Plaza San Martin
a green oasis ...
..in the edge of dowtown
Plaza San Martín is a park located in the Retiro neighborhood of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Retiro is one of the largest hubs of transportation services in Argentina, and is home to many high-end stores, a number of five star hotels, and residential areas popular among both local wealthy gentry and expatriate executives.
This area of the city is the northern gate to downtown, while it contains the mayor transportation (both train and bus) stations becomes a neuralgic point Monday to Friday, following the rhythm of office hours. But at the same time it offers a breathtaking green oasis in the border of Buenos Aires financial district. Therefore, it is not unusual to see office workers enjoying their lunch brake under the shade of the Ombues,Linden and Floss Silk trees.
As the Square is located on the side of a hill it offers a very interesting views, from its different terraces, most of them overlooking the train station and the Plaza Fuerza Aérea Argentina where the Torre Monumental is located, ( the local version of the British big Ben)
Its ancient trees were planted according to Carlos Thays, the famous landscape designer at the beginning of the XX, when. the plaza became the preferred surroundings for some of Argentina's wealthiest landowners. Three architecturally significant mansions facing the plaza surviving today were the Beaux Arts San Martín Palace (today the ceremonial annex of the Foreign Ministry), theSecond Empire Paz Palace (today the Military Officers' Association) and the NeogothicHaedo palace (today the Secretariat of Environmental Policy) and the Basílica Santísimo Sacramento. Another remarkable building is the Art Deco Kavanagh building was completed, one of South America first skyscrapers.
Plaza San Martins also holds the birth of Buenos Aires best known pedestrian and commercial street, Florida Street, which is a great place to look for souvenirs and buy leather goods. And no walk around the area would be completed without a stop at the site of Harrods Buenos Aires, as well as Galerías Pacifico mall, a the most arty and glamorous place for shopping in down town.