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Day Excursion to La Plata

March 11, 2010

Last weekend we ventured to La Plata which is about 50 miles from Buenos Aires.  Of course not having a car required us to travel in Porteño style, which is just another way of saying we took the bus.  I will say if you had to take a bus, Argentina bus lines are the way to go.  They are efficient, comfortable and make you feel as if you are traveling in first class!

We arrived in La Plata and strolled through the downtown squares.  The city was not really founded, but rather created in 1882.  The layout was planned to reflect modern European ideas regarding city planning.  It has green space every 7 blocks which the kids found fantastic.  Although we did not get lost, we saw how you easily could with the diagonal roads crisscrossing.

The pictures below capture our day.  By far the highlight was the cathedral we toured.

Kids enjoying green space with San Martin in the background

One of many fascinating architecture adornments. This is above the legislature building.

Leaping man with Torch

An amazing ceramic mural of the early days in La Plata

Government building at opposite end of Plaza Mariano Moreno from the Cathedral

One of the largest cathedrals in the Americas. Started in 1884, opened in 1932, and completed in 1999

The biggest tower on the right is dedicated to the Virgin Mary and the one on the left is to Jesus

Front view of Palacio Municipal

The tower peaks are over 300 ft high. If you look closely you can see our family walking towards it.

Closer look of the Cathedral

El Verano ("The Summer") -- one of four statues on the square created in 1912 to represent Las Cuatro Estaciones (the four seasons)

Located in the square of his name. He was a lawyer, journalist, and politician who is considered one of the founding fathers of Argentina

Incredible museum located underneath the cathedral detailing its history and construction

Modern painting of Jesus on the Cross. I liked this but the kids thought it was too scary!

Interesting random statue we came across in the museum

One of the orginal design carvings used to create the stone relief in the archway of the main entrance to the Cathedral

One of my favorites

Waiting for the elevator to take us to the top of the "Jesus Tower"

Looking out over the square to City Hall

Peering out the Jesus tower facade

View of the central tower

Statues located on the central tower -- the two interior statues are of Jesus and Mary

A closer look

Closer view again

The detail and amount of statues where staggering

An adjacent entrance to the Cathedral

Stone detail above the adjacent entrance. The pigeon finds it comfortable for resting as well!

Found these guys hanging out by the main entrance

Main entrance stone detail. See how it is modeled after the design carving from earlier?

Yep, it is really tall

Nice statue of St. Michael, although here he also has to slay pigeons that come too close!

Beautiful stained-glass work throughout

Nice painting

Church is laid out in the traditional cross shape. For as big as the structure is, we were surprised that it only had seating for a 1,000

This stained-glass depicts scenes from the Old and New Testament

Can you find a more beautiful place for confession?

A closer look at the altar

The "Lantern" crowns the transept. In 1936 16 sculptures were placed in the interior niches of the lantern. The images represent the 12 apostles, 2 evangelists, and 2 saints.

Another stained-glass window

Detail work above the main entrance to the church

A closer look

Ok, I promise this is the last stained-glass picture I will post

Truly artwork I have never seen in a church before

Just finished saying a quick prayer before we trek back to the bus for the journey back to Buenos Aires

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. Debbie B. permalink
    March 12, 2010 22:34

    Oh Meg, I love the church! I bet Mass/services are beautiful there. Makes me miss the older, traditional churches. Thanks for the great photos…saves me a trip!!! Ha ha!!!!

  2. Debbie B. permalink
    March 12, 2010 22:35

    Oh and PS, that artwork in the church was really something!

  3. The Other Megan permalink
    March 13, 2010 22:29

    WOW – that looks amazing! I wonder who some of those statues represent? I saw one that I thought may be Mary Magdalene. Seems like you are having a wonderful experience! I’m enjoying your blog entries and photos! Miss you all 🙂 XOXO

  4. DeeDee permalink
    March 13, 2010 22:47

    Beautiful – Wow!

  5. Mary permalink
    March 14, 2010 15:35

    Really amazing – you gave the kids an indepth lesson in art history as well! The church is representative of the Gothic Age (http://www.bc.edu/bc_org/avp/cas/fnart/arch/gothic_arch.html), the angelic dark haired woman standig on a snake is wonderfully symbolic (the snake as original sin) – all of it so impressive!! (especially the sky in your outdoor pictures – were you shooting in HD?)

  6. Ruth permalink
    March 16, 2010 10:35

    Megan – fabulous photos! Thanks so much for sharing this with us all.

    We sure do miss you!- Ruth

  7. Lisa Marie Cheney permalink
    March 27, 2010 19:55

    Megan, great pictures , thanks for taking the time to post and explain. the Catherdral looks similiar to Notre Dame–especially in its size a dual spires. It’s fun to follow along with your experiences!

  8. Gringos In Argentina permalink*
    March 27, 2010 19:59

    all the pics are Dan’s handiwork! we had such fun touring this cathedral. it was breathtaking! dan said he read that La Plata was designed based on Paris…now he thinks he gets points for “taking me to Pairs”…so NOT counting!

    thanks for checking it out!!

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