Honourable mentions (aka the places I’ve visited within Córdoba that didn’t make it into my top 10):
Here are most of the places that I visited within the city of Córdoba; I’ll elaborate on some of them in later posts when I have the time, so check back frequently for more pictures!
Basílica de Santo Domingo: corner of Deán Funes and Av. Vélez Sársfield
An interesting looking church with all-pink walls and blue domes. Nothing inside that really stands out after seeing the main Cathedral and Igleslia del Sagrado Corazón-Padres Capuchinos, but still worth a visit if only for the novelty of being in a pink church.
Iglesia de la Compañía de Jesús: corner of Caseros and Obispo Trejo
More of an architectural marvel than most, the exterior does not fit in with the church stereotype of white-washed walls and cement at all. It is quite small compared to the other churches; what you see when you step in is basically all there is to see. Don’t let its boxy shape and “bricks of stone” walls fool you, its curved ceiling resembles an inverted ship’s hull. I was here 3 times; once on my induction (I neglected to take pictures, more’s the pity), and twice when there was mass going on. El señor who works there must have recognized me by now because I kept visiting during mass!
Cripta Jesuítica: corner of Rivera Indarte & Av. Colón
Admission: $2AR “bono” (contribution)
There are 2 entrances, one on either side of Av. Colón, but don’t let it deceive you, it is much smaller than it seems! Ask for a guided tour in English; when I went only the Spanish guide was there and it was difficult following what he was saying! I’m sure I missed a lot because of that, but it was definitely still a worthwhile visit.
Museo de la Ciudad (Cabildo): By Plaza San Martín in the centre of downtown Córdoba, you cannot miss it!
This place used to be the centre of the city’s government, but now houses the main tourist office and an eclectic museum. The tourist office are really nice (although I have no idea if they speak English, as I had spoken to them in Spanish), and I’ve been in there a couple times asking for maps and bookstore recommendations. The map they gave out (which is the one I relied on) is apparently very mal hecho (poorly made, my host mom’s words), but are good because they show you where all the landmarks are in the city core. The museum houses art by local artists, a mixture of classic and contemporary, with no real focus. Near the entrance is an exhibit dedicated to the Falklands War. Did I mention never to bring up the topic of the Falklands islands in conversation with an Argentine? Especially not if you are British! Although cordobeses are extremely forgiving and friendly (compared to all other Argentines) and my friend who’s from London told me that her host family joked with her about it, saying it’s not her fault, just her country’s.
Iglesia Catedral: Also by Plaza San Martín.
This is THE cathedral of the city. Technically the most important, the grandest, and the one tourists visit the most. It is almost obscene how everything is gold-plated inside. So much extravagance! Oh, the things we do in the name of religion…
Take a break from the bustling of the city and relax at the biggest park of the city. Extremely packed on weekends (I went on a Sunday afternoon) but almost dead quiet (except for the occasional jogger, couples enjoying a romantic day, and tourists) on weekdays (I went on a Wednesday afternoon). There is a man-made lake where you can row boats, bridges across the expansive lake where you can people-watch, many jogging paths, a Greek Theatre that plays shows in the summer, a beautiful jardín de flores and even a zoo! The flower garden is probably my favourite place to relax, and it was relatively empty when I went on a Wednesday afternoon. I had a couple words with a fellow tourist there while trying to capture a shot of a brilliantly red little bird. ¿El pájaro se fue? –Sí, señor
There was also a very easy to climb tree right beside what appears to be a roller-skate ring of some sort. The facility is covered in beautiful graffiti that can be seen here on my graffiti blog.
Basílica Nuestra Señora de la Merced: Corner of Rivadavia and either 9 de Julio or 25 de Mayo (it’s one long continuous street)
I didn’t get a chance to go in, and I’m still really upset about it. Apparently it has distinctive velvety-red pillars on the inside. Walked past it once when I was in Chammas buying alfajores to bring home. It was during mass and they were playing very authentic church music.
Patio Olmos, shopping gallery: Av Velez Sarsfield y Av Illia
The city’s most important shopping mall, an architecture marvel on the outside as it used to be a Boy’s Middle School from the early 1900s. Unfortunately, this building and many more like it are being restored and changed on the inside into upscale establishments. Prices in the mall are comparable to home and are definitely not within a student budget, but that doesn’t stop young fashionistas who are looking for the latest fashions! I didn’t get to exploit this while I was there, but if you have a HSBC Mastercard, you get 25% off your purchases on Thursdays and an additional 10% if you have a Premier Mastercard.
There were so many things that I didn’t have a chance to do in the month that I was volunteering there! I’ll definitely be back in Argentina in the future and will try to spend at least another day in Córdoba so I can complete my cordobés experience!