The Cathedral of Buenos Aires is located around Plaza de Mayo, at the corner of Avenida Rivadavia and San Martín, in the heart of the city center. The peculiarity of this cathedral is that it underwent numerous constructions and renovations, with the 6th being the final one that we can observe today.
The Metropolitan Cathedral of Buenos Aires had to be renewed on several occasions for various reasons: the use of poor materials, fires, floods, and structural defects. The first structure of the cathedral was made in 1593 with adobe. It was only in 1852 that it was completed as we know it today.
It has a neoclassical style with a profile similar to a Greek temple. This sets it apart from the majority of cathedrals one can imagine. It has 12 columns in the front representing the 12 apostles. Its dome has a height of 41 meters.
Joseph Dubourdieu, a French sculptor, was responsible for the ornamentation of the facade in 1860. The work represents the meeting between Jacob and his son Joseph in Egypt.
Highlighted areas to visit in the cathedral include the Mausoleum of San Martín, the carved high altar in Baroque style, the German pipe organ, the Venetian mosaic floor manufactured in England, and its 41-meter dome with Renaissance frescoes.
Mausoleum of San Martín
In 1877, a significant reform was carried out. In the right aisle, the mausoleum of General José de San Martín, liberator of Argentina, was built within the Chapel of Our Lady of Peace. The mausoleum was constructed by Albert Carrier Belleuse, a French sculptor who drew inspiration from the French eclecticism that was very fashionable at that time. The materials used are red, pink, and imperial red marble. All pieces of the mausoleum were made in France and sent disassembled on the ship Villarino, along with the remains of San Martín.
The mausoleum is surrounded by three female sculptures representing Argentina, Chile, and Peru, the three countries he liberated. Also accompanying him are Generals Guido and Las Heras, and the Unknown Soldier of Independence.
The Cathedral of Buenos Aires was declared a National Historic Monument in 1942 due to being one of the most important architectural works of the colonial period in the country.
The Cathedral can be visited from Monday to Friday from 8 am to 7 pm and on weekends from 9 am to 7:30 pm. Guided tours or audio guides in various languages are also available.
The Metropolitan Cathedral of Buenos Aires is one of the significant stops on our Free Tour of the Historic Center. Reserve your free spot now by clicking here.