Wednesday, February 13, 2013


Maybe it was the 13.5 hour bus ride from Salta to Cordoba, but our trip seemed to take on a different feeling once arriving in Argentina's second largest city. After fairly busy times in Santiago, San Pedro de Atacama, and Salta, we slowed our pace and began to "be on vacation."

We had a very comfortable room at the Hotel Viena which was about seven blocks (several of which were pedestrian only) from the main square. The temps were in the high 80s so after three to four hours of being out and about, the air-conditioned room was a welcome refuge. We would have one or two churches or museums as a goal for that day, find the location, look, have a late lunch, then back to the room. One day the task was to walk to the bus station to buy our tickets to Buenoa Aires! I will be writing about our bus experiences in more detail in the next post.

Cordoba has many interesting churches and our two favorites were the Iglesia Cathedral (construction began in 1577 and continued for 200 more years!) on the main square, Plaza San Martin, and the Sacred Heart Church (Parroquia Sagrado Corazón de Jesus de los Capuchinos), a neo-Gothic structure built between 1928 and 1934.

The first time we visited the cathedral we noticed what at first seemed to be a hodge-podge of white tiles immediately in front of the church and the Cabildo (the colonial town council building); we had also noticed these lines in front of other buildings along one of the ped only streets. Looking closer it appeared to be an outline of each respective building. A look at Google maps confirmed my thoughts.

Interior courtyard in the Cabildo
Iglesia Cathedral
Iglesia Cathedral
Metal work on one of the gates to the cathedral
Door to Iglesia Cathedral
Church of the Sacred Heart
Church of the Sacred Heart
Holy Candy!?
One day we had coffee with God!
Oops! Wrong tile!

In the 1970s and 80s the military dictatorships in Argentina tortured and murdered thousands who were considered to be political agitators. The children of these people were "reassigned" to other less suspect families thus adding to the number of "the disappeared". Every Thursday there is a march of mothers (now grandmother aged) in the main plaza in Buenos Aires to protest the loss of their children, taken and never seen again! The Museo de la Memoria in Cordoba is in a former police station (right next to the cathedral!) that became one of many torture centers in Cordoba used by the dreaded Department of Intelligence (D2).

The names of some of "the disappeared" on the outside wall of the museum
When the museum is open pictures of "the disappeared" are hung up and down the narrow street
Pictures and scrap books detailing the lives of some of "the disappeared"



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