12,504,000
2010 14,246,000
2017 14,879,000


Town twinning

Buenos Aires has partnerships with the following cities (the year of establishment in brackets):

GreeceGreece Athens , Greece (1992)
SpainSpain Barcelona , Spain (1985)
GermanyGermany Berlin , Germany (1994)
SerbiaSerbia Belgrade , Serbia (1990)
SpainSpain Bilbao , Spain (1992)
ColombiaColombia Bogotá , Colombia (1986)
BrazilBrazil Brasília , Brazil (1986)
SpainSpain Cadiz , Spain (1975)
SyriaSyria Damascus , Syria (1989)
ItalyItaly Ferrara , Italy (2004)
SwitzerlandSwitzerland Geneva , Switzerland (1992)
ItalyItaly Genoa , Italy (1991)
SpainSpain Guadix , Spain (1987)
IsraelIsrael Jerusalem , Israel
IsraelIsrael Tel Aviv , Israel (1972)
EgyptEgypt Cairo , Egypt (1992)
UkraineUkraine Kiev , Ukraine (1993)
PeruPeru Lima , Peru (1983)
PortugalPortugal Lisbon , Portugal (1992)
ItalyItaly Lucca , Italy (2003)
SpainSpain Madrid , Spain (1975)
ItalyItaly Milan , Italy (1998)
United StatesUnited States Miami , United States (1978)
UruguayUruguay Montevideo , Uruguay (1975)
RussiaRussia Moscow , Russia (1990)
ItalyItaly Naples , Italy (1990)
JapanJapan Osaka , Japan (1990)
CanadaCanada Ottawa , Canada (1998)
SpainSpain Oviedo , Spain (1982)
China People's RepublicPeople's Republic of China Beijing , People's Republic of China (1991)
BrazilBrazil Porto Alegre , Brazil (1995)
Czech RepublicCzech Republic Prague , Czech Republic (1992)
BrazilBrazil Rio de Janeiro , Brazil (1996)
ItalyItaly Rome , Italy (1987)
NetherlandsNetherlands Rotterdam , Netherlands (1990)
SpainSpain Salamanca , Spain (2006)
BrazilBrazil São Paulo , Brazil (1999)
ChileChile Santiago de Chile , Chile (1992)
Dominican RepublicDominican Republic Santo Domingo , Dominican Republic (1991)
Korea SouthSouth Korea Seoul , South Korea (1992)
SpainSpain Seville , Spain (1974)
FranceFrance Toulouse , France (1990)
SpainSpain Vigo , Spain (1992)
PolandPoland Warsaw , Poland (1992)
CroatiaCroatia Zagreb , Croatia (1998)

Regional partnerships

Buenos Aires maintains partnerships with the following regions (the year of establishment in brackets):

SpainSpain Andalusia , Spain (2001)
SpainSpain Galicia , Spain (1998)
ItalyItaly Calabria , Italy (1987)

Culture and sights

Avenida de Mayo in the center

Often referred to as the “ Paris of South America”, the capital's culture is very European. In addition to the facilities listed below, there are various orchestras and choirs. Artists 'and art collectors' homes have often been converted into museums, the most important of which are detailed below. There are also numerous libraries, a zoo, a botanical garden as well as churches and other religious sites, many of which are also architecturally interesting.

In a ranking of cities according to their quality of life, Buenos Aires was 91st out of 231 cities worldwide in 2018. Compared to other South American capitals, it was behind Montevideo (77th place) but ahead of Santiago de Chile (92nd place), Brasília (108th place), Asunción (115th place), Lima (124th place) and Bogotá (128th place).


The most famous theater in the city is the Teatro Colón , one of the most famous opera houses in the world, which reopened in 2010 after extensive renovations. In addition to this theater, there is a large theater and musical scene in Buenos Aires, there are a total of 187 theaters in the city, including the Teatro Cervantes , the national theater of the country, the over 100 year old Teatro Avenida or the Teatro Coliseo .

It is said that Buenos Aires has more theaters than any other city in the world. For comparison: New York has around 135 halls, Paris around 150. Many of the theaters are located on Avenida Corrientes , which is why it is often referred to as Broadway of Buenos Aires.

The number of plays is also impressive. Except in midsummer, you can choose between around 400 different large and small theater performances at any time.


Tango in the streets of Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires is the world capital of tango . Both Uruguay and Argentina claim to be the birthplace of tango. In Buenos Aires it developed in the suburbs of the city, especially in the brothels of Junin y Lavalle and in the poorer suburbs, the Arrabales . Every year a Tango Festival and the Tango World Championship are held in Buenos Aires. The city's most famous and well-known tango artists perform in late February / early March. There are more than 70 concerts at various venues (in the big theaters, most important bars, but also open-air events). There are numerous tango shows - as a tourist attraction on the street, such as the Caminito in the La Boca district . There is dancing in numerous milongas all over the city.

The city's most famous tango singer and composer is Carlos Gardel , and in the Abasto district there is a museum dedicated to him, a statue in his honor and numerous tango shops.


One of the most important museums is the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (National Museum of Fine Arts). You can see international art from the Middle Ages to the 20th century as well as Argentine artists as well as photographs and sculptures.

The second important national museum is the Museo Nacional de Arte Decorativo . It houses an extensive collection of paintings, sculptures, furniture and East Asian art.

The Museo de Arte Español Enrique Larreta owns a collection of the Argentine Hispanist and writer Enrique Larreta: including Spanish paintings, sculptures, furniture and ceramics from the 16th and 17th centuries, works from the Middle Ages and from the beginning of the 20th century.

The Museo de Arte Hispano Fernández Blanco displays Ibero-American colonial art, including: painting from the School of Cuzco, silverwork from Peru and the Río de la Plata, religious sculptures from Quito, furniture from Brazil and decorative arts from the Republican period.

In 2001 the Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires (MALBA) was opened for the collection of the Argentine businessman Eduardo Costantini. It displays more than 200 works by around 80 artists, including key works of 20th century Latin American art, and also hosts special exhibitions and programs.

The Museo de Arte Moderno is located in a converted tobacco store in the San Telmo district . It houses a collection of contemporary art from Argentina and works by outstanding international artists of the 20th century. The Museum de Arte Contemporaneo Buenos Aires (MACBA) also shows modern contemporary art.

Also of interest is the Museo de Esculturas Luis Perlotti , the museum in the house of the Argentine sculptor Luis Perlotti with a collection of almost 1,000 works donated to the city of Buenos Aires in 1976.

The history of Argentina is explained in the National History Museum in San Telmo.

Other museums include the Natural Science Museum , the Buenos Aires City History Museum , the Architecture and Design Museum (MARQ), the Museo de la Inmigración , the Museum of Boca Passion (for fans of the Boca Juniors football club ) and the Museo Evita , in memory of Eva Perón .

Important roads and structures

The cityscape has changed significantly since the beginning of the 20th century . The Plaza de Mayo in the eastern part of Buenos Aires was the starting point for the original settlement and represented the urban core in the form of a semicircle. The main Catholic church in Buenos Aires, the Catedral Metropolitana of the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires, is also located here . Business centers and other facilities have grown outside of the city since the 1950s. Theaters, hotels, restaurants as well as financial, business and government offices and some luxury residential complexes are concentrated north and west of the plaza area.

One of the main axes is the 1.6 km long Avenida de Mayo , which runs from the Casa Rosada (seat of the President) in the Plaza de Mayo to the Plaza del Congreso with the building of the National Congress . Here it flows together with Avenida Rivadavia and continues in a westerly direction for another 40 kilometers. At the time, there was a lot of disagreement about the construction of the boulevard; the Avenida could not be inaugurated until twelve years after the first idea. Today many architecturally important buildings can be admired here.

Avenida Corrientes is known as the “street that never sleeps” . It runs in a west-east direction from the business center of San Nicolás to Chacarita . There are many theaters along the street, including the Teatro Ópera , which is why it is also known as the “Broadway of Buenos Aires”.

In the north of Buenos Aires there are large parts of the city parks, the two race tracks and the polo stadium of the city as well as residential areas of the middle and upper class. The northern expansion of the more affluent neighborhoods has crossed the border of the capital district and extends into Martínez , Olivos , San Isidro, and Vicente López .

Other important sights of Buenos Aires are the La Recoleta Cemetery , where Eva Perón is buried, the Obelisk of Buenos Aires on Avenida 9 de Julio , the widest street in the world, the Plaza General San Martín in the Retiro district , the Florida- Street for shopping, the old port area of Puerto Madero with the restored stores, the old district of San Telmo with its picturesque streets and the antique market, the former central market Abasto , where today a shopping center is housed and the bohemian district of La Boca , which is known for its colorful house facades is and is considered to be one of the birthplaces of tango . There are also various shopping centers, such as the Patio Bullrich and the Galerías Pacífico .


San Lorenzo Stadium

The capital largely dominates the country's sports operations, especially in football and equestrian sports.

In football, the city is home to the two most successful first division clubs in Argentina: the record champions, the Boca Juniors , and River Plate , the arch-rivals of Boca. The derby between the two clubs is called Superclásico . Other important clubs are CA Independiente and Racing Club , both from the suburb of Avellaneda . Their stadiums are only a few hundred meters apart. The CA San Lorenzo de Almagro from the Almagro district should also be mentioned. Buenos Aires is often considered to be the capital of football in Argentina, with 14 stadiums, each with a capacity of over 30,000 spectators. This is also shown by the fact that 13 teams out of a total of 20 in the highest Argentine soccer league come from the greater Buenos Aires area. The hooligan scene of the “Barras Bravas” in Buenos Aires is also famous. Numerous city derbies are the scene of fanatic riots and violent clashes with other fan groups or the police, in which sometimes people are killed. The hooligan scene mostly extends deep into the networks of the clubs and often exerts a great influence on the important decisions of the clubs.

Horse racing is probably the second most popular sport in the city. The two most famous racetracks (Hipódromos) are located in the Palermo district ( Hipódromo Argentino de Palermo ) and in the suburb of San Isidro . Other sports “on horseback” are also very popular: the upper class enjoys themselves at the weekend, for example at polo .

Other popular sports in the city include rugby and hockey . In basketball , which is also popular , the dominant teams come from inland. The same goes for the current tennis pros .

Buenos Aires was a candidate for the Summer Olympics three times: 1956, 1968 and 2004. The first Pan-American Games were held here in 1951 and Buenos Aires hosted various world championships, such as volleyball in 1982 and 2002 and football in 1978.

In 1938 the city hosted the first three-cushion world championship in South America. It was also the last World Cup before World War II. After the end of the war she was host again in 1948, 1952, 1960, 1965, 1972 and most recently in 1980.

In 1994 Buenos Aires hosted the first women's world fistball championship .

Gastronomy and culinary specialties

There are over 3,500 restaurants in Buenos Aires that offer both local and international cuisine. Guests are served dishes as varied as the Antarctic king crab (centolla) and the spicy dumplings ( empanadas ).

Classics, however, are the tasty pasta of the Italian-Argentine cuisine and the Creole meat roasted over an open wood fire ( asado ). Connoisseurs ensure that Argentine steaks are still the best in the world - but you should order it "al punto", otherwise it will be served well-fried. Roast sirloin steaks are known as Bife de Lomo and are often cut lengthways (not as a medallion) on the parrilla (Argentine grill with V-shaped grill bars that prevent the liquid from dripping off on the embers).

On the wine lists of restaurants many large wineries present a changing selection of their plants. The very different cuvées , provenances, grape varieties and vintages cover a wide range of tastes.

The most common wines on offer are Cabernet Sauvignon , Malbec and Syrah . Occasionally (and increasingly) wines such as Tannat or Bonarda are also offered. Almost all wines come from the provinces of Mendoza and San Juan , but also from the province of Salta .


The amusement park "Tierra Santa" is a unique "Disneyland of Faith" and contains a variety of replicas of well-known religious monuments with various replicas from the Western Wall to Mount Golgota .

The Parque Natural y Reserva Ecológica Costanera Sur is a nature reserve. Until the middle of the last century there was a bathing beach at this point, which was abandoned due to the increasing pollution of the Rio Plata; the waters off the Costanera were backfilled in the 1970s in order to gain land for a new urban administrative district to be built. The project was abandoned in 1984. Now nature has taken over the newly won land, which was declared a nature reserve in 1989. The park paths are open to visitors during the day.

Economy and Infrastructure


The skyline in the Puerto Madero district

As the most important seaport in Argentina, the city ​​is the country's commercial center. The port facilities and ship basins extend for around eight kilometers along the Río de la Plata and house the most important port facilities around Puerto Nuevo.

In parallel to the modern traffic development (for example 16-lane motorways ) the city boomed to become the most important industrial center of the country. Most of the country's industrial facilities were built in Buenos Aires, and since 1930 increasingly also in the suburbs of the extensive catchment area. Almost half of all Argentine industrial companies are located in the metropolitan region , over 26,000 in the federal district alone and at least double that number in the suburbs.

The main industrial locations are the districts in the southeast, especially the administrative districts of Avellaneda and Lanús , which are part of Gran Buenos Aires . This is also where the large natural gas pipelines from Patagonia end . The main branches of international and national banks as well as the Argentine Central Bank , the Stock Exchange and the Grain Exchange are concentrated in the financial district around the intersection of Bartolomé Miter and San Martín streets . Major retail stores and boutiques can be found along Florida Street and Avenida Santa Fe .

In the southern part of the city are meat packing and other food processing industries, petroleum refining and chemical industries. The automotive industry and various light industries, such as printing companies and textile factories, are located in the west and north of the capital. Due to environmental pollution, the city administration is trying to move factories from the city center to the periphery , where some industrial and business parks have emerged. The employees and workers of the evacuated industry followed their employers due to the now long commutes to work.

According to a study from 2014, the greater Buenos Aires area generated a gross domestic product of 316 billion US dollars (KKB). In the ranking of the economically strongest metropolitan regions worldwide, he came in 32nd place. The Human Development Index in 1998 was 0.923, which is quite high from an international perspective.

In the city center of Buenos Aires there were only five high-rise buildings in 1927, but today the streets in the center are drawn from high-rise buildings. The sewer system in the metropolitan area has barely expanded since the 1940s, although millions of people have immigrated.

The city center, which covers around three square kilometers, is located a little north of the Plaza de Mayo, the old center of Buenos Aires. A central business district has developed here with all the hallmarks of the center of a cosmopolitan city : high-rise office buildings and banks, insurance companies, publishing, high-end services, modern shopping malls, entertainment districts, traffic chaos, few green spaces and emigration of the residential population.


Entrance to the subway (Subte) in
Retiro station

Long-distance transport

Buenos Aires has two passenger airports . The international airport Aeropuerto Internacional Ministro Pistarini de Ezeiza is located on the outskirts of the suburb of Ezeiza (about 30 to 40 kilometers outside the city center) and is often just called "Ezeiza". The second airport, Aeroparque Jorge Newbery, is located directly on the banks of the Río de la Plata about five kilometers from the financial district in the center of the city. This airport is called Aeroparque for short and only serves domestic flights and flights to the neighboring countries of Argentina.

Buenos Aires has a large port that is also suitable for large container and tankers. In order to give them access, a fairway is regularly dredged in the Río de la Plata . There is also a ferry port in the immediate vicinity of the economic and financial center with daily connections to Colonia and Montevideo in Uruguay .

Buenos Aires - Tucumán train at the SM de Tucumán station

In 1857 Buenos Aires got a connection to the railroad . Long-distance rail connections almost came to a standstill in the 1990s due to ailing routes and a lack of investors. Today, some cities in the province of Buenos Aires (including the seaside resorts of Mar del Plata and Villa Gesell as well as the port city of Bahía Blanca ), but also more distant cities such as Posadas , Santa Rosa de Toay , Córdoba , Rosario and San Miguel de Tucumán are served .

Since passenger transport by rail in Argentina now plays a subordinate role due to the low speed and lack of comfort compared to the intercity buses, Buenos Aires has a very large bus station with the Terminal de Ómnibus de Retiro . Hundreds of thousands leave the city around the high Christian holidays, such as Easter or Christmas , most of them by coach .

Local transport

Plaza Italia Metro Station
Interior of a subway car on the Subte A line

The streets in the city are largely laid out according to the checkerboard pattern and are mostly one-way streets . For the centenary of independence in 1916, it was planned to supplement this street system with a system of diagonal streets, as in La Plata . Of the generous plans, only Avenida 9 de Julio , as well as Diagonal Norte and Diagonal Sur , both of which begin at Plaza de Mayo , were realized.

Buenos Aires has a system of motorways extending radially from the city . The highways begin at the General Paz ring road . There is a motorway that leads into the center of the city. This cuts through - built on concrete stilts - the entire city from west to east and connects, among other things, the international airport Ezeiza to the center.

Buenos Aires is connected to the national rail network via several terminal stations . The three most important train stations are in the Retiro district . Other important train stations are in the districts of Constitución , La Boca ( Buenos Aires train station ) and Balvanera ( Once and Federico Lacroze ). All of these stations are primarily suburban train stations served by the Buenos Aires suburban railways . However, there are also some long-distance connections from Constitución, Once and Retiro.

On December 1, 1913, the first section of the subway in Buenos Aires was opened. This makes it the oldest subway in Latin America and the thirteenth subway in the world. Today it runs on a network of six lines with a length of 52.3 km and 74 stations. An extension to 89 km in length is planned by 2011. 1.3 million ferry passengers use the subway every day, and the trend is rising. In order to reduce the pollutant emissions in the city by buses, the route network is to be expanded significantly. A relatively drastic increase in fare in 2011, however, had a counterproductive effect on the frequency of use.

After an electric tram was in operation in the city between April 22, 1897 and December 31, 1964, a new line was opened on August 27, 1987 as Premetro ( light rail ). It covers a network of 7.4 km and connects the southern districts with the center. In addition, since July 2007 there has been a short line in the Puerto Madero district, previously comprising four stations, which is to be expanded in several stages and will then connect the Retiro and Buenos Aires stations with the ferry station for trips to Uruguay. Trolleybuses operated in Buenos Aires between June 4, 1948 and April 30, 1966.

Further local public transport is mainly handled by diesel- powered buses , the so-called "colectivos". The bus route network comprises more than 150 routes, which are operated by private companies on a route-specific basis. Because of the low fares, the extensive network and the fact that they are served well into the night, they are heavily frequented, but - like the rest of motor vehicle traffic - they cause considerable pollutant and noise emissions. Due to the regular traffic jams on the streets of the city with only a few bus lanes, it is almost impossible to keep to a schedule and, realistically, is not seriously expected by the passengers.

Around 40,000 taxis are available for individual, local public transport . This corresponds to the ratio of one taxi for every 72 inhabitants of the capital. (For comparison: New York City with 8,168,388 inhabitants has only about 12,000 taxis. This corresponds to the ratio of one taxi for every 681 inhabitants.) Since they are also quite cheap by Argentine standards, they are definitely an alternative to bus or subway. Train. However, the licenses are not checked thoroughly and there are reports of organized crime on the routes to the airports and other important destinations.


The law faculty of the UBA

Educational institutions were once concentrated in the Plaza de Mayo in the city center. They can now also be found in the north of the city. The State University of Buenos Aires , which opened in 1821, was partially housed near the riverside on a new campus. However, some faculties are in the city center, such as law, medical, engineering, and economics. The university now also has other branches in the suburbs of the city, for example in Martínez (Department of San Isidro ).

The National Library can be found in the new districts in the northern part of the city, where the private University of Belgrano, founded in 1964, is also based.

After the overthrow of Juan Domingo Perón in 1955, Jorge Luis Borges became director of the national library; Borge's blindness was so advanced by this time that the doctors forbade him to read or write. In one poem he spoke of “God's brilliant irony” to give him eight hundred thousand books and the darkness at the same time. When Perón came back to power in 1973, Borges resigned from his position as director.

Other educational institutions in Buenos Aires include the National College of Fine Arts (opened in 1904), the National Conservatory of Music (opened in 1924), the Catholic University of Argentina (opened in 1958), and the National Technological University (opened in 1959). One of the youngest universities in Argentina is the Universidad Nacional de San Martín . It was founded in 1992 as a reform university and has developed into one of the highest-ranking universities in Argentina.


The following daily newspapers appear in Buenos Aires: Clarín , La Nación , Buenos Aires Herald , Página / 12 , Perfil , La Prensa , Crónica and Tiempo Argentino as well as the German-language weekly Argentinisches Tageblatt .

Sons and Daughters of the City of Buenos Aires

A large number of well-known personalities were born in Buenos Aires, including Norma Aleandro (actress), Jorge Luis Borges (writer), Jorge Mario Bergoglio (since March 13, 2013 as Pope Francis of the Roman Catholic Church), Benito Quinquela Martín (painter ), Alberto Barton (Peruvian bacteriologist), Bernardino Rivadavia (first Argentine president), Gabriela Sabatini (tennis player), Sky du Mont (actor and author), Martha Argerich (pianist), Máxima of the Netherlands (queen) and Daniel Barenboim (pianist and Conductor).

International personalities who live or have lived in Buenos Aires include: Marcel Duchamp (artist), Pablo Neruda (poet), Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (writer and pilot), Christian Kracht (writer), Francis Ford Coppola ( Director), Ralph Pappier , Slavoj Žižek (philosopher) and Witold Gombrowicz (writer).

See also

Portal: Buenos Aires  - Overview of Wikipedia content on the subject of Buenos Aires


  • Samuel L. Baily: Immigrants in the Lands of Promise. Italians in Buenos Aires and New York City , 1870-1914, Cornell University Press, Ithaca and London 1999, ISBN 0-8014-3562-5
  • Jorge A. Bossio: Los Cafés de Buenos Aires. Reportaje a la Nostalgia , Editorial Plus Ultra, Buenos Aires 1995, ISBN 950-21-1190-7
  • Christina Komi: Recorridos urbanos. La Buenos Aires by Roberto Arlt y Juan Carlos Onetti , Vervuert, Frankfurt am Main 2009, ISBN 978-3-86527-533-2
  • Sieglinde Oehrlein: Buenos Aires: A travel companion . Insel, Frankfurt 2006, ISBN 978-3-458-34915-0
  • Heinz Peter Schwerfel: Buenos Aires intense: Tango urbano - city on the move . Kiepenheuer & Witsch, Cologne 2008, ISBN 978-3-462-03996-2 .

Web links

Commons : Buenos Aires  - album with pictures, videos and audio files
Wikivoyage: Buenos Aires  - Travel Guide
Wiktionary: Buenos Aires  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Postcode ZIP code Capital Federal, Argentina - GeoPostcodes. Retrieved March 24, 2017 .
  2. Pope Francis explains the Sardinian origin of the name of the city of Buenos Aires ( Memento of October 16, 2013 in the Internet Archive )
  3. Buenos Aires, Argentina appointed first UNESCO City of Design: UNESCO Culture Sector ( Memento from August 26, 2009 in the Internet Archive )
  4. Primera Invasión Inglesa (1806)
  5. La reconquista de Buenos Aires
  6. Segunda Invasión Inglesa (1807)
  7. Steffen Leidel: Notorious ex-torture center opens to the public. In: Deutsche Welle. March 14, 2005, accessed December 13, 2008 .
  8. Christiane Wolters: Ex-officer for "death flights" in court. Deutsche Welle, January 14, 2005.
  9. Congreso Latinoamericano Judío: Comunidades de Latinoamerica ( Memento of 12 February 2007 at the Internet Archive ) (Spanish, accessed on December 7, 2006)
  10. Doble caída de Kirchner: en la Capital ganó Macri y en Tierra del Fuego, ARI , La Nación , June 25, 2007
  11. Information page of the city government on the subject of decentralization ( Memento of November 3, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
  12. ^ A b World Urbanization Prospects - Population Division - United Nations. Retrieved July 23, 2018 .
  13. Ciudad de Buenos Aires: Lista de hermanamientos y convenios ( Memento of June 27, 2006 in the Internet Archive )
  14. Mercer's 2018 Quality of Living Rankings. Retrieved August 18, 2018 .
  15. La ciudad con más teatros del mundo La Nación of November 26, 2008
  16. Tierra Santa - Disneyland of Faith ( Memento from July 26, 2010 in the Internet Archive )
  17. ^ Alan Berube, Jesus Leal Trujillo, Tao Ran, and Joseph Parilla: Global Metro Monitor . In: Brookings . January 22, 2015 ( brookings.edu [accessed July 19, 2018]).
  18. Iader.org
  19. The Richest Cities 2005
  20. Sewer system from the 1940s , NZZ, January 14, 2015
  21. Clarín , July 14, 2007
  22. ^ City government of Buenos Aires ( Memento of August 18, 2007 in the Internet Archive ), information on the number of taxis
  23. La Nación
This version was added to the list of articles worth reading on July 22, 2005 .