When traveling to foreign lands, many tourists want to find a place where they can immerse themselves in the culture of the area. For those visiting Argentina, La Plata is the perfect place to take in the culture. From the history, to the sights, to the events and attractions, La Plata has enough to learn and experience for travelers of all kinds.
La Plata is located in the Buenos Aires province near the coast. It has a population of about 700,000. La Plata was founded in 1882 by Dardo Rocha after Buenos Aires was declared a federal district. Rocha wanted to build a city that would house the provincial government buildings and a university. The city forms a square with a park in the center. Parts of the city mirror the overall style in six block by six block sections. Every six blocks one can find a small park or square where people can congregate. La Plata’s main roads run diagonally through the square north to south and east to west. This unique street design has given the city its nickname “la ciudad de las diagonals” meaning “the city of diagonals”. The city is also called “la ciudad de los tilos” which means “the city of tilia”, referring to the large number of linden trees populating the city’s parks and streets. The architecture itself is steeped in the history and culture of Latin America. Many of the buildings contain strong Freemason symbolism. It is said that both Rocha and urban planner Pedro Benoit were Freemasons. La Plata was also the first city in Latin America to install electricity. There are many famous buildings to take in during a visit to La Plata. The cathedral of La Plata is the largest Church in Argentina, and its structure evokes a neo-Gothic style. The Curuchet House is one of two buildings in the Americas designed by famous Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier. Le Corbusier is considered to be a pioneer of the modern, or international, style. El Teatro de La Plata is one of the most famous opera houses in Argentina, second only to El Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires.
La Plata is also home to a very highly esteemed university. Famous novelist Ernesto Sabato graduated from the National University of La Plata with a degree in physics. He went on to teach at MIT before finding fame as a writer. Other famous students include three presidents of Argentina, several highly esteemed doctors (including René Favaloro who created the technique for coronary bypass surgery), and one president of Guatemala. The university has also been home to many famous professors, including Nobel Prize recipient Carlos Saavedra Lamas.
There are many other cultural landmarks, museums, and events to partake of in La Plata. One would be hard-pressed to experience them all in a single visit.
La Plata has wet, warm summers and mild winters with average temperatures in the 60’s. Annual rainfall is around 40 inches, and humidity ranges around 70 percent.
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