The Plaza de Mayo (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈplasa ðe ˈmaʝo]; English: May Square) is a city square and main foundational site of Buenos Aires, Argentina. It was formed in 1884 after the demolition of the Recova building, unifying the city's Plaza Mayor and Plaza de Armas, by that time known as Plaza de la Victoria and Plaza 25 de Mayo, respectively. The city centre of Buenos Aires, Plaza de Mayo has been the scene of the most momentous events in Argentine history, as well as the largest popular demonstrations in the country. On the occasion of the one-year anniversary of the May Revolution in 1811, the Pirámide de Mayo (English: May Pyramid) was inaugurated in the square's hub, becoming Buenos Aires' first national monument.
It is located in the financial district known as microcentro, within the barrio (English: neighborhood) of Monserrat. It is bounded by Bolívar, Hipólito Yrigoyen, Balcarce and Avenida Rivadavia streets; and from its west side three important avenues are born: Avenida Presidente Julio Argentino Roca, Avenida Roque Sáenz Peña and Avenida de Mayo. In the square's surroundings are several significant monuments and points of interest: the Cabildo, the Casa Rosada (seat of the President of Argentina), the Metropolitan Cathedral, the Buenos Aires City Hall, and the Bank of the Argentine Nation's headquarters. Underneath its lands are the Underground stations of Plaza de Mayo (Line A), Catedral (Line D), and Bolívar (Line E).
On October 17, 1945, mass demonstrations in the Plaza de Mayo organized by the CGT trade union federation forced the release from prison of Juan Domingo Perón, who would later become President of
On October 17, 1945, mass demonstrations in the Plaza de Mayo organized by the CGT trade union federation forced the release from prison of Juan Domingo Perón, who would later become President of Argentina; during his tenure, the 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" 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 bombed during one of the populist leader's many rallies there on 16 June 1955, killing 364.
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 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 t
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 (Spanish: 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 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 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 tourist attraction for those who visit Buenos Aires.
Several of the city's major landmarks are located around the Plaza: the Cabildo (the city council during the colonial era), the Casa Rosada (home of the executive branch of the 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 (microcentro), affectionately known as la City (sic) also lies besides the Plaza.