Buenos Aires Travel Planet

Buenos Aires visitor’s guide

Museum of National History


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Argentina became an officially independent republic in 1816 on July 9th. Upon visiting Argentina you’re sure to be made aware of this important date, as it is celebrated with vigor and is frequently used as a name in commemoration. For instance, the famous avenue, 9 de Julio Avenue, in Buenos Aires city centre (the widest avenue in the world) is even named after this historic day in Argentine history. However, due to decades of civil war and uprisings, the formation of the Argentine nation and national identity didn’t really come about until the 1880s. The Argentine Museum of National History attempts to reflect this complex process, which has been going on since this time, with its expansive collection of historic and cultural artifacts.

The Argentine Museum of National History was first opened in 1889 with the initial purpose of commemorating the May Revolution of 1810 and the Declaration of Independence in 1816. These days the museum has spread its wings and includes exhibitions of other important periods of Argentinean history.

The Museum of National History (Museo Histórico Nacional in Spanish) boasts a diverse collection that include; paintings, photos, flags, religious images, sculptures, war uniforms, memorabilia, standards, lithographs, furniture, watches, suitcases, postcards, letters, ponchos, silverware and gaucho artifacts. There really is something for everyone and the objects give a cross-section of the different periods and social change that happened in Argentina during these last two centuries. Another of the museums must see installations are the reproduction bedroom of General San Martin, the celebrated hero who led the revolution against the Spanish, that he occupied during his time in Boulogne-Sur-Mer, France.

The personal collection and archive of the historian and politician Adolfo Carranzal, the founder of the  Argentine Museum of National History, is also on display, providing a priceless and fascinating Argentine history resource. The archive is made up of 15 thousand volumes of books on the history of Latin America and Argentina, which can be viewed by the public on request.

Located on the edge of Parque Lezama in the San Telmo neighborhood, the museum is handily close to the tourist attractions of this historic neighborhood. The building that houses the museum is itself, in a way, part of the museum’s collection, displaying the eclectic nature of Argentine architecture and the European influence on culture and society. The mansion that houses the museum is of Italian architectural style and has a beautifully decorated Italian fresco exterior.

The Museum of National History is open Wednesdays to Sundays from 11am to 6pm. This Buenos Aires Travel guide recommends that you visit on a sunny day so that you can fully appreciate the beautiful gardens.

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