Plaza de Mayo


The Plaza de Mayo (; en, May Square) is a
city square A town square (or square, plaza, public square, city square, urban square, or piazza) is an open public space A public space is a place that is generally open and accessible to people. Roads (including the pavement), public squares, park ...

city square
and main foundational site of
Buenos Aires Buenos Aires ( or ; ), officially Autonomous City of Buenos Aires, is the Capital city, capital and largest city of Argentina. The city is located on the western shore of the Río de la Plata, on South America, South America's southeastern coas ...

Buenos Aires
Argentina Argentina (), officially the Argentine Republic ( es, link=no, República Argentina), is a country located mostly in the southern half of . Sharing the bulk of the with to the west, the country is also bordered by and to the north, to the ...

. It was formed in 1884 after the demolition of the Recova building, unifying the city's Plaza Mayor and
Plaza de Armas The ''Plaza de Armas'' (literally Weapons Square, but better translated as Parade Square or Military parade, parade ground) is the name for Latin American town square, main squares. In the central region of Mexico this space is known as El Zócal ...

Plaza de Armas
, by that time known as ''Plaza de la Victoria'' and ''Plaza 25 de Mayo,'' respectively. The
city centre A city centre is the commercial, cultural and often the historical, political, and geographic heart of a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kup ...

city centre
of Buenos Aires, Plaza de Mayo has been the scene of the most momentous events in
Argentine history The history of Argentina can be divided into four main parts: the pre-Columbian time or early history (up to the sixteenth century), the colonial period (1530–1810), the period of nation-building (1810–1880), and the history of modern Argentina ...
, as well as the largest popular demonstrations in the country. On the occasion of the first anniversary of the
May Revolution The May Revolution ( es, link=no, Revolución de Mayo) was a week-long series of events that took place from May 18 to 25, 1810, in Buenos Aires Buenos Aires ( or ; ), officially the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires ( es, link=no, C ...
in 1811, the
Pirámide de Mayo
Pirámide de Mayo
( en, May Pyramid) was inaugurated in the square's hub, becoming Buenos Aires' first national monument. It is located in the
financial district This is a list of financial districts in cities around the world. Background A financial district is usually a central area in a city where financial services firms such as banks, Insurance company, insurance companies and other related financ ...

financial district
known as ''
'', within the ''
barrio ''Barrio'' () is a Spanish language, Spanish word meaning "Quarter (urban subdivision), quarter" or "neighborhood". In the modern Spanish language, “barrio” is generally defined as each area of a city, usually differentiated by functional (e.g. ...
'' ( en, neighborhood) of Monserrat. It is bounded by Bolívar, Hipólito Yrigoyen, Balcarce and
Avenida Rivadavia Avenida Rivadavia is one of the principal thoroughfares in Buenos Aires, Argentina, extending from San Nicolás, Buenos Aires, downtown Buenos Aires to the western suburb of Merlo, Buenos Aires, Merlo. History Upon the designation of the Vicer ...

Avenida Rivadavia
streets; and from its west side three important avenues are born:
Avenida Presidente Julio Argentino Roca. Avenida Presidente Julio Argentino Roca better known as Diagonal Sur (Spanish language, Spanish for "South Diagonal", the counterpart to Avenida Roque Sáenz Peña, Diagonal Norte), is an important avenue in the Monserrat, Buenos Aires, Monserrat ...
, Avenida Roque Sáenz Peña and Avenida de Mayo. In the square's surroundings are several significant monuments and points of interest: the Buenos Aires Cabildo, Cabildo, the Casa Rosada (seat of the President of Argentina), the Buenos Aires Metropolitan Cathedral, Metropolitan Cathedral, the Buenos Aires City Hall, and the Banco de la Nación Argentina, Bank of the Argentine Nation's headquarters. Underneath its lands are the Buenos Aires Underground, Underground stations of Plaza de Mayo (Buenos Aires Underground), Plaza de Mayo (Line A (Buenos Aires Underground), Line A), Catedral (Buenos Aires Underground), Catedral (Line D (Buenos Aires Underground), Line D), and Bolívar (Buenos Aires Underground), Bolívar (Line E (Buenos Aires Underground), Line E).


The modern plaza took form in 1884 when the colonnade separating the ''Plaza de la Victoria'' and the ''Plaza del Fuerte'' was demolished. Its origins, however, can be traced back to Juan de Garay's foundation of Buenos Aires itself, in 1580. Newly arrived to the dusty riverbank settlement, Jesuit clergymen in 1608 secured a title to much of the lot, on which Garay's earlier plans for a central plaza had been abandoned. In 1661, the local governor purchased the eastern half for inclusion into the grounds of the city's new fort; this section soon became the ''Plaza de Armas'' Following over a century of overuse and neglect, the local colonial government attempted to give a semblance of order to the plaza by having a colonnade built across it from north to south. Completed in 1804, the Romanesque architecture, Romanesque structure became the plaza's market and the lot to the west of the colonnade became the ''Plaza de la Victoria''. The area continued divided between these two plazas until 1883 and with only minor changes in landscaping, chief among them the 1811 addition of the May Pyramid, a monument put up to commemorate the newly independent "Provinces of the Rio de la Plata". That year, however, Mayor Torcuato de Alvear ordered the space modernized, resulting in the resulting in the colonnade's demolition and the creation of the modern ''Plaza de Mayo. File:Buenos Aires-Jura de la Constitución (1854).jpg, Oath of the Constitution of Buenos Aires, 1854. File:Vieja Recova.jpg, The old colonnade, 1864. File:Plaza de la Victoria.png, 1867 view of the Plaza. File:La Catedral Metropolitana (Buenos Aires).jpg, The Cathedral and May Pyramid, c. 1880. File:Fiestas mayas en la Plaza (AGNA, 1899).jpg, Fiestas Mayas, 1899. File:Plaza mayo night 1910.jpg, Celebration of the
May Revolution The May Revolution ( es, link=no, Revolución de Mayo) was a week-long series of events that took place from May 18 to 25, 1810, in Buenos Aires Buenos Aires ( or ; ), officially the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires ( es, link=no, C ...
, 1910. File:Nieve.jpg, Rare snowfall on Buenos Aires, at the ''Plaza de Mayo'', 1918.


Political significance

The Plaza de Mayo has always been the focal point of political life in Buenos Aires. Its current name commemorates the
May Revolution The May Revolution ( es, link=no, Revolución de Mayo) was a week-long series of events that took place from May 18 to 25, 1810, in Buenos Aires Buenos Aires ( or ; ), officially the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires ( es, link=no, C ...
of 1810, which started the process towards the Argentine War of Independence, country's independence from Spain in 1816. Image:El pueblo quiere saber de qué se trata.jpg, ''¡El pueblo quiere saber de qué se trata!'', the
May Revolution The May Revolution ( es, link=no, Revolución de Mayo) was a week-long series of events that took place from May 18 to 25, 1810, in Buenos Aires Buenos Aires ( or ; ), officially the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires ( es, link=no, C ...
of May 25, 1810 Image:17deoctubre-enlafuente.jpg, Famous Peronism, Peronist demonstration of October 17, 1945, known as Loyalty Day (Argentina), Loyalty Day Image:Plaza-Mayo-bombardeo-1955.JPG, The Bombing of Plaza de Mayo, June 16, 1955 Image:2ª Marcha de la Resistencia 9 y 10 diciembre 1982.jpg, The second "March of Resistance" of the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, December 9, 1982

1940s - 1960s

On October 17, 1945, mass Demonstration (people), demonstrations in the Plaza de Mayo organized by the Confederación General del Trabajo de la República Argentina, CGT trade union federation forced the release from prison of Juan Domingo Perón, who would later become President of Argentina; during his tenure, the Peronism, Peronist movement gathered every October 17 in the Plaza de Mayo to show their support for their leader (and October 17 is still "Loyalty Day (Argentina), Loyalty Day" for the traditional Peronists). Many other presidents, both democratic and military, have also saluted people in the Plaza from the Casa Rosada's balcony.. In an attempt to overthrow President Perón, the plaza was Bombing of Plaza de Mayo, bombed during one of the populist leader's many rallies there on 16 June 1955, killing 364.1955 bombardeo en plaza de mayo -

1970s - present

Years later, in 1974, Perón, then president for the third time, expelled from the Plaza members of the Montoneros, an armed organization on the Far-left politics, far left that had contributed to the aging leader's return from exile the previous year and had since demanded influence within the national government. Perón's final appearance at the plaza, on 12 June, was marked by an acrimonious break with the far left, leading to two years of violence and repression and, ultimately, a coup d'état. Crowds gathered once again on April 2, 1982, and several occasions thereafter to hail ''de facto'' President Leopoldo Galtieri for Argentina's invasion of the Falkland Islands, which launched the Falklands War ( es, Guerra de las Malvinas/Guerra del Atlántico Sur). The plaza, since 1977, is where the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo have congregated with signs and pictures of ''desaparecidos'', their children, who were subject to forced disappearance by the Military of Argentina, Argentine military in the Dirty War, during the National Reorganization Process. People perceived to be supportive of subversive activities (that would include expressing left-wing ideas, or having any link with these people, however tenuous) would be illegally detained, subject to abuse and torture, and finally murdered in secret. The Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo took advantage of the symbolic importance of the Plaza to open the public's eyes to what the military regime was doing. Protests had continued on taking place, with the major last one being during the December 2001 riots (Argentina), December 2001 riots when five protesters were killed and several others injured by police as they rioted around the Plaza de Mayo.


Today, Plaza de Mayo continues to be an indispensable Tourism in Argentina, tourist attraction for those who visit Buenos Aires. Several of the city's major landmarks are located around the Plaza: the Buenos Aires Cabildo, Cabildo (the city council during the colonial era), the Casa Rosada (home of the President of Argentina, executive branch of the politics of Argentina, federal government), the Metropolitan Cathedral of Buenos Aires, the May Pyramid, the Equestrian monument to General Manuel Belgrano, the current city hall or ''municipalidad'', and the headquarters of the Nación Bank. The Buenos Aires financial district (''San Nicolas, Buenos Aires, microcentro''), affectionately known as ''la City'' (sic) also lies besides the Plaza.


File:Plaza De Mayo 2009.jpg, File:Plaza de Mayo 0022.jpg, File:Plaza de Mayo (8894432897).jpg, File:Plaza de Mayo, Nov. 2013.jpg, File:Plaza de mayo y piramide.jpg, File:Plaza de Mayo en Primavera.jpg, File:Fuente de la Plaza de Mayo.jpg, File:Buenos Aires-Plaza de Mayo-Overview.jpg, File:CABA - Monserrat - Plaza de Mayo 01.jpg, File:Plaza de Mayo, Buenos Aires (5463287946).jpg,

See also

*Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo


External links

Grandmothers of the PlazaTourismBuenos AiresCasa Rosada
{{Authority control Squares in Buenos Aires, Mayo Tourist attractions in Buenos Aires National squares