February 22, 2013

Plaza Lavalle

Walking through Buenos Aires is a feast for the eyes. The architecture is often French or Italian and the city is rich in design.

One place of interest for me is the Plaza Lavalle in the downtown core. Off one of the grandest of avenues, Avenida 9 de Julio, this green space is surrounded by magnificence, power and beauty, and an oasis of calm.

Here we find one of the five best opera houses in the world: Teatro Colon. Ranked with La Scala and Paris Opera, Teatro Colon is of Italian design with conception and construction beginning in 1889.

The Palacio de Justicia (the Supreme Court) is a French design with construction beginning in 1904, and finally concluding in 1942.

El Mirado Massue, below, dates from 1903 and is considered a wonderful example of art nouveau porteno.

The beauty of the city's oldest synagogue is here as well, centre of the largest Jewish population in Latin America. It was built in 1897.

This is a wonderful city in which to walk. The cultural richness and the beauty of the plazas and grand avenues flows into narrow streets, never seeing the full sun yet full of shops and cars and people.

While taking photos of the Synagogue I was approached by a member of Policia Federal. Gently, but firmly, he asked me to refrain from taking photos of the temple. He explained that with recent events around investigating the terrible attacks on the Israeli Embassy in 1992 (29 killed) and the community centre in 1994 (85 killed), both in Buenos Aires, the police will be vigilant and maintain security around various sites. The current issue, now before the Senate, is creation a committee with Iran to investigate the bombings. It has been covered widely in the media, and has, unfortunately, increased  anti-semitism among the usual suspects.

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