Córdoba is a city located in the geographical center of Argentina, in the foothills of the Sierras Chicas on the Suquía River, about 700 km (435 mi) northwest of Buenos Aires. It is the capital of Córdoba Province and the second-largest city in Argentina after the autonomous city of Buenos Aires, with about 1.3 million inhabitants according to the 2001 census. It was founded on 6 July 1573 by Jerónimo Luis de Cabrera, who named it after Córdoba, Spain. It was one of the first Spanish colonial capitals of the region that is now Argentina (the oldest city is Santiago del Estero, founded in 1553). The National University of Córdoba is the oldest university of the country and the second to be inaugurated in Latin America. It was founded in 1613 by the Jesuit Order. Because of this, Córdoba earned the nickname La Docta (roughly translated, "The Learned one").
Córdoba has many historical monuments preserved from Spanish colonial rule, especially buildings of the Roman Catholic Church. The most recognizable is perhaps the Jesuit Block (Spanish: Manzana Jesuítica), declared in 2000 as a World Heritage Site by UNESCOwhich consists of a group of buildings dating from the 17th century, including the Colegio Nacional de Monserrat and the colonial university campus. The campus belongs today to the historical museum of the National University of Córdoba, which has been the second-largest university in the country since the early 20th century (after the University of Buenos Aires), in terms of the number of students, faculty, and academic programs. Córdoba is also known for its historical movements, such as Cordobazo and La Reforma del '18 (known as University Revolution in English).
The city's geographic location is South American subcontinent, in the geographical centre – west of Argentina and of the province of Córdoba; to a distance of 702 km (436 mi) from Buenos Aires and 401 km (249 mi) from the city ofRosario, taking as a point of reference San Martín Square in downtown Córdoba. The relative location of the municipal common land, is in the south hemisphere of the globe, to the south of the
As per the provincial laws No. 778 December 14, 1878, Not. 927 October 20, 1883, and Not. 1295 December 29, 1893, the limits of the city of Córdoba are delineated in the northern part, South, East and West located to 12 km (7 mi) from San Martín Square which means that the common land has 24 km (15 mi) from side. The city, adjoins in the northern territory with Colón Department summarizing a total surface of 562.
The city is located in the plain of the Humid Pampa, to the east of the oriental cord of Córdoba Hills or Sierras Chicas, also known as the Sierras Cordobesas, which has an average height of 550 m. It spreads at the foot of the mount, on both banks of the River Suquía, and flows into theSan Roque reservoir; from there, the Primero River goes east into the plains surrounding the city of Córdoba.
Once inside the city, the La Cañada stream meets the Rio Primero near the city centre area. Two kilometers to the east, Isla de los Patos (Ducks Island) was repopulated with ducks and swans in the 1980s. It was reported in March 2006 that a large number of ducks had died due to unspecified causes. Pollution caused by chemical waste is suspected as the cause, but avian influenza is also being investigated.
Beyond the city limits, the river flows towards the Algarrobos swamp and ends its course on the southern coast of the Mar Chiquita (or Mar de Ansenuza) salt lake. All in all, the river has a length of approximately 200 km (124 mi) and carries, on average, 9.7 m³/s, with minimum of 2 m³/s and maximum of 24 m³/s with a peak during the summer months.
Pollution of the water and of the riverbank is a major environmental issue in Córdoba. Periodic cleaning operations are carried out to increase the quality of the water and to preserve the viability of fishing, both in the San Roque reservoir area and downstream.
The use of the city soil is regulated by the municipality, which determines and destines 26,177 hectares to urban area (40.24%), 12,267 hectares to the industrial dominant area (21.3%), 16,404 hectares to rural area dominant (28.45%) and 5,750 hectares to other uses as military proposes, or institutional spaces (9.98%) of the total area of the city.
Green spaces include different types of spaces, from squares, small squares, up to urban, green linear parks of different scales as the river Suquia, bicycle pathways and highway s). The surface supported by the Municipality of Córdoba in character of green Urban adds approximately 1645 hectares.
The historical centre is shaped by quadrangular blocks of some hundred thirty meters of side. The disposition of the neighborhoods and principal avenues is radial. From the city centre district large avenues that lead to the most peripheral neighborhoods are born. In conformity with the demographic growth the city has expanded principally to the northwest and to the southeast, following the trace of the National Route 9.
Córdoba is home to one of the most important financial districts in South America. The district is home to the Bank of Córdoba and other private banking institutions. Sightseeing places include San Martín Square, the Jesuit Block (declared UNESCO World Heritage Site) and the Genaro Pérez Museum. The streets mostly follow a regular checkerboard pattern, and the main thoroughfares are Vélez Sarsfield, Colón, General Paz, Dean Funes Avenue, and 27 April Street. The point of origin of the city is the San Martin Square, surrounded by the Municipality and Central Post Office.
Downtown Córdoba is home of large shopping malls, notably Patio Olmos. This mall is the result of a massive regeneration effort, recycling and refurbishing the west side old warehouses into elegant offices and commercial centres. An important cultural point of interest is the Palacio Ferreyra, a mansion built in 1916 based on plans by the French architect, Ernest Sanson. The Ferreyra palace was converted into the Evita Perón Museum of Fine Arts (the city's second) in 2007. Located at the corner of Hipólito Yrigoyen and Chacabuco Avenues, it has now been restored and adapted to house the city's principal art gallery.
New Córdoba has a number of important avenues such as Yrigoyen and Vélez Sarsfield. Most of the university students in this growing city live in this neighbourhood, and a recent construction boom has been transforming this upscale area into the fastest-growing section in the city.
Ciudad Universitaria is a district located in the southern area of the city, next to the 17 hectares (42 acres) Sarmiento Park, the city's most important one. The Universidad Nacional de Córdoba (UNC) has most of its facilities in this area. The UNC was the first university built in Argentina, founded by Jesuits around 1622. The Universidad Nacional de Córdoba is also famous for the "Reforma Universitaria", a student led protest that started in March 1918 in the Medical School, in which the students rebelled against the prevailing university system. This was an old anachronic system in which professors were authoritarian and inefficient, with a religiously oriented curriculum. Eventually this revolt lead to a more secular curriculum and some significant re-structuring of the university government. The distinctive nature of the movement derived not only from its radical demands, but also from its extremist tactics, the level of sophistication of its organization, and its major continental impact. In fact, the Reform Movement rapidly spread from Córdoba to Lima (1919), Cuzco (1920), Santiago de Chile (1920), and Mexico (1921). Another important university, the UTN, dedicated to the teaching of engineering sciences, is located in this part of the city. There are also a gym and football stadium and tennis courts for the students. The Córdoba Zoo is located in this district.
Located about 6 kilometers (3.7 mi) from downtown Córdoba is the Cerro de Las Rosas. This very affluent neighborhood is famous for its schools, shops and educational institutions. This neighborhood's economic activity centers around the Rafael Núñez Avenue, a long wide road that stretches for a few miles and has restaurants, boutiques, banks and other shops. Over the last decade, this neighborhood has experienced steady growth; however, some of its most affluent inhabitants have moved to gated communities for security reasons. Some of these communities, such as "Las Delicias" and "Lomas de los Carolinos", are in the old Camino a La Calera.
Córdoba has long been one of Argentina's main educational centers, with 6 universities and several postsecondary colleges. Students from the entire country, as well as neighbouring countries attend the local universities, giving the city a distinct atmosphere.
The National University of Córdoba, established since 1613, is the 4th oldest in the Americas and the first in Argentina. It has about 105,000 students, and offers degres in a wide variety of subjects in the sciences, applied sciences, social sciences, humanities and arts.
The National Technological University has one of their branches in the city, offering undergraduate degrees in engineering (civil, electrical, electronic, industrial, mechanical, metallurgy, chemical and information), as well as master's degrees in engineering and business, and a PhD program in engineering and materials.
The Aeronautic University Institute offers degrees in aeronautical, telecommunications and electronic engineering, as well as information systems, accounting, logistics and administration.
Furthermore, the Universidad Siglo 21 and Universidad Blas Pascal are private universities in the city.
The Air Force Academy and the Air Force NCOs School are both located in the city outskirts.
The Literary activity flourished in the city at the beginning of the last century. Córdoba was the city of Leopoldo Lugones, Arturo Capdevila and Marcos Aguinis, among many other prestigious writers. Among the city's best-known museums are the Caraffa Fine Arts Museum, founded in 1916, and the Evita Fine Arts Museum, founded in 2007. The Paseo del Buen Pastor, a cultural center opened in 2007, features an art museum, as well as a shopping gallery devoted to local vintners, cheese makers, leather crafters and other artisans.
The typical music in Córdoba is the cuarteto. It can be heard in many parties and pubs. The most popular cuarteto singers are: Carlos La Mona Jiménez, Rodrigo, La Barra and Jean Carlos, among others. The places they usually sing are named bailes (dances). One of the first groups was Cuarteto de Oro.
Other very popular music styles among the youth are electronic music (or electro), as well as reggaeton. These are commonly played at "boliches," as night clubs are known in Argentina. Córdoba is sometimes referred to as the Night Life City (or, the city that never sleeps), because of its wide range of clubs and teenage matinées (dancing clubs).
Córdoba also enjoys a rich musical culture that includes classical, jazz, rock, pop and electronic in a variety of venues. Córdoba is home to the Teatro Libertador San Martín, which regularly features classical music, opera, folk music, theater plays, etc.
Córdoba has many historical monuments left over from the colonial era. In the centre, near the Plaza San Martín square, is the Jesuit Cathedral, whose altar is made of stone and silver from Potosí. Every ornament inside is made of gold and the roof is all painted with different images from the Bible. Another important historic building is the Cabildo (colonial government house), located next to the church. The Jesuit Block, the Monserrat School, the University and the church of the Society of Jesus are also located in Córdoba.
The first festival of the year is in February, the Carnival, where children enjoy throwing water balloons at each other on the street.
Then in the middle of the year, on 20 July, Friends Day is celebrated. Usually, most of the teenagers meet at Parque de las Naciones or Parque Sarmiento and spend the afternoon there. At night, they go dancing to different places, and enjoy a drink.
The last festival is Spring Day, held on 21 September, which is Students' Day. Many go to the park or spend the day in the nearby city of Villa Carlos Paz. There they can enjoy lots of activities like concerts, dancing, going down town or visiting the river bank.