Villa Victoria is an art and architecture space that gives an idea of the intellectual life of the city in the mid twentieth century.
Located in the Divino Rostro neighborhood, Villa Victoria has an imposing presence even before visitors cross its gate. The old wooden house features a picturesque style and is appreciated for the fantastic gatherings of men and women of letters who were hosted by writer Victoria Ocampo.
We visited the main building, which Manuel Ocampo's family acquired from an English company in 1912. Surrounded, by a delightful lawn featuring gorgeous plants, we went inside the venue in order to see its rooms, which still preserve their original style, also made of wood.
Victoria was born in the late nineteenth century and as a child, she was educated by English and French governesses. Later on, she studied at La Sorbona, in Paris, France. Ever since she was very young, she was determined to meet the most important intellectual characters of the time and, in spite of being a woman, she gained a space in the literary scope, mainly made up by men.
A historic place
Witness to a time of economic splendor
Author of countless books and translator of works by A. Camus, W. Faulkner and Colette, to name a few, for decades she turned her summer house into a space of worship meetings. It is said that Igor Stravinsky, Rabindranath Tagore, Eduardo Mallea, Jorge L. Borges, Bioy Casares and Gabriela Mistral were some of her guests.
Victoria Ocampo reflected the social, cultural and political reality of Argentina in her written work, which she completed with extensive thoughts about outstanding people within her sphere and back in those days. She was awarded significant national and international prizes for her literary work as creator and director of the magazine called Sur.
She was named first female member of Academia Argentina de Letras and in the international scope, she was granted the Honoris Causa by the University of Harvard and the Commander of the Order of British Empire by Queen Elizabeth of England.
As engineer Manuel Ocampo's heir, Victoria donated the property to UNESCO. Years later, it was purchased by the Municipality of General Pueyrredón in order to be used as a cultural center. Today, it pays constant homage to the writer through modern digitized means and it also presents plays, courses, concerts and outdoor shows (in the summer).
We bade farewell to this emblematic villa whose gates are open to literary Argentinian and foreign men and women. Their voices have been printed on its walls and furniture.
Mónica Pons Gentileza Mardelplata.gob.ar/centroculturalvictoriaocampo
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