Buenos Aires Cathedral tour: visit church's interior, showing Walcker organ, Mausoleum of General San Martin, Jewish Memorial, chapels with their holy statues, beautiful mosaics…
Tour of the Church's Interior - Organs
The main organ came from the famous German’s house - Walcker. With its more than 3500 tubes and characteristic intonation, today it is recognized as one of the finest ever made by Walcker.
It was inaugurated in 1873 by the organist Jaime Xarau.
In 1887 the organ underwent some “cosmetic” changes and tuning by an Italian master Alberto Mateo Poggi.
In 1880 as another symbol of unification of Argentina, the mausoleum of the national hero – the Libertador José de San Martin was opened in the chapels on the right side of the main nave.
It is a work of the French sculptor Albert Ernest Carrier-Belleuse. The black marble sarcophagus is guarded by the three life-size female statues representing the countries freed by San Martin: Argentina, Chile and Peru.
The mausoleum holds also remains of famous generals from the time of Independence Wars – Tomás Guido and Juan Gregorio de las Heras as well as a symbolic tomb of “Unknown Fallen Soldiers”.
Today, as an expression of the deep respect and gratitude to the heroes, there is a guard at the entrance to the mausoleum. Also, the flame in honor of Argentinean Heroes and fallen soldiers continuously burns in the front of the Cathedral….
Free Buenos Aires Cathedral Pictures: Walcker Organ seen from the main nave.
To the left of the nave, in the chapel of Virgin of Luján there is a Memorial Mural donated by the Jewish community to commemorate the victims of Holocaust. This Mural – inaugurated in 1997 is probably the only Jewish memorial opened in the Catholic Church outside of the Holy Land. It contains the books and sheets of prayers rescued from German concentration camps in Auschwitz and Treblinka (Poland), Toulouse (France) and from the Jewish ghetto in the occupied Warsaw.
Hopefully this symbolic “opening” will help to bury old prejudices and start the era of “Fraternity” based on mutual respect, understanding and compassion…. Am I dreaming? The memorial in the form of the dual glass panel contained in the silver frame was designed by Norberto Silva and then carried out by Carlos Pallarols.
Jewish Mural holds precious books saved from Holocaust.
You can visit the Buenos Aires Cathedral alone during the opening hours (Monday-Friday 7:00am – 7:00pm and Saturday-Sunday from 9:00am to 7:30pm) – the entrance is free. Please note that the church holds frequent services also during the week – do not disturb these celebrations and attention of faithful!
Cathedral’s internal architectural and artistic beauty in Neo-Renaissance and Neo-Baroque styles speaks for itself. Going alone you can also better feel the “spiritual” message as well as time the length of your visit.
However I would strongly suggest to these wanting to see “out of sight” treasuries, or these that do not want to miss any “buried” behind the walls story – to take the guided tour. Please note that unfortunately most descriptions inside of the Cathedral are only in Spanish.
Christmas time - Nativity.
You can take the private guided tour from any easily available on-line services. Please note however that the Cathedral provides its own guided tours:
Mausoleum and Crypt: Monday-Saturday at 11:45am
Art: Monday-Friday 1:15pm
Temple and Crypt: Monday-Saturday at 3:00pm
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Capilla de San Juan Nepomuceno (St. Jean Nepomucen's Chapel);
Original texts and Translations.
La imagen de Jesus Nazareno, llamada Santo Cristo del Gran Amor fue tallada en cedro libanese por el escultor Luis Alvarez Duarte, en Sevilla a pedido de los futbolistas Daniel Bertoni y Hector Scotta con el aporte de muchos otros deportistas y donada a esta catedral. Primada, donde fue solemnemente bendecida y entronizada por el cardenal Juan Carlos Aramburu Arzobispo de Buenos Aires.
This statue called Holy Christ of Great Love, carved from a Lebanese cedar by a sculptor Luis Alvarez Duarte was ordered by Argentinean football players Daniel Bertoni and Hector Scotta as well as other athletes and donated to the Buenos Aires Cathedral. It was then blessed by the Cardinal Juan Carlos Aramburu.
Buenos Aires Cathedral: Mausoleum of the General Jose de San Martin
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Mausoleum of General Jose de San Martin.
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Urns with remains of Generals T. Guido and Las Heras.
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From the left -
1st - Statue of San Martin de Porres (19th century Dominican brother canonized in 1962 by Pope John XXIII);
2nd - Capilla de Nuestra Señora del Carmen (Our Lady of Carmen’s Chapel) with Imagen de Nuestra Señora de Luján (Statue of Our Lade of Luján);
3rd - Capilla de Santa Teresa de Avilla (Chapel of Sainte Theresa of Avilla) with the Imagen de Nuestra Señora del Rosario de San Nicolás (Statue of Our Lady of the Rosary of Saint Nicolas);
4th - Statue of St. Peter.
Capilla de Nuestra Señora de la Paz (Chapel of Our Lady of the Peace).
Original texts and Translations.
La santa imagen de Nuestra Señora de la Paz, que aqui se venera fue traida de Bolivia, por el Obispo de Buenos Aires Don Cayetano Marcellano y Agramont el qual empezo el edificio de la catedral en 1750 y para conserver dicha imagen, erigio en ella una capilla especial que se hallaba donde actualmente esta el mausoleo del general San Martin. Siendo luego llevada a diversos sitios y lugares. Por indicacion del Arzobispo de Buenos Aires cardenal Juan Carlos Aramburu, fue repuesta en el interior de la catedral junto al lugar original que ocupara durante mas de un siglo.
The Holy Statue of Our Lady of the Peace venerated in the cathedral, was brought from Bolivia by Don Cayetano Marcellano y Agramont – the bishop of Buenos Aires (the one who initiated the construction of the cathedral). At his request a special chapel was built to hold the statue of Our Lady of the Peace. At the end of the 19th century the chapel was converted into Mausoleum of General San Martin. Since then the Holy Statue of Our Lady of the Peace was being moved across many different locations to finally at the request of Cardinal Juan Carlos Aramburu find back its original place in the Cathedral.
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Left - Statue of St. Paul (San Pablo);
Right - Main Entrance doors seen from both sides.
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Venetian-style mosaics with the motifs of Passion Flowers.
On the right - Information (in Spanish) explaining the symbolism of Pasionarias ...
I hope that you found something for yourself during the tour of the Metropolitan Cathedral in Buenos Aires.
The photos of the interior of the church presented here by the Free Buenos Aires Cathedral Pictures site as well as description may inspire you to visit this place once in Argentina. Believe me that there is much more to see there especially for those with deep religious faith.
And if you ever will have the chance to be in Buenos Aires during Christmas, please try to take part in the midnight Mass (called Noche Buena). It is a deeply memorable experience for everybody…..
If you would like to re-enter the Metropolitan Cathedral and start the tour from the beginning, then please select the following link:
Buenos Aires Metropolitan Cathedral - previous (page 1)
Not sure yet where to go and what to see in Argentina? You may find help selecting: Tourist Destinations in Argentina
However if you are falling in love with Buenos Aires (I do not blame you, it happened to me) then please select: Buenos Aires Walking Tours
If you want to prepare yourself for vacation in Argentina then please select:
Argentina Travel Tips
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