A Ride around Lezama Park

Located in the heart of the neighborhood of San Telmo, this zone has an endless past. Originated in the nineteenth century, it lodges the National Historical Museum and one of its most famous jewels, namely: the British Pub.

Lezama Park is one of the most popular attractions in the City of Buenos Aires. It is also one of the oldest. Located in the neighborhood of San Telmo, on the border between Barracas and La Boca, the existence of the park dates back to the mid-nineteenth century, when José Gregorio de Lezama bought the then inhospitable territory and remodeled it completely in order to build a private park and a luxurious mansion with the style created by landscape designer Charles Vereecke.

Once Lezama passed away, in the early twentieth century, his widow resolved to sell the properties to the government of the City of Buenos Aires provided that they would become a public park whose name would pay tribute to her late husband. The mansion had a similar destiny. That is why today it is known as the National Historical Museum.

At present, the venue boasts a style worthy of its past. Unlike the hustle and bustle of the downtown, the neighborhood where this park is immersed breathes and lives in harmony. Quietness seems to be its maximum quality. The ancient buildings and typical grand houses of San Telmo with their lush vegetation co-exist here. The main access to the park is situated at the intersection between Defensa Street and Brasil Street, where an imposing bronze sculpture honoring Pedro de Mendoza welcomes all visitors.

  • Next to the National History Museum

    Next to the National History Museum

  • A luxury mansion with stylistic touches

    A luxury mansion with stylistic touches

  • More than a bar, a temple

    More than a bar, a temple

  • Old bronze bells

    Old bronze bells

  • Craft fair

    Craft fair

  • Opened in 1928

    Opened in 1928

In the background, the conifers become the protagonists. Countless tiled and dirt paths are interconnected, they fork and join in such a complex design that viewed from above they must look like a cobweb.

The former mansion owned by Lezama lies to the south of the monument. It now houses the Historical National Museum and stands at the highest point in the park, featuring magnificent colonial architecture.

Old brass bells are on display in the gardens together with ancient cannons formerly used to fight invaders. The Lions Gate connects the gardens with another entrance to the park. The ruthless iron figures inspire respect and authority among tourists.

Furthermore, another cliff, where the characteristic fountain of the park continues to flow, is located on the intersection of Brasil Street and Paseo Colón Avenue. It adjoins a space that resembles an amphitheater, with steps made of large pieces of stone. This sector lies opposite the Russian Orthodox Church of the Holy Trinity.

A Temple Rather Than a Pub

Right opposite Pedro de Mendoza’s monument lies one of the most typical pubs in the Federal District. Inaugurated in 1928, the pub known as “La cosechera” (The Harvester) was opened to serve a great deal of customers. However, due to the large number of visitors, especially former English soldiers and workers of the British South Railway Company, this venue was renamed during the 1960s as the British Pub, Bar Británico in Spanish.

Thus, its fame spread all over the city. This site was chosen to shoot films and it also sheltered countless Argentinian writers and artists. The most widespread anecdote goes that Ernesto Sábato wrote On Heroes and Tombs sitting at one of its tables.

Nevertheless, the pub also had to go through certain conflicting times, especially during the 1980s, when the war against England was fought over the Malvinas. According to the waiters, many neighbors wanted the pub to close. In consequence, its name was changed from Bar Británico into Bar Tánico for some years.

Nowadays, the British Pub has a good reputation. Both waiters and neighbors assert that this place inspires the same sensations it did during the 1960s. Such is the case that its walls, teeming with pictures and banners, reflect its long history for all visitors to witness.

Autor Federico Díaz Fotografo Federico Díaz


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