Metropolitan Cathedral Tavel Guide

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  • Metropolitan Cathedral Tavel Guide

The Buenos Aires Metropolitan Cathedral is the main Catholic church, located in the city center, overlooking Plaza de Mayo, on the corner of San Martín and Rivadavia streets. The Cathedral was rebuilt several times since its humble origins in the 16th century. The present building is a mix of architectural styles, with an 18th-century nave and dome and a severe, 19th-century Neoclassical façade without towers. The interior keeps precious 18th-century statues and altarpieces, as well as abundant Neo-Renaissance and Neo-Baroque decoration.

The Cathedral is a Latin cross building with transept and three-aisles with side chapels connected by corridors. Interior of the Cathedral viewed towards the main chapel. The most important is the main gilt wood altarpiece in Rococo style, dating from 1785 and executed by Spanish sculptor Isidro Lorea. The main chapel and has a statue of the Virgin Mary and a representation of the Holy Trinity in its canopy. Originally the interior was only decorated with altarpieces, but at the end of the 19th century the walls and ceilings of the church were decorated with frescoes depicting biblical scenes painted the Italian Francesco Paolo Parisi. The floor of the cathedral was covered with Venetian-style mosaics designed in 1907.

Another notable colonial sculpture is the Christ of Buenos Aires, a large image of the crucified Christ located in the altarpiece of the lateral arm of the transept. It was created in 1671 and is the oldest in the cathedral. It has miraculously saved the city from a flood in the 18th century.

The Cathedral could be considered as the mausoleum as well. In 1880, the remains of General José de San Martín were brought from France and placed in a mausoleum, reachable from the right aisle of the church. There also has the remains of Generals Juan Gregorio de las Heras and Tomás Guido, as well as those of the Unknown Soldier of the Independence.