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BUENOS AIRES

Buenos Aires ( /ˈbweɪnos ˈɛəriːz/ or /ˈaɪrɪs/; Spanish pronunciation: [ˈbwenoˈsaiɾes]) is the capital and largest city of Argentina, and the second-largest metropolitan area in South America. It is located on the western shore of the estuary of the Río de la Plata, on the southeastern coast of the South American continent. Greater Buenos Aires conurbation, which also includes several Buenos Aires Province districts, constitutes the fourth-largest conurbation in Latin America, with a population of around thirteen million.

 

BUENOS AIRES: HISTORY

The city of Buenos Aires was first established as Ciudad de Nuestra Señora Santa María del Buen Ayre (literally "City of Our Lady Saint Mary of the Fair Winds") after Our Lady of Bonaria (Patron Saint of the capital of Sardinia, Cagliari) on 2 February 1536 by a Spanish expedition led by Pedro de Mendoza . The settlement founded by Mendoza was located in what is today the San Telmo district of Buenos Aires, south of the city center. Mendoza’s settlement soon came under attack by indigenous peoples, and was abandoned in 1541.

A second (and permanent) settlement was established in 1580 by Juan de Garay, who sailed down the Paraná River from Asunción (now the capital of Paraguay). Garay preserved the name chosen by Mendoza, calling the city Ciudad de la Santísima Trinidad y Puerto de Santa María del Buen Aire ("City of the Most Holy Trinity and Port of Saint Mary of the Fair Winds"). The short form "Buenos Aires" became the common usage during the 17th century.

 

Buenos Aires became the capital of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata in 1776, which was created over some former territories of the Viceroyalty of Peru. The Río de la Plata area was forced to import goods overland via Lima after 1595, and a reliance on contraband emerged. After 1776, however, Buenos Aires flourished as a commercial hub. In 1806 and 1807 the city was the site of two ill-fated British invasions. The resistance was headed both times by the French Santiago de Liniers.

 

BUENOS AIRES MODERN HISTORY:

The city of Buenos Aires is not a part of the Buenos Aires Province, nor is it its capital; rather, it is an autonomous district. In 1880, after decades of political infighting, Buenos Aires was federalised and removed from Buenos Aires Province. The 1994 constitutional amendment granted the city autonomy, hence its formal name: Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires (English: Autonomous City of Buenos Aires). Its citizens first elected a Chief of Government (i.e. Mayor) in 1996; before, the Mayor was directly appointed by the President of the Republic.

Buenos Aires is considered an Alpha World City as listed by the Loughborough University group's (GaWC) 2008 inventory. People from Buenos Aires are referred to as porteños (people of the port). Buenos Aires is a top tourist destination, and is known for its European style architecture and rich cultural life.

 

Population Origin

The majority of porteños have European origins, with Italian and Spanish descent being the most common, from the Calabrian, Ligurian, Piedmont, Lombardy and Neapolitan regions of Italy and from the Galician, Asturian, and Basque regions of Spain.

Other European origins include German, Swedish, Dutch, Greek, Irish, Norwegian, Portuguese, French, Russian, Croatian, English and Welsh. There is a minority of old criollo stock, dating back to the Spanish colonial days.

The Jewish community in Greater Buenos Aires is the largest in Latin America. Most are of Northern and Eastern European Ashkenazi origin, primarily Russian, German and Polish Jews, with a significant Sephardic minority, mostly made up of Syrian Jews.

 

British and American expatriates

Since 2004 an increasing number of American and British citizens are moving to Buenos Aires, possibly due to the lower cost of living, many of them opening up businesses and some restaurants have become English-speaking favourites.