San Telmo is the oldest part of Buenos Aires, and has it’s own ambience and faded charm. Very bohemian and very authentic. Here is where most of the passionate tango dancing takes place.
At Plaza Dorrego you can se dancers show of their tango skills in daytime for the tourists. But if you want to experience the real hard-core tango it’s the milongas you have to visit. I enjoyed watching the expressive dance. Best viewed live so have a look at the film clip.
Street view at Plaza Dorrego. The Sunday market in San Telmo is the largest in Buenos Aires. The centre of the feria is here at Plaza Dorrego and then it spills out on the adjoining streets many blocks away, with stalls after stalls full of antiques, trinkets, bric-a-brac and artisans wares.
This is the area where you find all the antique shops. Here is one on Defensa.
I find San Telmo is the most architecturally beautiful neighborhood with loads of interesting buildings. Many of them crumbling and with a lot of patina but nevertheless exquisite.
One architectural jewel is Pasaje La Defensa. This grand house started out as a home for the Ezeiza family in 1880. It has the traditional layout of two stories and patios with rows of rooms leading out into them. After the yellow fever hit Buenos Aires, the rich moved to other areas such as Recoleta and Retiro. Then the house became a conventillo, a tenement house, where poor families settled, housing as much as 32 families. It has since then been restored but still have a lot of lovely original features.
Now it’s a shopping gallery with stores selling antiques, art and trinkets.
I had a really interesting photo shoot and interview at the home of Mercedes. Her home was also a conventillo at one time, as well as a theatre amongst other things. Now it’s a large and stunning home with several separate apartments, all decorated in her very unique and personal way.
Grand buildings but at a closer look one can see vegetation sprouting out on every nook and cranny. Beautiful all the same.
Copyright and photo: Anita Martinez Beijer