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Things to do in Cordoba

  • Ferreyra Palace Evita Fine Arts Museum Cordoba, Argentina
    The Evita Fine Arts Museum is housed in the Ferreyra Palace in Cordoba, Argentina, and the palace is a beaux arts mansion that was designed by French architect Ernest Sanson; built for a local important doctor and surgeon named Juan Ferreyra in 1912 and not finished because of the world war until 1916.  This particular piece of land was chosen specifically by the doctor because it sat next to a park called Sarmiento that contained 43 acres of beautiful woods.  Ferreyra had studied in France and England; but stayed with his wife and seven children in Paris most often.  The doctor had liked the styling of the Hotel Kessler in Paris that the architectural team at Sanson's had done and wanted them to design his home in Cordoba.  It is an extraordinary building, in that it was mastered after the French classicism that was so prevalent during the 17th and 18th centuries in France.  The strict geometrical designs were softened with the decorations of plants and animals motif that was further improved with metal and glass coverings over the mansion.  The mansion stayed in the family until 2004, when it became city property; which in turn renovated the structure into the Ferreyra Palace Fine Arts Museum and opened in 2007.  Later that year, in December, it was renamed the Evita Fine Arts Museum in honor of the former first lady, Evita Peron.  There are 12 exhibition halls, library, sculpture garden and auditorium for 120 seats.  The wonderful collection contains over 500 works of art that include; Francisco Goya, Emilio Caraffa, Joaquin Sorolla, Juan Carlos Castingnino, Pablo Picasso, Gustave Courbet, Ricardo Supisiche, Fernando Fader, Lino Enea Spilimbergo and Emilio Pettoruti.  It also has traveling exhibits that coming quite often. 

  • National University of  Cordoba
    This university is the oldest in Argentina, and the second oldest in the Americas, started in 1610, by the Society of Jesus for the students in the area.  It was called the Collegium Maximun and was the pinnacle of intellectual achievement for that era and was the forerunner of the university it is today.  Later on, while still under Jesuit rule, it became known as the Colegio Maximo de Cordoba; although it couldn't give out degrees.  In 1621, Pope Gregory XV gave his approval and an official document was sent to the colony to give authorization and approval for the school to confer degrees.  It was then that the country's history of higher education begun in the land.  In 1767, King Carlos III had the Jesuit priests expelled and the control was given to the Franciscan order.  Philosophy and theology were the main subjects for the next century and a half, after being created.  In 1687, secondary schools were started like the Our Lady of Monserrat that was started by Ignacio Duarte Quiros.  By the end of the 1700s, law classes were started changing the main focus from theology, and social sciences were also started.  A problem arose between the Franciscans and the regular clergy about the course of the college, when the king stepped in and made it a new college called Royal University of Saint Charles and Our Lady of Monserrat.  This created a school with the dual title of royal and pontifical with a Monsignor Gregorio Funes becoming the president and the regular clergy taking control.  The monsignor brought many new changes to the school and more subjects.  The May Revolution started in 1810, and the new regime gained control of the university but they let the monsignor stay as president.  Sometime in 1820, parts of the school were sent to other parts of the country, because of the chaos that was gripping the country; but in the mid 1800s, a new constitution was ratified that decided what the political scope of the country would become.  There were two universities in the nation at the time, with the one at Buenos Aires being created in 1821, and both were eventually nationalized and under government control.  In 1864, the study of theology was dropped and the sciences were increased with the Academy of Exact Sciences and the Astronomical Observatory.  The school of Medicine was created in 1877 and by 1886, all universities were under law that decided how the bylaws could be changed or amended.   

  • Plaza San Martin
    The main plaza in Cordoba was built over 400 years ago and is a very popular place for the locals to gather for whatever reason they feel like.  It is the place of many fairs, exhibitions with a cathedral, 17th century cabildo that was used as a police station and the statue of General San Martin.  The heart of the city where walkways cross the plaza with people always coming or going to work or other areas of interest.  There are numerous trees that grow within the plaza, but none more spectacular than the palo borracho or drunken stick that is bulging and covered with thorns.  Also the jacaranda with its brilliant purple blossoms that come alive in the spring.  The equestrian statue of the general faces west towards Pasaje Santa Catalina between the old city hall and cathedral. 

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  • Manzana JesuiticaJesuit Square Cordoba, Argentina
    Started by the Jesuit priests in the late 16th century, the square started with a church or cathedral that helped the missionaries evangelize the local Indian population and continue mass for those that were coming there with the army and its necessary supply trains.  They found that the land near Cordoba was a natural habitat for development with rich soil, plenty of water and sitting on a plateau set in the River Plate and Tucuman areas.  Over time, the order gained more power and was considered a threat to King Charles III who then decided in 1767 to expel all the order from all the territories that were under its control.  Thus it was the Jesuits that started the first university, and the oldest in the country, the first printing house in the River Plate viceroyalty under the college of Monserrat.  The oldest church in the country is the Temple of Argentina built in 1840.  

  •  Cathedral of CordobaCathedral of Cordoba Argentina
    The cathedral is found in the middle of the city, and almost in the geographical center of this country.  The altar always faces towards Jerusalem in churches, but this one faces to the northwest instead of the northeast, where Jerusalem is; and makes this cathedral that much more intriguing.  The church was started the same day the city was being built, only it was an adobe chapel with thatched roof and gabled ends.  It was officially started in 1580 and was called the Church of Our Lady of the Assumption; although the mason Ferreira Gregorio Juan Rodrigues started the physical laying of stone in 1598, with all the stone, brick and limestone that would be needed for the structure near at hand.  Many artisans helped in the building of this magnificent structure with the indigenous Indians that lived in the area helping to do the heavy labor work.  In 1706, it was consecrated, however, construction still continued with the dome being erected by a friar and his Indian helpers, who turned out to be quite proficient in using building materials.  Their mark can be seen on many of the details of the baroque cathedral.  Finally in 1758, almost completely finished except for the two bell towers that would be done in 1787 with the silhouettes of St. Peter and St. Paul being incorporated into the iron wrought gates.  In 1901, the statue of Christ the Redeemer was raised to the top, after being forged in France and brought back by the builders.  Sometime during the early 20th century, painting on the cathedral was done and highlighted the two main windows that sat in the front.  The exterior is phenomenal with the interior being even more exquisite with incredibly carved moldings and many are gold trimmed.  The altar is balanced with columns and there are ancient sculptures of the many Catholic saints carved into it.  The sculptures themselves are considered to be great works of art, with many dressed in sumptuous robes and the distinctiveness is unimaginable.  Sunlight comes into the roof through the lunettes that has been placed there with the aisles being separated by tall columns that allow wind to rustle through.  The towers have chimes, and the southeast tower has a clock.  Around the towers are carved figures that play trumpets and are dressed in strange costumes.  The altar is embossed with silver that came from the Peruvian mines with gold everywhere else in the cathedral.  There is no amount of words or descriptions that could tell of the majestic beauty of this church and the only way to do true justice to it is to visit the building which has become one of the most important and valuable architectural in all of Argentina and perhaps the entire continent.  As is the case with most of these incredibly fantastic churches, where the donations of gold and silver helped to dress up the marvelous relics and interiors; have over the years been taken or stolen.  The staves of silver that were intricately scrolled with gold, silver and gold crowns filled with diamonds and pearls to dress the statues of the Virgin; as well as a huge sanctuary that was filled with silk shawls, brocades and more.  It is equally sad that the language barrier, and the translation thereof detracts from the marvelous descriptions of the cathedral.  However, the best way to visualize this is to visit it firsthand.

Local Restaurants in Cordoba
  • Haiku
    Well known restaurant that has the best meats in the city that are grilled over an open fire pit.  The pasta dishes and fish are also exceptional.  One specialty is the sweetbreads in a white wine sauce.  The cruillo menu offers cold cuts and cheeses from Argentina, meats roasted in all varieties, typical desserts.  The Spanish menu includes; closures, paella and desserts.  The Italian menu offers; cold and hot brusquetas of varied flavors, stuffed pasta or classic spaghetti, with various sauces and jam desserts.  An oriental menu is also offered with; cold and hot dishes, sushi, dale suey, sauces and desserts.  Mexican foods include; fajitas and other favorites.

  • DOC Vinos & Cocina
    With Voted the best restaurant in the city by tripadvisors.com.  The DOC wine and cooking restaurant is run by the chef Martin Flores who inspires every dish with his expertise and culinary adaption.  Modern painting hang from the pink washed walls with the finest linen tablecloths covering each table and the sparkling glasses that stand ready to be filled.  This restaurant is about fine wines and excellent foods as the name states, with a pond in the back yard, and a small wine store in front.  The food is spectacular with strange pairings that seem to taste a lot better than they sound, with some examples; matambre and chutney; chicken breast stuffed with smoked deer meat; and pork ribs with noquis.  He has many other great examples on his menu and a few are the following; sweetbreads with mustard and cream of cauliflower; catch of the day or sole with warm vegetable salad, saffron cream and Vieyra; lasagna grilled rabbit with dried mushrooms, vegetables and cooking juices; citrus compounds textured in port orange, grapefruit and Sorbetto cold lemon soufflé.

 

 

Platters Haiku Cordoba, Argentina

 

 

Sweetbreads w/mustard and cream of cauliflower DOC Vinos & Cocina Cordoba Argentina

 

Sole w/ veggie salad, saffron creme and Vieyra Cordoba, Argentina 

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  • Provincial Historical Museum Sobremonte Marquis Provincial Historical Museum Sobremonte Marquis Argentina
    This museum is in the oldest house in the city and a wonderful example of the 18th century architectural styles.  It contains the collections of Archbishop Pablo Cabrera; which includes; old weapons, religious artifacts, furniture, paintings and other items that depict the lifestyles of the colonial era.  In the courtyard and a few of the larger rooms, concerts are given.  Built sometime between 1752 and 1760, the builder and owner was a Spanish trader named Don Jose Rodriguez, then Don Rafeal Nunez leased the house sometime in between 1783 and 1797, who was the Marques de Sobre Monte, governor of Cordoba del Tucuman and eventually became the highest authority in the Viceroyalty of Rio de la Plata.  It became the property of the provincial government in 1919 and decided by them to be a historical museum of the colonial period; and in 1941, was declared a National Historic Monument.  There are 26 rooms with a balcony that hangs out over the street below and made of limestone.  The halls are vastly decorated with ornaments of the times and all the rooms that are on the ground floor have doors or windows that open into a garden area  with plants and flowers in pots.  The interior is still decorated with the original furniture, many of which are of historical value. Also stored here are many military uniforms, saddles, rifles and other items that related to the viceroyalty of that time.

  • Paseo del Buen Pastor
    This commercial, recreational and cultural center was once the location of a women's jail that was built in 1906.  It soon was overshadowed by the Church of the Sacred Heart, a Gothic Revival structure that was built sometime between 1926 and 1934.  The jail was rather nondescript sitting in the circle of residential and commercial structures that were rising up in the area.  Only the chapel was impressive since it was styled in the Greek architectural motif and decorated with frescoes created by local artists including Manuel Cardenosa, Emilio Caraffa and Emiliano Gomez Clara.  By the year 1970, it was not adequate to house the female inmates and shortly closed; with the last three women prisoners being politically detained for the early years of the last dictatorship in 1977.  Over the years, many projects were tried and scraped, until 2005, when the Agencia Cordoba Cultura developed the area for $5 million and tore down the old jail, leaving the chapel which was renovated and made into a cultural center.  A 68,000 square foot shopping gallery was built over the ruins that now have two bars, two restaurants and storefronts that sell leather, wine and handicrafts.

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  • Emilio Caraffa Fine Arts Provincial MuseumEmilio Caraffa Fine Arts Museum Cordoba, Argentina
    Near the entrance to Sarmiento Park, and across from the Espana Square, this excellent museum showcases the works of Argentinean artists; with many traveling exhibitions being shown here to increase the awareness and interest in works of art to the public.  To create a sharper contrast to the works and paintings, the wall have been painted a brilliant stark white creating a wonderful picture of art.  These exhibitions are rotated throughout the year so that the visitors won't become bored or disenchanted with the beautiful pieces that come here.  The museum also houses a library that specializes in art, data and information center; and guided tours for schools and the public.  It was built in 1915 by architect Juan Kronfuss, general director of architecture for the province of Cordoba and finished the next year.  The museum's name was changed in 1950 to honor the artist Emilio A. Caraffa; with its size being increased in 1962, to handle the incoming artifacts.  Hung mostly on the walls, are paintings, drawings, engravings, photographs and others with sculptures set along the walls on pedestals.  It houses a valuable collection of 19th Argentina artists and also various representations of the plastic arts.  These include Clara Gomez, Genaro Perez, Fernando Fader, Emilio Caraffa, Emilio Pettoruti and Victor Pizarro.  There are engravings by Pablo Picasso, a Goya and the Belle Pensive by Foujita.

  • Capilla Domestica
    This small private chapel was built by the Jesuit priests sometime between 1644 and 1668; but what makes it so unique is the ceiling that had dried cow hides stretched over tacuara reeds and then painted with glue made from partially boiled bones.

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May 09, 2011