No matter if you're an atheist or agnostic, the city offers a wide circuit of religious temples to admire the sacred architecture and check the spiritual diversity porteña.
Bolívar 225, downtown
You will get almost by default during your tour of the historic town: the Church of San Ignacio of Loyola is the oldest in Buenos Aires. Surrounded by mysterious stories of secret tunnels, the building is connected underground with the Manzana de las Luces and Colegio Nacional Buenos Aires, but none of these tunnels is open to the public. Designed by architects of the Jesuit style, its walls date back to 1722. The facade of Baroque inspiration, does not match the austere interior, Andalusian-style, where it is worth pausing to contemplate the altarpiece. Wood carving, the altar stands out for Prussian blue chosen after a thorough investigation about the original color. You can enter the church at any time of the day. If you want to know it better, guided tours are Saturday at 4 pm, 5.30 pm and 7 pm, and Sundays at 11.
San Martín 1039, Retiro
Among the shadows of Kavanagh building, in Retiro, one of the most luxurious and elegant churches of Buenos Aires rises. It is no coincidence that the skyscraper eclipses it with its imposing height, but it is the (and millionaire) "architectural revenge" of a broken heart. We go from the start: by 1920, the aristocrat Mercedes Anchorena, a fervent Catholic neighbor in the area, ordered the construction of the temple to give her God a palace as lovely as hers. With an eclectic style, the church impresses with its five towers on the front and its interior decorated with pieces of great artistic value such as stained glass windows, an altar shaped wedding cake, Carrara marble, Venetian majolica, a personal guard three meter height and an organ of five thousand tubes, among other luxuries. The emotional conflict came when one of the sons of Dona Mercedes fell in love with Corina Kavanagh, a widow of a wealthy family, but no history patricians. Noting the religious devotion of the lady, Corina ordered the construction of a modern building, art deco, which impeded the view of the basilica.
Brasil 315, San Telmo
By far, the structure looks like the Disney princesses castle. Located in Moscow would go unnoticed, but installed in the middle of San Telmo, surrounded by low, gray houses, it is impossible not to think that those five cupolas with onion-shaped painted deep blue with golden stars and crosses looking eastward, they are part of the universe of Frozen. It is a beautiful Byzantine-style building opened in 1904. On the facade, a mosaic brought from St. Petersburg represents the Holy Trinity. Inside highlights the multicolored stained glass and traditional Russian icons. The church is open to the public at any time of the day while guided tours on the second Sunday of each month at 3 pm.
25 de Mayo 282, DOWNTOWN
Today it is almost invisible immersed in the world of buildings downtown. But in 1831, it revolutionized all Creoles because modern neoclassical architecture that came to contrast with the usual colonial style of the era. This is the oldest not Catholic church in South America. Its presence is a sign of diversity and religious freedom that reigns in the city. A staircase and six columns make up the imposing facade that saves lost among the medians of the urban landscape. The interiors belong to the British Victorian trend with stained glass and wood paneling. The church is open daily from 1pm to 2pm and offers services in Spanish and English
Av. Corrientes 718, DOWNTOWN
On Corrientes Avenue there is a building that breaks with the material landscape of buildings and shops, and brings some spirituality to the area. This is the First Methodist Church opened in 1872. With an English neo-Gothic facade, its greatest virtues are the roof and the pipe organ, two unique oddities of Buenos Aires. The first is a wooden structure with direct socket without metal elements. The story goes that it was built by a group of Danish sailors who were stranded at the port. The organ of 1700 tubes and three keyboards was brought especially from the UK.
Av. Bullrich 55, between Palermo and Las Cañitas
Or as they say the neighbors: the mezquita de Palermo. With fifteen years of history, it is the largest Islamic temple in the region, where recreational, educational and spiritual activities are offered. It is characterized by a stripped architecture, without ornamentation, in which doors and mirrored windows of Arab style, large outdoor spaces adorned with palm trees, a huge dome that crowns the temple of male prayer and twin minarets 50 meters stand height offering beautiful views of the city. To enter you must remove your shoes and wash your feet. The platform of Tres de Febrero stop of the Mitre line station allows a private view which is distinguished by the desolate and quiet of the place. Guided tours are free and are held on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 12 noon. Entrance is on Bullrich Avenue 55 between Palermo and Las Cañitas.
Libertad 769, downtown
Near the Palace of Courts, in the old Jewish neighborhood of the city, it is the first synagogue in Buenos Aires –opened in 1862-better known as the Temple of Libertad, because, of course, to the street where it is located. Without a defined style, the facade of the building is a mixture between Romanesque and Byzantine, but more important are the many symbols referring to the Jewish faith: the Star of David in the center; hands resting on the door depicting the blessing of the ancient priests; the tablets of the law with the Ten Commandments at the upper end; and the twelve medallions corresponding to the twelve tribes of Israel, over the fence separating the building from the sidewalk. The temple is solemn and oriented towards Jerusalem. The guided tour of the Jewish Museum includes a tour of the interior of the synagogue. You can go from Tuesday to Thursday from 11am to 6pm or Fridays from 11am to 5pm.
To get there you have to go beyond the tourist city limits. Located in the neighborhood of Villa Real, this building belongs to the Evangelical Christian Church. It was named by neighbors as transparent because their outer walls are stained-glass windows that open to the world space and offer inspiring shades of lights inside. Built in 1970, the building belongs to the modern architecture with treatment of exposed concrete and blue glasses, yellows and oranges that multiply in the nave and create the ideal environment for spirituality. It is worth taking a taxi to know it.
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