Civilopedia entry Edit
A seductive city, which rambles north to south along the Río de la Plata, Buenos Aires has been the gateway to Argentina since inception. Porteños, as the multinational citizens of Buenos Aires term themselves, possess an elaborate and rich cultural identity, drawing on Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, German, Irish, Polish, Jewish as well as native influences; the city has often been referred to as the “Paris of South America.” Its lifestyle and architecture is more distinctly European than that of any other city in the southern hemisphere. Its physical layout is a mosaic as varied as its people, its cuisine, and its music. Buenos Aires is, not surprisingly, the most visited city in South America (ahead of even Rio de Janeiro).
The city was founded as Ciudad de Nuestra Señora Santa María del Buen Ayre (“City of Our Lady Saint Mary of the Fair Winds”) in 1536 AD by a Spanish expedition. When Argentina became independent in 1816, the cosmopolitan city became its capital. In the decades between 1880 and 1940, Buenos Aires was a haven for those seeking refuge from political, religious, ideological, and artistic persecution in countries across Europe. From hungry Irish to devout Jews to Tsarist survivors, each wave of immigrants brought their traditions and talents to add to the stew, making the city the cultural rival of any world capital.
Along with all the art and culture, Buenos Aires is a manufacturing center of the first order, with heavy industry composing 16% of the city’s economy. Factories, mostly concentrated in the southern part of the urban sprawl, produce textiles, chemicals, automobiles, beverages, and petroleum products. It also serves as the center for export of Argentina’s rich agricultural output: meat, dairy, tobacco, grain and wool. Buenos Aires isn’t just about the tango any longer.
- Buenos Aires's city-state symbol is based on the Sun of May, the national emblem of Argentina, just without the face.