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La Plata/Argentina

Introducing La Plata

Just over an hour from Buenos Aires, this bustling university town has the same belle époque architecture, gracious municipal buildings, leafy parks and nightlife as BA, but on a smaller scale. The big tourist draws are its natural history museum, one of Argentina’s best, and the imposing neo-Gothic cathedral.

When Buenos Aires became Argentina’s new capital, Governor Dardo Rocha founded La Plata in 1882 to give the province of Buenos Aires its own top city. Rocha chose engineer Pedro Benoit’s elaborate city plan, based upon balance and logic, with diagonal avenues crossing the regular 5km-square grid pattern to connect the major plazas, creating a distinctive star design. Elegant on paper, this blueprint creates confusion at many intersections, with up to eight streets going off in all directions. However, it probably made La Plata South America’s first completely planned city.