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Hippodrome of Palermo


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The Argentine Hippodrome of Palermo was inaugurated in 1876, during a time of great prosperity in Argentina. The construction of the Hippodrome was carried out towards the end of the 19th Century when Argentina was flourishing as an exporter of wool, beef and wheat, becoming the wealthiest nation in Latin America. It was during this period that the Porteño’s taste for European pastimes and culture grew resulting in the establishment of the Palermo hippodrome.

Throughout its history, the Hippodrome has undergone some changes. In 1908 the original main entrance and grandstand were replaced with belle epoque, French style creations that were designed by the French architect, Louis Faure-Dujarric. A huge lake that glistens elegantly in the middle of the three racetracks, a tree shaded area and marble statues were all added, increasing the establishment’s refined European style.

argentine-hippodrome-of-palermo

The hippodrome of palermo is a perfect example of the neoclassical French architecture that is typical of Buenos Aires. At the hippodrome, the stylistic, elegant and somewhat imposing marble facades surrounded by intricate black and gold wrought iron gates, make you feel like you’ve been transported to 19th Century Paris.

Another interesting chapter in the Hippodrome’s history was the takeover in 1992 by a privately owned company. This acquisition transformed the institution into a first-class and exclusive organisation. The Argentine hippodrome of Palermo is no longer a place where you just watch a bit of turf action, but instead, it is has a whole variety of facilities and activities to entertain you. The Palermo Hippodrome is now known as the ‘Hipódromo Argentino de Palermo S.A.’ (H.A.P.S.A), after the takeover that resulted in millions of dollars of restoration and remodelling to bring it into the 21st century.

The hippodrome has diversified what is it has on offer. Nowadays, the stadium boasts a whole a range of restaurants, from fancy bistros, American-style steak houses to their top-end restaurant, La París, which clearly takes its influence from the surrounding architecture. As well as the gastronomic delights, visitors can also enjoy the mini-casino, shopping centre and the shows that are performed in the theatre. They also have an art space where exhibitions of famous works take place. For instance, they are currently hosting an exhibition of the work of Irish artist, Sir Francis Bacon. Looking for more Buenos Aires attractions? check for more in this Buenos Aires travel guide

With such a wealth of facilities on offer, you could be forgiven for forgetting that this is actually a hippodrome where horses are the main attraction. But there’s plenty of horse-racing action to whet your appetite as well. The Argentine Hippodrome of Palermo hosts the Argentine Grand Prize race, the Bullrich Cup and the Palermo Gold Cup Championships to name but a few. Horse races and shopping, casinos and theatre, tucked away in this quiet corner of Palermo, there is something everyone.

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