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Tierra Santa … Holy Cow

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Jesus Merchandise

Tierra Santa, found in Palermo’s Parque Norte next to the Newbery Airport, is a Jesus-themed fun park. Though, calling it “fun” might be stretching the truth a bit.

Fly To Jesus Land

Step right up, and get your picture taken with Crucified Christ, Argentine flag waving proudly behind him! Or right over here, let’s have fun watching Jesus struggle under the burden of the cross. My, how lifelike his agony seems! Wonderful, clap clap. Haha, Johnny, step up here and get a picture with the Roman soldier whipping Jesus. Smile, Johnny! You are at a fun park, after all.

Jürgen and I were sold after reading about Tierra Santa’s big draw, a massive Jesus statue that emerges from the ground once an hour. Yes. It was like hitting the atheist’s irony jackpot. So, we went. We had to.

The park turned out to be lame. I mean, of course it was lame, but even more so than we’d expected. The big nativity show was ridiculous. Are you old enough to remember Showbiz Pizza Place? It was like that, except a lot less cool. And there was nothing to do in the park. You could get your picture with demonic, twisted caricatures of figures like Mother Teresa or the Pope. You could pet a donkey. Buy a Pepsi. That was about it.

Honestly, I don’t know who the target market for Tierra Santa is. If you take religion even the slightest bit seriously, you’d be horrified by. Maybe it really is for people like us: godless heathens who just want to have a laugh. But it’s not even good for that.

Tierra Santa
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April 27, 2011 at 11:26 pm Comments (3)

Iglesia del Santísimo Sacramento

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Travel Tea Bag

Near the Plaza de San Martín in Retiro, the skinny Iglesia del Santísimo Sacremento is not as famous or conspicuous as so many other landmarks close nearby. But as long as you’re in the area, it’s worth taking a quick walk through one of Buenos Aires’ prettiest places of worship.

Iglesia del Santísmo Sacramento

At the turn of the 20th century, Mercedes Castellanos de Anchorena had risen to the heights of Porteño society. Also known as (take a deep breath), Countess Pontificate Maria de las Mercedes Luisa Castellanos of the Church, she had the Palacio San Martín built as her family’s primary residence. The sumptuous living quarters must have nagged at her conscience; in 1908 she declared that, “If I live in a palace, then so should God!”, and ordered construction of the Iglesia del Santísimo Sacremento. Not bad. Someday, I’d like to be wealthy enough to condescend to God.

The great dame spared no expense. She hired French architects who outfitted the new church with Carraran marble, the world’s most expensive, three Venetian maiolicas in the altar, blue and white granite, and a group of statues carved from white marble. Stained glass windows display miracles throughout Christian history and the church’s crypt, which can be visited on request, holds the countess’s mortal remains. Apparently, she wanted to be God’s roomie.

Santísimo Sacramento is still known among porteño high society as the place to get married in the city. Little wonder: it would be difficult to imagine a more beautiful catwalk (or gangplank, depending on your point of view) than the church’s narrow and richly ornamented nave.

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Holy Angel
Buenos Aires Organ
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Eye of God
Glass Art
Holy Carpenter
Sleepy Mary
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Mirror Church
Stained Glass
Tiles Buenos Aires
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March 29, 2011 at 8:26 pm Comments (2)
Tierra Santa ... Holy Cow
For 91 Days