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San Telmo ("Saint Pedro González Telmo") is the barrio that lies six blocks from Plaza de Mayo, bounded to the north and south by the Microcentro and La Boca, and to the east and west by Puerto Madero and Avenida 9 de Julio. It’s the oldest barrio in Buenos Aires. It dates back to the 17th century, when it was first home to dockworkers and brick-makers, and later became an industrial area. It is a well-preserved area of the Argentine metropolis and is characterized by its colonial buildings. Cafes, tango parlors and antique shops line the cobblestone streets, which are often filled with artists and dancers.

Previously separated from Buenos Aires proper by a ravine, the area was formally incorporated into the city in 1708 as the "Ovens and Storehouses of San Pedro." The neighborhood's poverty led the Jesuits to found a "Spiritual House" in the area, a charitable and educational mission referred to by San Pedro's indigent as "the Residence;" their 1767 suppression led to the mission's closure, however. The void left by the Jesuits' departure was addressed by the 1806 establishment of the Parish of San Pedro González Telmo, so named in honor of the Patron Saint of seafarers. San Telmo began to improve despite these challenges, particularly after Rosas' removal from power in 1852. The establishment of new clinics, the installation of gas mains, lighting, sewers, running water and cobblestones and the opening of the city's main wholesale market led to increasing interest in the area on the part of the well-to-do and numerous imposing homes were built in the western half of San Telmo. This promising era ended abruptly when an epidemic of yellow fever struck the area in 1871. The new clinics and the heroic efforts of physicians like Florentino Ameghino helped curb the northward spread of the epidemic; but as time went on it claimed over 10,000 lives, and this led to the exodus of San Telmo's growing middle and upper classes into what later became Barrio Norte.

At first hundreds of properties became vacant. A few of the larger lots were converted into needed parks, the largest of which is Lezama Park, designed by the renowned French-Argentine urban planner Charles Thays in 1891 as a complement to the new Argentine National Museum of History. Most large homes, though, became tenement housing during the wave of immigration into Argentina from Europe between 1875 and 1930. San Telmo became the most multicultural neighborhood in Buenos Aires, home to large communities of British, Galician, Italian and Russian-Argentines. The large numbers of Russians in San Telmo and elsewhere in Buenos Aires led to the consecration of Argentina's first Russian Orthodox Church in 1901. Expanding industry to the south also led a German immigrant, Otto Krause, to open a technical school here in 1897.

San Telmo's bohemian air began attracting local artists after upwardly-mobile immigrants left the area. Increasing cultural activity resulted in the opening of the Buenos Aires Museum of Modern Art by critic Rafael Squirru in 1956, as well as in the 1960 advent of the "Republic of San Telmo," an artisan guild which organized art walks and other events. San Telmo's immigrant presence also led to quick popularization of tango in the area.

A great number of contemporary art galleries, art spaces and museums are located in this area. In 2005 the gallery and artist-run space Appetite opened, other art galleries began setting up in this neighborhood and it became a Mecca of contemporary art. Many media remarked the transformation of San Telmo into a destination for contemporary art lovers, such as the newspaper La Nacion which counted around 30 galleries and art centers in 2008.

Today San Telmo reflects all of this history while continuing to move forward. It is part tourist attraction, part Bohemian enclave, part rough-and-tumble inner-city suburb, and part tango center… all of which makes it a pretty interesting place to stay, live, or even just visit.
Things to see, do or both...
Plaza Dorrego: It’s the heart of San Telmo, which hosts its extremely popular Sunday flea market, the feria de San Telmo. The plaza itself is filled with dozens of stalls selling antiques and old collectibles. Street performers from metallic human statues to drumming bands to professional Tango dancers entertain the crowds.

Iglesia Ortodoxa Rusa: Open only in the evening (Address: Brasil, 315). Built in 1904 to resemble Moscow churches of the 17th century, it's a luxurious church with Byzantine style. It has rich woodwork and magnificent icons.

Museo Penitenciario: Open from Wednesday to Friday from 2:30 pm to 5:30 pm and on Sundays from 1 pm to 7 pm (Address: Humberto Primo 378). This building was a women’s prison before it became a penal museum. Don’t miss the tear gas canisters for controlling riots, the tennis balls used to hide drugs and the effeminate mannequins showing off past prison fashions.

Museo histórico nacional: Open from Tuesday to Sunday from 11 am to 6 pm (Address: Defensa 1600). This is a reasonably big national historical museum. It stands in Defensa street where Pedro de Mendoza would have based the city in 1536.

Mercado San Telmo: (Address: corner of Bolivar & Carlos Calvo Streets). The San Telmo Market was built in 1897, to serve as a large, centralized fruit and vegetable market. The Tuscan-style building, constructed by the prolific Italian architect, Juan A. Buschiazzo, has a beautiful interior structure with a wrought iron and glass atrium. Today there’s not just produce to peruse but antiques, second-hand clothes and curiosities. The San Telmo Market is open every day of the week from 10 a.m. until sundown, although each stall has their own hours.
  Museo del traje: Open from 3 pm to 7 pm from Tuesday to Friday and Sunday (Address: Chile 832). This small clothing museum is always changing its wardrobe. You can see wedding outfits from the late 1800s, popular fashions from the early 1900s or even clothing worn by travellers on the Silk Road.

El parque Lezama: (Address: Brazil and Defensa). Every weekend, there is a craft feria named "Artezama" in this park.

El Zanjon de granados: Tours are given from Monday to Friday between 11 am and 2 pm and on Sunday between 2 pm and 6 pm (it’s best to call and reserve) (Address: Defensa 755). One of the more unique places in Buenos Aires is this amazing urban architectural site. A series of old tunnels; sewers and cisterns from 1730 were built above a river tributary and provided the base for some of BA’s oldest settlements. Very attractively lit, this museum also contains several courtyards and even a watchtower.
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La Boca is famously the place to find two attractions which most, if not all, visitors to Buenos Aires will want to see: the fútbol stadium ‘La Bombonera,’ and Caminito, the colorful artists’ street by the water.

La Boca is a neighborhood which retains a strong European flavour, with many of its early settlers being from the Italian city of Genoa. In fact the name has a strong assonance with the Genoese neighborhood of Boccadasse (or Bocadaze in Genoese dialect), and some people believe that the Buenos Aires barrio was indeed named after it. The conventional explanation is that the neighborhood sits at the mouth ("boca" in Spanish) of the Riachuelo.

La Boca is located in the city's south-east near its old port. The barrio of Barracas is to the west; San Telmo and Puerto Madero are to the north.

In 1882, after a lengthy general strike, La Boca seceded from Argentina, and the rebels raised the Genoese flag, which was immediately torn down personally by then President Julio Argentino Roca.

Among sports fans, Boca is best known for being the home of world-renowned football club Boca Juniors. The club plays their home matches in the Estadio Alberto J. Armando, popularly known as La Bombonera (The chocolate box in Spanish).

La Boca is a popular destination for tourists visiting Argentina, with its colourful houses and Pedestrian Street, the Caminito, where tango artists perform and tango-related memorabilia is sold. Other attractions include the La Ribera theatre, many tango clubs and Italian taverns. The actual area visited by tourists is only a few blocks long and has been built up for tourism very actively over the last few years. Today La Boca remains a rough, working class and downbeat neighborhood, despites the hordes of tourists who descend upon its attractions every weekend and most weekdays too.

Warning: Don’t stray far from the riverside walk, El caminito or the Bombonera stadium, especially while toting expensive cameras. It can be downright rough in spots.
Things to see, do or both...
Fundación PROA: Open from Tuesday to Friday from 11 am to 7 pm (Address: Av Don Pedro de Mendoza 1929). It’s an art foundation which exhibits the work of the most cutting-edge national and international artists.

Museo de bellas artes de La Boca (Benito Quinquela): Open from Tuesday to Friday from 10 am to 6 pm and the weekend from 11 am to 7 pm (Address: Av Don Pedro de Mendoza 1835). Once the home and studio of Benito Quinquela Martín, La Boca’s fine-arts museum exhibits his works and those of more contemporary Argentine artists.

Bombonera y museo de la pasión Boquense: Open from 10am to 7pm (Address: Brandsen 805). We don't captivate the essence of the district of Boca without speaking about the stadium of Boca Junior and its team of the same name. Bombonera is a real concrete church where in the evenings of matches, life stops to concentrate on the passion of the district: the football. In the stadium, there is the possibility of visiting a museum which tells the history of the stadium of Bombonera, and its supporters.
  Museum histórico de cera: Open from Monday to Friday from 10 am to 6 pm and the weekend from 11 am to 8 m (Address: Del Valle Iberlucea 1261). Wax reconstructions of historical figure heads and dioramas of scenes in Argentine history are the specialty of this small and very tacky private institution.

Caminito: Caminito is a famous and attractive street of Buenos Aires. You can admire exhibitions outdoors, dancers of Tango, and other street artists. It is however a very touristy place and you will doubtlessly be drawn in to have a coffee in one of the bars of the district.