Rosario (Spanish pronunciation: [roˈsaɾjo]) is the largest city in the province ofSanta Fe, in central Argentina. It is located 300 km (186 mi) northwest of Buenos Aires, on the western shore of the Paraná River. Rosario is the third most populous city in the country, and is also the most populous city in Argentina that is not a state capital, with a growing and important metropolitan area; Greater Rosario has an estimated population of 1,276,000 as of 2012. One of its main attractions includes theneoclassical architecture that has been retained over the centuries in hundreds of residences, houses, and public buildings.
Rosario is the head city of the Rosario Department and is located at the heart of the major industrial corridor in Argentina. The city is a majorrailroad terminal and the shipping center for northeastern Argentina. Ships reach the city via the Paraná River, which allows the existence of a 10-metre-deep (34 ft) port. The Port of Rosario is subject to silting and must be dredged periodically. Exports include wheat, flour, hay, linseed and other vegetable oils, corn, sugar, lumber, meat, hides, and wool. Manufactured goods include flour, sugar, meat products, and other foodstuffs. The Rosario-Victoria Bridge, opened in 2004, spans the Paraná River, connecting Rosario with the city of Victoria, across the Paraná Delta. Because it plays a critical role in agricultural commerce, the city finds itself at the center of a continuing debate over taxes levied on big-ticket agricultural goods such as soy.
Along with Paraná, Rosario is one of the few Argentine cities that cannot point to a particular individual as its founder. The city's patron is the Virgin of the Rosary, whose feast day is October 7. The asteroid 14812 Rosario was named in its honor.
Notable people from Rosario include the revolutionary Che Guevara;football players Maximiliano Urruti, Lionel Messi, Ángel Di María,Maximiliano Rodríguez and Mauro Icardi; football coaches César Luis Menotti, Gerardo Martino and Marcelo Bielsa; field hockey player Luciana Aymar; actor/comedian Alberto Olmedo and actress Libertad Lamarque; jazz composer Gato Barbieri; cartoonist/writer Roberto Fontanarrosa; singer/songwriter Fito Paez; artist/painter Antonio Berni; and model Valeria Mazza.
|City of Rosario|
|Nickname(s): "Birthplace of the Argentine Flag", "The Argentine Chicago"|
Rosario is the main epicentre of a metropolitan region whose economy is based on services and industry, generating the second largest urban gross regional product of Argentina, after Greater Buenos Aires.The principal manufacturing sector is the agro industry, whose industries are placed in the northern and southern areas of the Greater Rosario; the investments over the last decade have transformed Rosario into a major role of processing oil of the world Many other sectors contribute to the diversified industrial offerings of the city. Rosario and its metropolitan area produce 20% of the cars, 4% of the domestic refrigerators, 80% of the machinery for the food industry and 100% of the auto bodies for long distance buses made in Argentina.
Other important sectors include the petrochemical sector, with three plants located in the suburbs of San Lorenzo and Port San Martin; the chemistry sector, with plants for sulphuric acid, fertilizers, resins and other products; the cellulose industry; the meat industry; ironworks; auto parts; the plants and equipment for bottled oil; agricultural machinery; and the materials and equipment for the construction industry. Worldwide international companies settled in Rosario include, among others, General Motors, Cargill, Unilever, John Deere,Petrobrás, ICI, Dow, Tenneco and Mahle.
The main financial bank at the city of Rosario is the Municipal Bank of Rosario. Its central offices are located in the financial district, on San Martín St., and there are several additional offices throughout the city. It is focused on small and medium enterprises and other organizations, especially through micro credits, and may be considered an "ethical bank."
The Municipal Bank was founded in 1896 to support the financial needs of the citizens and small businesses in the highly productive region of southern Santa Fe Province, centered in Rosario. At the time, the city had around 92,000 inhabitants and was already the most important port on the Paraná River. The idea of creating a municipal financial institution was expressed in 1893 by Mayor Floduardo Grandoli, citing the proliferation of "centers of usury" that exploited those in need of credit, especially the poor (something not addressed by the profile of the Provincial Bank of Santa Fe, which granted loans only to demonstrably solvent persons). Acting on this, the municipal Counseling Commission passed a bill (on 1 February 1895) dictating an "Organic Charter of the Municipal Bank of Loans and Savings Accounts;" the bank opened exactly one year later.
The seat of the bank was moved in 1905. Its name was changed to its present form on 14 May 1940 by a municipal bill. Its location was moved again, for the last time so far, in 1986. Following some political controversy, the bank in 2006 was capitalized by the municipality in order to comply with new regulations dictated by the Central Bank, and transformed into ajoint stock company, with only 1% of the stock belonging to the municipal state. A special clause was added, dictating that this minimum share is unchangeable, so as to prevent hypothetical attempts at privatization.
The Rosario Board of Trade hosts the country's largest commodity market, dealing in cereals and oilseeds, and also the largest futures exchange (ROFEX). The banking sector includes the state-owned Municipal Bank of Rosario, with branches and offices throughout the city, and the central branch of the New Bank of Santa Fe.
The largest technological center in Argentina – Polo Tecnológico Rosario (PTR) – is located in Rosario within La Siberia site. The center focus mainly on research and development of the three following areas: biotechnology, software development and telecommunications. It currently employs 3,500 people and it is expected to grow 100% by 2015 to become one of the largest in Latin America.
Rosario has many cultural activities in many artistic disciplines with national and international reach. The city has produced important personalities in the fields of music, painting, philosophy, politics, poetry, literature, medicine, and law. Among the city's important theaters are El Círculo, Sala Lavardén, Broadway, Astengo Auditorium, and La Comedia. A cultural complex known as Puerto de la Música, designed by the modernist architect Oscar Niemeyer (of Brasilia fame), is to be built along the banks of the Paraná River. If completed it will be one of the largest centers for musical performance in Latin America. In 2012, after years without progress, it was put on indefinite hold due to financial constraints. January 1995 saw the launch of the Rosario District Fishing Championship, held in the Parana River. 3 years later in 1998, a 10-year-old Lionel Messi was crowned Junior Champion.
The city has several museums, including: Juan B. Castagnino Fine Arts Museum, Firma y Odilo Estévez Municipal Decorative Art Museum, Dr. Julio Marc Provincial Historical Museum, City Museum, and Museum of Contemporary Art of Rosario (MACRo). The Dr. Ángel Gallardo Provincial Natural Sciences Museum was rebuilt after a fire in 2003 and re-opened at a new location in 2006. Rosario also has a public astronomy complex, located in Urquiza Park, which consists of an observatory (inaugurated in 1970) and a planetarium (1984).
The Fundación Italia is a cultural institution created in 1985, as a "cultural bond with Italy". It has organized a Neapolitanmusic concert, performances of Madame Butterfly and numerous talks about the present and future of Argentina. Among the people invited to give these talks were economists Domingo Cavallo and Alfonso Prat Gay, renowned scholars Beatriz Sarlo and Silvia Bleichmar, journalists Alejandro Rozitchner and Jorge Asís, filmmaker Fernando Solanas and former presidents of Chile (Ricardo Lagos), Argentina (Eduardo Duhalde), and Uruguay (Luis Alberto Lacalle Herrera).
Rosario's strategic location is destined to become a significant transportation hub and as the bi-oceanic corridor that links the State of Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil) on the Atlantic Ocean to Valparaíso (Chile), on the Pacific, an important component in global distribution and the core center of a key corridor in the Mercosur, the Common Market for the South.
The Rosario public transport system includes buses,trolleybuses and taxicabs.
The Rosario trolleybus system consists of only one main trunk line. It is presently operated by a government-owned corporation, SEMTUR (Sociedad del Estado Municipal para el Transporte Urbano de Rosario, "Municipal State Society for Rosario Urban Transport"), as are some of Rosario's other urban bus lines.
Plaza Sarmiento is the hub of the city bus system, about 40 urban lines in the metropolitan area that provide service every 5 to 10 minutes.
Bus fares are pre-paid by means of either a rechargeable plastic card or a disposable paper card with a magnetic stripe which can be bought from post offices, automatic vending machines, and private businesses. For occasional use, a larger fare can be paid using a coin machine in the bus unit. The interurban lines have differential fares and some allow payment in cash only. The municipal administration is phasing out the paper cards, in favor of the plastic ones, during the second half of 2012.
The urban bus fleet was partially renewed during the recovery of the national economy, since 2003, and consists of about 730 units. In 2005 the average age of the buses was 5 years and 11 months. Improvements in the economy have led to increased use of public transport, and comparatively less use of bicycles. According to the Rosario Transportation Office, in 2005 there were about 11 million bus journeys per month by 2007, usage has climbed to 420,000 people every day (12.6 million per month).
A significant number of buses run on natural gas, as it happens also in Argentina as a whole, since the price of this fuel is quite low compared to the alternatives. The idea to transform all buses to this system did not prosper; most buses run on heavily subsidized diesel fuel.
In 2012 bus lanes were added to several pairs of parallel streets traversing the downtown area. Bus stops along these are spaced every three blocks instead of the usual two. For the most part they leave room to only one additional, narrow lane on the left for cars and other vehicles. They can be used for taxis carrying passengers as well. They are exclusive for public transport during weekdays and on Saturday morning; stopping or parking on the affected streets is forbidden, as well as right turns. Their implementation attracted opposition from residents and shop owners but was well received by habitual bus users, since they reduce the time needed to get out of the crowded central area by a noticeable amount.
Rosario has a medium-sized taxi fleet, with units painted black and outlined in yellow. Some belong to radio-taxi companies and can be reserved by telephone; others only in the streets. As the economy of Argentina recovers, the capacity of the taxi fleet has been strained by higher usage. In September 2005, the Deliberative Council approved the compulsory installation of radio-call systems in all taxi units, but this requirement has not been fulfilled.
Rosario is also a major hub for long-distance overland transportation from the Mariano Moreno Bus Terminal,(Terminal de Omnibus), across from the Patio de la Madera Convention and Exposition Centre complex, about 15 blocks west of Plaza San Martin. The transportation facility serves 73 bus companies in short, medium and long-distance travel, carrying 1,100.000 passengers per month to 784 national and international destinations, which comprise most major domestic cities including Puerto Iguazú, Salta and Bariloche and international destinations such as Asunción, Paraguay, Curitiba and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Montevideo, Uruguay, destinations may be long but white-clad chauffeurs handle comfortable long-distance coaches with modern conveniences.