Buenos Aires (/ˈbweɪnəs ˈɛəriːz/ or /ˈaɪrɪs/, Spanish: [ˈbwenos ˈaiɾes]) is the capital and largest city of Argentina, and the second-largest metropolitan area in South America.It is located on the western shore of the estuary of the Río de la Plata, on the continent's southeastern coast. The Greater Buenos Aires conurbation, which also includes severalBuenos Aires Province districts, constitutes the third-largest conurbation inLatin America, with a population of around fifteen and a half million.
The city of Buenos Aires is neither part of Buenos Aires Province nor the Province's capital; rather, it is an autonomous district. In 1880, after decades of political infighting, Buenos Aires was federalized and removed from Buenos Aires Province. The city limits were enlarged to include the towns of Belgrano and Flores; both are now neighborhoods of the city. The1994 constitutional amendment granted the city autonomy, hence its formal name: Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires (Autonomous City of Buenos Aires). Its citizens first elected a Chief of Government (i.e. Mayor) in 1996; before, the Mayor was directly appointed by the President of the Republic.
Buenos Aires is, along with Mexico City and São Paulo, one of the three Latin American cities considered an 'alpha city' by the study GaWC5.Buenos Aires has the third best quality of life of Latin American cities.Buenos Aires' quality of life is ranked 81st in the world, with its per capita income among the three highest in the region. It is the most visited city in South America (ahead of Rio de Janeiro) and the second most visited city across Spanish Latin America (behind Mexico City). It is also one of the most important,
Buenos Aires is a top tourist destination, and is known for its European-style architecture and rich cultural life,with the highest concentration of theaters in the world.Buenos Aires held the 1st Pan American Games in 1951 as well as hosting two venues in the 1978 FIFA World Cup. Buenos Aires will host the 2018 Summer Youth Olympics.
People from Buenos Aires are referred to as porteños (people of the port). The city is the birthplace of the current pope, Francis (formerArchbishop of Buenos Aires), and of Queen Máxima of the Netherlands.
|Autonomous City of Buenos Aires|
|Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires|
From the top, left to right: Central Business District skyline, the Palace of the Argentine National Congress, Puente de la Mujer, Tango dancers in San Telmo, Casa Rosada, theMetropolitan Cathedral, Cabildo, the Obelisco,Teatro Colón, La Recoleta Cemetery, thePlanetario within Parque Tres de Febrero, andCaminito.
The Queen of El Plata (La reina del Plata), The Paris of South America (La París de Sudamérica),
The original name was given by the Spanish sailors that arrived in the River de la Plata, by the blessings of the "Santa Maria de los Buenos Aires", the Holy Virgin Mary of the Good Winds" that gave them the good winds to reach the coast of what is today the city of Buenos Aires. In the first foundation of Buenos Aires, Pedro de Mendoza called the city "Holy Mary of the Fair Winds", a name chosen by the chaplain of Mendoza's expedition, a devotee of the Virgin of Buen Ayre. Mendoza’s settlement soon came under attack by indigenous people, and was abandoned in 1541.
For many years, the name was attributed to Sancho del Campo, who is said to have exclaimed: How fair are the winds of this land!, as he arrived. But Eduardo Madero, in 1882 after conducting extensive research in Spanish archives, ultimately concluded that the name was closely linked with the devotion of the sailors to Our Lady of Buen Ayre.
A second (and permanent) settlement was established in 1580 by Juan de Garay, who sailed down the Paraná River from Asunción (now the capital of Paraguay). Garay preserved the name chosen by Mendoza, calling the city Ciudad de la Santísima Trinidad y Puerto de Santa María del Buen Aire ("City of the Most Holy Trinity and Port of Saint Mary of the Fair Winds"). The short form "Buenos Aires" became the common usage during the 17th century.
The Catalan missionaries and Jesuits that arrived under the Spanish Crown, recorded under the archives of Aragonese when they conquered Cagliari, Sardinia from the Pisans in 1324, they established their headquarters on top of a hill that overlooked the city. The hill was known to them as Buen Ayre (or "Bonaria" in the local language), as it was free of the foul smell prevalent in the old city (the castle area), which is adjacent to swampland. During the siege of Cagliari, the Aragonese built a sanctuary to the Virgin Mary on top of the hill. In 1335, King Alfonso the Gentle donated the church to the Mercedarians, who built an abbey that stands to this day. In the years after that, a story circulated, claiming that a statue of the Virgin Mary was retrieved from the sea after it miraculously helped to calm a storm in the Mediterranean Sea. The statue was placed in the abbey. Spanish sailors, especially Andalusians, venerated this image and frequently invoked the "Fair Winds" to aid them in their navigation and prevent shipwrecks. A sanctuary to the Virgin of Buen Ayre would be later erected in Seville.
Seaman Juan Díaz de Solís, navigating in the name of Spain, was the first European to reach the Río de la Plata in 1516. His expedition was cut short when he was killed during an attack by the native Charrúa tribe in what is now Uruguay.
The city of Buenos Aires was first established asCiudad de Nuestra Señora Santa María del Buen Ayre (literally "City of Our Lady Saint Mary of the Fair Winds") after Our Lady of Bonaria (Patroness Saint of Sardinia) on 2 February 1536 by a Spanish expedition led by Pedro de Mendoza. The settlement founded by Mendoza was located in what is today the San Telmo district of Buenos Aires, south of the city center.
More attacks by the indigenous people forced the settlers away, and in 1542 the site was abandoned. A second (and permanent) settlement was established in 1580 by Juan de Garay, who arrived by sailing down the Paraná River from Asunción (now the capital of Paraguay). He dubbed the settlement "Santísima Trinidad" and its port became "Puerto de Santa María de los Buenos Aires."
From its earliest days, Buenos Aires depended primarily on trade. During most of the 17th and 18th centuries, Spanish ships were menaced by pirates, so they developed a complex system where ships with military protection were dispatched to Central America, cross the land, from there to Lima, Peru and from it to the inner cities of the viceroyalty. Because of this, products took a very long time to arrive in Buenos Aires, and the taxes generated by the transport made them prohibitive. This scheme frustrated the traders of Buenos Aires, and a thriving contraband industry developed. This also instilled a deep resentment in porteños towards the Spanish authorities.
Sensing these feelings, Charles III of Spain progressively eased the trade restrictions and finally declared Buenos Aires an open port in the late 18th century. The capture of Porto Bello by British forces also fueled the need to foster commerce via the Atlantic route, to the detriment of Lima-based trade. One of his rulings was to split a region from the Viceroyalty of Perú and create instead the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata, with Buenos Aires as the capital. However, Charles's placating actions did not have the desired effect, and the porteños, some of them versed in the ideology of the French Revolution, became even more convinced of the need for independence from Spain.
During most of the 19th century, the political status of the city remained a sensitive subject. It was already capital of Buenos Aires Province, and between 1853 and 1860 it was the capital of the seceded State of Buenos Aires. The issue was fought out more than once on the battlefield, until the matter was finally settled in 1880 when the city wasfederalized and became the seat of government, with its Mayor appointed by the President. The Casa Rosada became the seat of the President. Health conditions in poor areas were negative, with high rates of tuberculosis. Public-health physicians and politicians typically blamed both the poor themselves and their ramshackle tenement houses (conventillos) for the spread of the dreaded disease. People ignored public-health campaigns to limit the spread of contagious diseases, such as the prohibition of spitting on the streets, the strict guidelines to care for infants and young children, and quarantines that separated families from ill loved ones.
In addition to the wealth generated by the Buenos Aires Customs and the fertile pampas,railroad development in the second half of the 19th century increased the economic power of Buenos Aires as raw materials flowed into its factories. A leading destination for immigrants from Europe, particularly Italy and Spain, from 1880 to 1930 Buenos Aires became a multicultural city that ranked itself with the major European capitals. The Colón Theater became one of the world's top opera venues, and the city became the regional capital of radio, television, cinema, and theatre. The city's main avenues were built during those years, and the dawn of the 20th century saw the construction of South America's then-tallest buildings and the first underground system. A second construction boom from 1945 to 1980 reshaped downtown and much of the city.
Buenos Aires also attracted migrants from Argentina's provinces and neighboring countries. Shanty towns (villas miseria) started growing around the city's industrial areas during the 1930s, leading to pervasive social problems and social contrasts with the largely upwardly mobile Buenos Aires population. These laborers became the political base of Peronism, which emerged in Buenos Aires during the pivotal demonstration of 17 October 1945, at the Plaza de Mayo. Industrial workers of the Greater Buenos Aires industrial belt have been Peronism's main support base ever since, and Plaza de Mayo became the site for demonstrations and many of the country's political events; on 16 June 1955, however, a splinter faction of the Navy bombed the Plaza de Mayo area, killing 364 civilians (see Bombing of Plaza de Mayo). This was the only time the city was attacked from the air, and the event was followed by a military uprising which deposed President Perón, three months later (see Revolución Libertadora).
In the 1970s the city suffered from the fighting between left-wing revolutionary movements (Montoneros, E.R.P. and F.A.R.) and the right-wing paramilitary group Triple A, supported by Isabel Perón, who became president of Argentina in 1974 after Juan Perón's death.
The March 1976 coup, led by General Jorge Videla, only escalated this conflict; the "Dirty War" resulted in 30,000 desaparecidos (people kidnapped and killed by the military during the years of the junta). The silent marches of their mothers (Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo) are a well-known image of Argentines suffering during those times.
The dictatorship's appointed mayor, Osvaldo Cacciatore, also drew up plans for a network of freeways intended to relieve the city's acute traffic gridlock. The plan, however, called for a seemingly indiscriminate razing of residential areas and, though only three of the eight planned were put up at the time, they were mostly obtrusive raised freeways that continue to blight a number of formerly comfortable neighborhoods to this day.
The city was visited by Pope John Paul II twice: in 1982, and a second visit in 1987, which gathered some of the largest crowds in the city's history. The return of democracy in 1983 coincided with a cultural revival, and the 1990s saw an economic revival, particularly in the construction and financial sectors.
On 17 March 1992 a bomb exploded in the Israeli Embassy, killing 29 and injuring 242. Another explosion, on 18 July 1994 destroyed a building housing severalJewish organizations, killing 85 and injuring many more, these incidents marked the beginning of Middle Eastern terrorism to South America.
Following a 1993 agreement, the Argentine Constitution was amended to give Buenos Aires autonomy and rescinding, among other things, the president's right to appoint the city's mayor (as had been the case since 1880). On 30 June 1996, voters in Buenos Aires chose their first elected mayor (Chief of Government).
On 30 December 2004 a fire at the República Cromagnon nightclub killed almost 200 people, one of the greatest non-natural tragedies in Argentine history.
The mayor of the city is Mauricio Macri, elected in 2007 and re-elected in 2011.
On 22 February 2012, a train crashed at Once Station. Fifty-one people were killed and more than 700 were injured; the dead and seriously injured were in the first two carriages, which was packed with people who had moved to the front of the train to be near the station exit on arrival.
The limits of Buenos Aires proper are determined in the eastern part and north-east by the Rio de la Plata, in the southern part and southeast by the Riachuelo and to the northwest, west and Southwest by Avenida General Paz, a 24 km (15 mi) long highway that separates the province of Buenos Aires from the 203 km2 (78 sq mi) that form the city.
The city of Buenos Aires lies in the pampa region, except for some zones like theBuenos Aires Ecological Reserve, the Boca Juniors (football) Club "sports city",Jorge Newbery Airport, the Puerto Madero neighborhood and the main port itself; these were all built on reclaimed land along the coasts of the Rio de la Plata (the world's widest river).
The region was formerly crossed by different creeks and lagoons, some of which were refilled and others tubed. Among the most important creeks are Maldonado, Vega, Medrano, Cildañez and White. In 1908 many creeks were channelled and rectified, as floods were damaging the city's infrastructure. Starting in 1919, most creeks were enclosed. Notably, the Maldonado was tubed in 1954, and runs below Juan B. Justo Avenue.
Buenos Aires is the political, financial, industrial, commercial, and cultural hub of Argentina. Its port is one of the busiest in South America; navigable rivers by way of the Rio de la Plata connect the port to north-east Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay. As a result it serves as the distribution hub for a vast area of the south-eastern region of the continent. Tax collection related to the port has caused many political problems in the past.
The economy in the city proper alone, measured by Gross Geographic Product (adjusted for purchasing power), totalled US$84.7 billion (US$34,200 per capita) in 2011 and amounts to nearly a quarter of Argentina's as a whole. Metro Buenos Aires, according to one well-quoted study, constitutes the 13th largest economy among the world's cities. The Buenos Aires Human Development Index (0.923 in 1998) is likewise high by international standards.
The city's services sector is diversified and well-developed by international standards, and accounts for 76% of its economy (compared to 59% for all of Argentina's). Advertising, in particular, plays a prominent role in the export of services at home and abroad. The financial and real-estate services sector is the largest, however, and contributes to 31% of the city's economy. Finance (about a third of this) in Buenos Aires is especially important to Argentina's banking system, accounting for nearly half the nation's bank deposits and lending. Nearly 300 hotels and another 300 hostels and bed & breakfasts are licensed for Tourism in Buenos Aires, and nearly half the rooms available were in four-star establishments or higher.
Manufacturing is, nevertheless, still prominent in the city's economy (16%) and, concentrated mainly in the southside, it benefits as much from high local purchasing power and a large local supply of skilled labor as it does from its relationship to massive agriculture and industry just outside the city limits themselves. Construction activity in Buenos Aires has historically been among the most dramatic indicators of national economic fortunes (see table at right), and since 2006 around 3 million m² (32 million ft²) of construction has been authorized annually. The Port of Buenos Aires handles over 11 million revenue tons annually, and Dock Sud, just south of the city proper, handles another 17 million metric tons.
To the west of Buenos Aires is the Pampa Húmeda, the most productive agricultural region of Argentina produces wheat,soybeans and corn (as opposed to the dry southern Pampa, mostly used for cattle farming and more recently production of premium Buenos Aires wines). Meat, dairy, grain, tobacco, wool and leather products are processed or manufactured in the Buenos Aires metro area. Other leading industries are automobile manufacturing, oil refining, metalworking, machine building and the production of textiles, chemicals, clothing and beverages.
The city's budget, per Mayor Macri's 2011 proposal, will include US$6 billion in revenues and US$6.3 billion in expenditures. The city relies on local income and capital gains taxes for 61% of its revenues, while federal revenue sharing will contribute 11%, property taxes, 9%, and vehicle taxes, 6%. Other revenues include user fees, fines and gambling duties. The city devotes 26% of its budget to education, 22% for health, 17% for public services and infrastructure, 16% for social welfare and culture, 12% in administrative costs and 4% for law enforcement. Buenos Aires maintains low debt levels and its service requires less than 3% of the budget.
Strongly influenced by European culture, Buenos Aires is sometimes referred to as the "Paris of South America". The city has the busiest live theatre industry in Latin America, with scores of theaters and productions. In fact, every weekend, there are about 300 active theatres with plays, a number that places the city as 1st worldwide, more than either London, New York or Paris, cultural Meccas in themselves. The number of cultural festivals with more than 10 sites and 5 years of existence also places the city as 2nd worldwide, after Edinburgh.
Buenos Aires is the site of the Teatro Colón, an internationally rated opera house. There are several symphony orchestras and choral societies. The city has numerous museums related to history, fine arts, modern arts, decorative arts, popular arts, sacred art, arts and crafts, theatre and popular music, as well as the preserved homes of noted art collectors, writers, composers and artists. The city is home to hundreds of bookstores, public libraries and cultural associations (it is sometimes called "the city of books"), as well as the largest concentration of active theatres in Latin America. It has a world-famous zoo and botanical garden, a large number of landscaped parks and squares, as well as churches and places of worship of many denominations, many of which are architecturally noteworthy.
Every April in the city, the Buenos Aires International Book Fair is celebrated; it is one of the top five book fairs in the world, oriented to the general public as well as to the literary community . With one bookstore per 4,000 residents, the city of Buenos Aires has the highest concentration of bookstores per capita than any other city in the world and more bookstores than the entire country of Mexico, which has over 100 million inhabitants.
"La Noche de los Museos" (Night of Museums) also takes place every November. On this day, most of the museums of the city are open all night long. In 2014, the event attracted over 850,000 visitors to the city's more than 200 museums, a record figure.
Buenos Aires is also very active in street art, with major murals everywhere in the city.
Primary education comprise grades 1–7. Most primary schools in the city still adhere to the traditional seven-year primary school, but kids can do grades 1-6 if their high schools lasts 6 years, such as ORT Argentina.
Secondary education in Argentina is called Polimodal ("polymodal", that is, having multiple modes), since it allows the student to choose his/her orientation. Polimodal is usually 3 years of schooling, although some schools have a fourth year. Before entering the first year of polimodal, students choose an orientation, among these five: Humanities and Social Sciences, Economics and Management of Organizations, Art and Design, Health and Sport and Biology and Natural Sciences.
Nevertheless, in Buenos Aires, secondary education consists of 5 years, called from 1st year to 5th year, as opposed to primary education's 1st to 7th grade. Most schools don't require students to choose their orientation, as they study the basic such as maths, biology, art, history and technology, but there are schools that do, whether they are orientated to a certain profession or they have orientations to choose from when they reach a specific year.
Some high schools depend on the University of Buenos Aires, and these require an admission course when students are taking the last year of high school. These high schools are ILSE, CNBA, Escuela Superior de Comercio Carlos Pellegrini and Escuela de Educación Técnica Profesional en Producción Agropecuaria y Agroalimentaria (School of Professional Technique Education in Agricultural and Agri-food Production). The last two do have a specific orientation.
In December 2006 the Chamber of Deputies of the Argentine Congress passed a new National Education Law restoring the old system of primary followed by secondary education, making secondary education obligatory and a right, and increasing the length of compulsory education to 13 years. The government vowed to put the law in effect gradually, starting in 2007.