Galerías Pacífico

Galerias Pacífico is probably the most famous shopping center of Buenos Aires. It is located in the center of town and has entrances on both Avenida Córdoba and Calle Florida. The place also has an interesting history. It was designed  in 1889 to accommodate a shop called the Argentine Bon Marché, modelled on the Le Bon Marché in Paris. In 1896 part of the building was transformed into the first home for the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes and in 1908 a railway company acquired part of the building for offices. The name derived from the fact that the intention of the company was to operate a train service linking Buenos Aires and Valparaíso in Chile, thereby giving access to the Pacific Ocean. From that time onwards the building became known as Edificio Pacífico. It was used as a torture center by the military junta that ruled Argentina from 1976 through 1983, having been declared a national historic monument in 1989. After having been abandoned for years, the building was renovated and re-opened in 1992 as the shopping arcade Galerías Pacífico. The building is gorgeous and the facade is quite imposing following a Beaux-Arts style of architecture. The interior decoration is also beautiful. In the center of the building, there is a ceiling domed with a painting that draws the attention of everybody that is passing by. While the food court in the basement has of more modern décor, the other floors of Galerías Pacífico follows a more classic style. Along the corridors, we can appreciate the various paintings by Argentine artists that decorate the place. In addition to the best shops of Buenos Aires, we can also find a comprehensive variety of international brands there. If you have just arrived in the city, Galerias Pacífico is also one of the safest places to exchange money in the city center even though the rates seem less advantageous than in the parallel exchange. As I had arrived in Buenos Aires before Christmas, the mall was totally decorated for the occasion. In the center of the building, there was a huge tree of Swarovski crystals. Close to Galerías Pacífico, we have the Borges Cultural Center, which is directly connected to the shopping mall and offers tango shows and art exhibitions. In short, Galerías Pacífico really worth a visit even if you aren’t going to buy anything.

 
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