Parque Tres de Febrero
Argentine elites got their revenge on dictator José Manuel de Rosas with Parque Tres de Febrero. Not only does the equestrian Monumento a Urquiza (Avenida Sarmiento and Avenida Figueroa Alcorta) commemorate Rosas’s military nemesis, but President Domingo F. Sarmiento’s name graces one of the main avenues.
Sarmiento, Rosas’s implacable foe, oversaw the transformation during his presidency (1868–1874); a Rodin statue of Sarmiento now stands at the site of the dictator’s bedroom (the Roman-style villa was dynamited).
In the early 20th century, noting Sunday’s spectacle of horse-drawn carriages and motorcars, British diplomat James Bryce remarked that “Nowhere in the world does one get a stronger impression of exuberant wealth and extravagance.” Today, though, it’s a more democratic destination, where the automobiles move slowly and picnickers, walkers, joggers, in-line skaters, and cyclists can enjoy its verdant serenity.
The park’s sights include the Jardín Japonés (Japanese Gardens); the Rosedal (Rose Garden, Avenida Iraola and Avenida Presidente Pedro Montt); the Museo de Artes Plásticas Eduardo Sívori (Avenida Infanta Isabel 555, tel. 011/4772-5628, www.museosivori.org.ar, noon–8 p.m. Tues.–Fri., 10 a.m.–8 p.m. weekends, US$0.30), a fine painting and sculpture museum; the Hipódromo Argentino (racetrack, Avenida del Libertador and Avenida Dorrego); and the Campo Argentino de Polo (polo grounds), directly across Avenida del Libertador.
© Wayne Bernhardson from Moon Argentina, 3rd edition