Saldungaray, known as the oldest town in the shire, was founded by Pedro Saldungaray in 1900. It lies 8 kilometers from Sierra de la Ventana...
Its real history begins many years before its foundation as a military fortress gave it the hope of existing when a few native Indians were sill prowling around. Known as Fortín Pavón in the beginning, then called Sierra de la Ventana and finally christened Saldungaray (as it is called today), it turned into the first settlement to the East of the mountain range.
After its creation, Saldungaray experienced a considerable growth, and had times in which it came to a standstill and times of splendor. Its geographic location, considered strategical by desert expedition members, generated the setllement of the first colonists on the banks of the Sauce Grande River.
At present, everyone staying at Sierra de la Ventana visits the ancient and young village of Saldungaray.
The Pavón fortress
On the banks of the Sauce Grande River
The local cemetery
The Virgin Mary
Only in Saldungaray
Even if it turns out to be paradoxical, while walking along its streets and talking to its people, Saldungaray can offer us a rich and attractive history that began in the times when the Indian was displaced by the white man and continues still today, when various tourist resources bring the visitor along to perform several activities.
“What cannot be found anywhere else”, says María Clotilde Torreli when she is asked about the identity and the tourist resorces in the small urban shell. “Chichita”, as the locals call her, is the founder of the local public works department, which has worked as tourist office for over one decade.
Today, the white and red patrols are great examples dependent on the tourist office. They are in charge of training young people, especially students, to take part in the effort of showing the local tourist and cultural attractions. The Pavón fortress was and still is one of them.
In the village, the main square allows visitors to observe the Nuestra Señora del Tránsito Church, where an original image of the Virgin Mary is displayed in a resting position. A unique image in the world, it was brought from France by the founder of town and today it is beheld by thousads of members of the congretation and followers who come along every year to ask for a miracle.
The Paso de las Piedras Dam is another monumental work built by man in order to channel the labyrinthic waters of the Sauce Grande River and its main tributaries. Its large walls may be spotted from 37 kilometers away from Saldungaray.
A Naturalist in the Mountain Range
History goes that bright Charles Darwin was there, exploring and gathering data on what everything was like on this side of the world. And it is said that, as if it was a legend or a very well-kept secret, the giant naturalist left from small Saldungaray to indulge himself by climbing Mount Tres Picos and he almost found the window he had heard about from the Indians and he had wanted to visit for such a long time.
Undoubtedly, Saldungaray is what cannot be found anywhere else, just like María Clotilde asserts.
Pablo Etchevers Pablo Etchevers
Contact of the excursion or tour
Informes Turísticos - Saldungaray
La Plata 348 (8168) Sierra de la Ventana, Buenos AiresTel: +54 291-4916016
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Sierra de la Ventana