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City of La Plata

The late 19th century architecture that adorns the charming town of La Plata is a daily reminder of its beginnings. The city was founded on March 14, 1882 to serve as the capital of the province of Buenos Aires, also the locale of the lively political and cultural capital of Argentina. Today, La Plata is a thriving university town that enjoys Argentina's long tradition of music, art and theatre.

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A brief history of La Plata
In 1880 and after the city of Buenos Aires was declared capital of the republic it was decided the creation of a city to be the capital of the province of Buenos Aires. The governor of the province, Dardo Rocha, was in charge of that.
The place selected was next to La Ensenada and was to be named La Plata. About 56km from the city of Buenos Aires an engineer, Pedro Benoit, was in charge of designing the city. The design has a very regular scheme with diagonal avenues and parks and squares every 6 blocks. The center of the city is the Moreno Square. La Plata was the first city in Latin America to have an electrical lighting system.
The newspaper "El Dia" was founded in 1884 and it is one of the most popular paper in the area.
La Plata is 940.38 sq.km, and the population is of more than half a million inhabitants. The most popular building are located nearby the Moreno Square. These are the Municipal Palace, the House of Parliament, the Goverment House, the Cathedral and the Argentino theatre.
The Cathedral (Immaculate Conception) is located in the block between 14th and 15th streets and 52nd and 53rd boulevards. The works started in 1884 and it was opened to the public in 1932. In 1999 two towers were added to the building.

Attractions
These are some of the attractions of La Plata: Moreno Square, Municipal Palace, Museum and Archives Dardo Rocha, Rocha Square, Parliament Palace, Goverment House, Italia Square, Governor's House, Zoo, Observatory, Museum of Natural History, University of La Plata, General Roca Railway Station, the horse racing track anf the forest (Paseo del Bosque). There are two soccer (football) stadiums nearby the forest and there is one under construction known as "Estadio Unico". The Forest (el Bosque) is a very large green area. Within its area the two football stadiums can be found, also the zoo, the museum of Natural History, the Observatory, the "Martin Fierro" theatre, the university campus and some of it schools and the Poly-Tech school adn the Police headquarters.

Sports
Besides the two major football clubs (Gimnasia y Esgrima and Estudiantes) there are several clubs that play in the local league and two other clubs (Villa San Carlos and Defensores de Cambaceres) that play in the Serie C of the major argentine football association known as AFA.
Basketball and volleyball are also popular. Gimnasia y Esgrima has a male basketball team and a female volleyball team playing in the nacional leagues. There is also a local basketball league. What is unusual is that La Plata has five rugby clubs (La Plata, Los Tilos, Universitario, San Luis and Albatros). Field hockey is also practiced in three clubs at formal competition level.

Map of the Greater La Plata
Map of Greater La Plata
Photographs of La Plata
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© Angelo Clerici 2000-2009