Plaza Barrancas de Belgrano is a leafy public park located in the eponymous neighbourhood of Buenos Aires. Its downward slope (barranca) towards the river gave it its name and makes it unique in the city. Or rather, it slopes down to where the river Plate used to be before the wetlands were dredged and filled in.
The park was designed by French architect Charles Thays in 1892, who also designed the Botanical Gardens, among others, and is located in a quite posh and tony area.
Let’s take a stroll together.
The land belonged to Dr. Valentin Alsina (1802-1869,) an Argentinean lawyer and politician. His house (photo) was built in 1856 in the Italianate style popular at the time and nowadays is dwarfed by modern tall apartment buildings. It now houses a foundation.
This massive ombu is one of the park features. This evergreen tree (Phytolacca dioica) is native to the Pampas and is a symbol of Argentina, Uruguay and the gaucho culture.
This band stand was built in time for the Centenary celebrations (1910.) Nowadays, a group of musicians organize milongas (tango dances) every evening and everyone is welcome to join.
A view of the slope that gives the park its name.
Workers at lunch in the park
This historic construction (1905) was once the park keeper’s residence. In 2011 it was purposed as a children’s lending library called La Reina Batata after a nursery rhyme by singer, author and songwriter Maria Elena Walsh. Her music and books have influenced generations of Argentineans, myself included.
One of the many paths that crisscross Plaza Barrancas
Beautiful terrace overlooking the park