La Plata

For other places with the same name, see La Plata (disambiguation).

La Plata is the capital city of Buenos Aires Province, Argentina. It is placed on the "pampa húmeda" (wet pampas), 56 kilometres south-east of Buenos Aires city, at 34º 55' south latitude and 57º 17' west longitude.

Understand

Plaza Moreno and the Cathedral

It covers an area of 940.38 km2 and it's at 9.87 mts. above the sea level.

La Plata was designed around a central axis marked by 51st and 53rd Avenues, where the main buildings and landmarks are located: the Cathedral, City Hall, Plaza Moreno (Moreno square), the Teatro Argentino, the Provincial Legislature and Government house around Plaza San Martín (San Martín square). It was designed by Pedro Benoit and his prestigious team, who are among the most distinguished in the world. His basic design was a perfect square, cut in half diagonally and with squares and parks in the intersections of avenues, grand tree-lined boulevards and a forest near the center of the city.

Climate

 Climate Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
 
Daily highs (°C) 28.8 27.8 25.4 21.9 18.1 14.7 14.3 15.8 17.8 20.7 23.7 27.1
Nightly lows (°C) 17.2 16.6 14.7 11.1 8.1 5.6 5.5 5.9 7.5 10.3 12.8 15.5
Precipitation (mm) 97.1 103.1 117.9 73.9 73.8 54.6 58.3 65.6 73.6 111.3 93.0 84.8
Sunshine (hrs/day) 8.1 8.2 6.8 6.2 5.0 4.0 4.1 5.2 5.7 6.7 7.5 7.7

Source: NOAA. See weather forecast at Servicio Meteorológico Nacional

Its weather is mild, with an annual average temperature of 16.3C and an average rainfall of 1023 mm per year. The average humidity is of 77.6% and the predominant southeast winds blow during four months in the year. Summers are hot and humid while winters are cool and cloudy.

History

La Plata was born because of a political motive: The urgency of giving a new capital to the province of Buenos Aires, after the battle of Caseros. It was discussed at the time the possibility of moving the capital of the Buenos Aires Province to some existing populations, but the idea of creating a new city, lying on the field as a vast mathematical network, prevailed over any other opinion. So while other cities began as small populated and poor villages, which they were slowly becoming cities, La Plata, however, was from the beginning like a city, and not in poverty if not in opulence. La Plata was born, once and for ever, in full adulthood without a past. It had fame even before existing. It would be the great city of the future, the perfect capital; it was the magical city coming from the heart of the desert. In 1882, the final plans of the city were approved, and the works began. Three month after the first streets began to pave. Finally the solemn day of its foundation came, it was on 19th of November 1882. In the Moreno Square the cornerstone was laid, guests gathered under a large wooden shed, where the official banquet was served, while people gathered around 400 roasters where juicy steaks were cooked. The feast of meat was followed by racing of rings, acrobats and fireworks. The party was over; the next day the construction works of the new capital began. The town developed, in its early years, with breakneck pace, growing in the abundance. There was work and money, so says the popular song: "I go to La Plata, the new capital, where much is gained, with little work". In a few months the final forms of the city began.

Get in

Buses from Retiro and other places in Buenos Aires leave all the time - they cost A$11 and take 1 hour or so. Trains also leave from Buenos Aires all day from Constitución station.

Get around

La Plata is an easy city to navigate because of its grid system. You can easily walk from one side of the city to another within 45 minutes. Taxis are plentiful and cheap. They can be hailed on the street, but be observant; the diagonal avenues that cut through La Plata can be confusing and taxi drivers will often take advantage of that to rack up the price on the meter.

The city buses, or the micro, are very cheap and reliable. Within one city zone (the square-grid downtown counts as one zone) the bus costs 1,10 Argentine pesos ($.25 USD). It will cost 1,90 pesos to travel into the suburbs. You must specify the amount you are paying upon entering the bus. If you are confused as to how much you should pay, ask the bus driver. Buses only take coins, which are very hard to come by in Argentina. You can also buy a prepaid bus card at any news stand for 19 pesos. You must also hail the bus as it approaches the bus stop or it will not stop. For a map of bus routes, click here. Like in other cities in Argentina, you can buy a card ( called Sube) to pay for buses and trains at a lower rate than if you pay with cash.

See

La Plata's Natural History Museum

Museums

Historic Buildings

Public Buildings Walking Tour

Starting on 1st Avenue, between 51st and 53rd Avenues, you can go on a walking tour along a strip of famous buildings. The first point is Rivadavia Square (Plaza Rivadavia) and opposite it is the important Police Department. Walking a bit further to the south-west you reach San Martin Square (Plaza San Martin). On 6th Street you can see the Government House and on 7th Avenue is the Parliament (Palacio Legislativo), the building where senators and deputies work. The next destination is the “Argentino” theatre, built in a modern style. Right down the street you can find the Town Hall (Palacio Municipal), opposite Moreno Square, and on 14th Street, you can see and visit the Cathedral that was inspired by those in Cologne and Amiens. Many of these buildings were constructed in French style, and all of them date back to La Plata foundation in 1882.

Do


Theatre (Teatro)

It is a lyric opera house and a cultural centre. It has two halls where ballet, opera and concerts are performed, and two magnificent foyers for art exhibitions. The new “Argentino” theatre was built on the same city block where the original building had been, which was destroyed by a fire. There are free guided tours.

It was built in an “art deco” style at the beginning of the 20th century. Its main hall is decorated in French style. You can see plays and comedies here and it is also a historic building to visit.

Cultural Centers (Centros Culturales)

It is located on the square block bounded by 49 and 50 and 6 and 7 Streets, opposite San Martin Square. It is one of the most beautiful palaces in the city. It was built in an eclectic style, a mixture of French and Italian, and it was designed by the Italian architect Francisco Pinaroli. Originally, it was a European style railway station but later, in 1926, the railway station was relocated and the building became a cultural centre. Then it was home to various public offices until 1994 when the Municipality of La Plata took it over and it became part of our Municipal Heritage. Now it is used for the purpose it was created in 1926, as a cultural centre. On the ground floor there is a magnificent hall with elegant columns. It has beautiful floors and an impressive ceiling. Here, visitors can enjoy different activities such as shows, fairs, concerts and conferences. They can also visit the MUMART (Municipal Museum of Art), the MUGAFO (a photograph showroom) and the MACLA (Museum of Latin American Art) Also on the ground floor there is a pub where visitors can have lunch or just relax over a cup of coffee. On the first floor you can find the Municipal School of Art and the Auditorium This place offers visitors different options to spend a nice moment and learn something about our culture and habits.

Concerts

La Plata´s well known reputation of Indie-Rock Bands Creator can be seen in some of the very few pubs that this city has. On the weekends local bands gather in pubs to play (often for free). Most pubs life starts at 2am. Some of La Plata´s rock bands that are now well known in the rest of Argentina started in these pubs }}


Buy

Second-hand bookshops

In the past they were called, “Librería de Viejo”, now, “Librería de Usados”. All these bookshops have the same layout. In the middle of the room there is a big, rectangular table with books on offer. And on the shelves against the walls, there are difficult to find books, old editions or luxurious bindings. You are not going to find there the latest books of publishing companies but books that have been sold by their owners because of trips, house moving, death, desire to renew, etc. “They are books with a past” says Guyot.(Guyot, H.M. “Larga vida a las librerias de viejo” (Long live the second-hand bookshops!) La Nación, August 10, 2015.) As La Plata is a university city, philosophy, history or good literature books are easy to find and buy and also at a cheap price. If you love books go to “Don Cipriano” (49th Street, 471) or “Libros Lenzi” (Diagonal 77th, 521)

Drink

Sleep

Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Saturday, March 26, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.