THE END OF THE WORLD
Day 1 - Buenos Aires City (Argentina)

LOS CURSOS DE INGLES GRATIS PREFERIDOS POR LOS HISPANOHABLANTES

 

Latin America's most sophisticated city, dubbed the "Paris of South America," invites you to stroll along broad, tree-lined boulevards, lovely parks to chic residential areas. Tour the dazzling Colon Opera House, one of the world's greatest opera houses, and walk along Avenida 9 de Julio, a magnificent avenue which measuring 425 feet across becomes South America’s widest street.

HISTORY
The Spanish tried to establish a fort at Buenos Aires in 1536 on an expedition led by Pedro de Mendoza. Their efforts were abandoned several years later due to clashes with the indigenous Indians and a lack of supplies. It was not until 1580 that the area was refounded by Juan de Garay who established a more permanent settlement. Many of the members of the 2nd expedition were granted large portions of land. They took the land and almost immediately began to tame the wild horses and cattle that the first settlers had left behind 50 years prior. For the next 150 years the area grew at a sluggish pace reaching 14,000 inhabitants by 1750, partly due to the region’s lack of resources. Several years’ later the trade in hides strengthened the region’s growth. Independence was first declared in 1810 from Spain. It wasn’t until 1816 that that Buenos Aires was officially recognized and its ports were opened up to free trade. 

The exportation of hides, grain, wheat, meat and wool contributed to the cities thriving population which grew over to 100,000. The city was declared Argentina’s permanent capital in 1880. The population growth continued, and by 1950 5 million people resided in Greater Buenos Aires and now over 12 million live in and around the capital. Buenos Aires, which means "good airs", was named by early Spanish sailors.

PLACES OF INTEREST

Metropolitan Cathedral
Located on the Plaza de Mayo, this neoclassical building originates from 1822, although parts of the building predate this by a century. More than just a cathedral, this is a historical monument as it includes the remains of General Jose de San Martin, who became known as the Liberator, during the War of Independence from Spain. His marble mausoleum is guarded by soldiers of the Grenadier Regiment who San Martin himself founded in 1811.

Casa Rosada
Known as the Pink House, the palace is the Government headquarters although the President does not live here. Look for the 1st floor balcony on the Northern wing. This is the famous spot where Evita came to rally the workers and is used by the country's leaders to address large groups of people who gather below. Adjoining the building is the Museo de Casa Rosada, which contains large amounts of presidential memorabilia. One of the interesting aspects of a tour through this magnificent building is that visitors are largely unsupervised and can wander at their leisure.

Colon Opera House
For decades, visitors to Buenos Aires have marveled at one of the world's great opera houses. Opened in 1908 with a performance of Aida, this opera house has seen performances from the greats, Caruso, Callas, Pavarotti, Toscanini and Stravinsky and has a reputation for the best acoustics in the world. Several architects were involved in the construction of the building, which is of Italianate design with French decoration. The seven-story building occupies an entire block and has seating for an audience of 2,500. Its well-known central chandelier measures 21ft. A guided tour of the theater and museum includes glimpse of the workshops.

La Recoleta
It is one of the most fashionable areas in the city, known also for its opulent cemetery. Here generations of the Argentine elite have been put to rest in the most ostentatious mausoleums. Among the famous names from Argentine history is Evita Peron, who lies in the Duarte family mausoleum. A short stroll through this miniature city will point out Evita's resting place.

National Historic Museum
This museum, housed in a stately old mansion, focuses on the official history of Argentina from the 1600's to the beginnings of the 1900's. The Liberator of Argentina, General Jose de San Martin is prominently featured throughout the museum's exhibits, with particular reference to the campaigns of 1810 and the War of Independence. The highlights of the museum are the paintings of Candido Lopez and his examples of contemporary primitive art. With only one arm -he lost the other in the Paraguayan war of the 1870's- he learned to paint and produced spectacular wide canvases of war scenes.

Palermo Woods
Tourists agree that this area is comparable to the Bois de Boulogne in Paris. And they are right: Carlos Thays -the parisian woods' designer- took over the design of Palermo woods, the Botanic Garden and many parks in Buenos Aires. Palermo is known for its magnificent avenues and the famous Rose Garden, Andalusian Patio and Japanese Garden. It also contains a zoo, a planetarium, polo grounds, horse race tracks and lakes. Also here you will find OM Personal headquarters (the tallest building in the picture).

 

ACTIVITIES

A. Highlighted sentences are in Passive Voice. Turn them into ACTIVE VOICE.

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B. Read the passages carefully and ANSWER these questions:

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When was Buenos Aires declared Argentina's permanent capital

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Which is a famous spot in the Casa Rosada? 

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Why is the Colon Opera House so renowned technically?

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What makes Candido Lopez's paintings particularly remarkable?

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Where in Buenos Aires are OM Personal headquarters located?

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