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Latin American Art in the Museo Isaac Fernández Blanco

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Around the corner from the ostentatious Palacio Paz is the much more refined Palacio Noël, home to the Museo de Arte Hispanoamericano Isaac Fernández Blanco. The palace would be worth seeing in its own right, but together with the museum, it’s one of Buenos Aires’ cultural highlights.

Museo Isaac Fernandez Blanco

Isaac Fernández Blanco was an engineer who, finding himself the beneficiary of a vast inheritance, went on a whirlwind shopping spree of the continent’s colonial-period art. From the outset, Blanco wished his collection to publicly accessible, so he opened up his house in 1921, calling it the Museum of Colonial Art. His daughter was the museum’s first guide.

In 1947, fifteen years after his death, Blanco’s museum was moved into the Palacio Noël. Designed and built in 1920 by architect Martín Noël as a private residence for himself and his brother, the city’s mayor at the time, the neo-colonial palace was a natural fit for Blanco’s collection.

Visiting the museum is an utter joy. You could do nothing more than hang out in the tranquil Andalusian patio, with its fountains, benches and trees, and leave satisfied. But then you’d miss an incredible collection of art from the colonial periods of Argentina, Peru and Bolivia. The museum is small, but with three floors and plentiful information about the exhibits, a comprehensive visit could easily consume a couple hours. Religious paintings from Cuzco, a room packed with colonial-era dolls, ivory figures, intricately-carved wooden furniture, a refurbished kitchen and costumes and clothing are just some of the pieces on display. Everything is tastefully lit and the palatial setting generates the perfect atmosphere.

Regardless of your level of interest in antique Latin American art, you won’t be disappointed in the museum. Entry costs just one peso, and it’s hard to imagine better value for that kind of pocket change.

Museo de Arte Hispanoamericano Isaac Fernández Blanco
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April 23, 2011 at 10:02 pm Comments (4)

The Most Expensive Hotel in Buenos Aires

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Buenos Aires Rough Guide

Most Expensive Hotel

Unless Rolex or Aston Martin commission us to launch a high roller travel blog, we’ll be staying away places like the Four Seasons in Buenos Aires, apparently the most expensive hotel in the city. Is it worth $850 a night to feel like royalty? It must be for some people!

Spacious luxurious suites with marble bathrooms, an outdoor pool and a spa are offered at Four Seasons. The hotel is situated in the exclusive Recoleta neighbourhood in Buenos Aires.

Four Seasons Hotel Buenos Aires is divided over a contemporary tower and a charming 20th-century French-style mansion. The suites include air conditioning, a minibar and a TV. The marble bathrooms have French-style bath tubs.

Wellness facilities include a jacuzzi, sauna and a variety of massage treatments. Guests can work out in the gym or relax at the terrace by the pool. The tour desk can arrange city excursions.

More info and online booking: Four Seasons Buenos Aires
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April 22, 2011 at 7:50 pm Comment (1)

Retiro Train Station

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Buenos Aires Style: Exteriors, Interiors, Details

The most important train station in Buenos Aires in the Estación Retiro, found within walking distance of Plaza San Martín. Three train lines converge here, taking passengers to destinations like Tigre, Tucumán and Córdoba.

Estacion Retiro

Buenos Aires in the early 20th century must have been the world’s most exciting city, awash in wealth and optimism. All over town, buildings of astounding elegance were sprouting up, from the Teatro Colón to the Palacio Paz, and in 1909, construction began on a train station in Retiro. With French stylings and a steel frame built in Liverpool, the Estación Retiro was representative of Buenos Aires’ European obsession. The iron roof was the largest of its kind and, upon completion, the station was considered the world’s most beautiful.

The northern side of Estación Retiro is a serious no-go zone. For some reason, the city’s most infamous shantytowns, its villas miserías have risen up here. We’ve been tempted to explore them, some amazing and heartbreaking photographs are sure to be had, but every porteño we’ve floated the idea by has suggested, and even made us promise, that we would stay away.

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March 25, 2011 at 12:47 pm Comments (7)
Latin American Art in the Museo Isaac Fernndez Blanco
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