Discover La Plata, the capital of the Province of Buenos Aires, Argentina, located southeast of Buenos Aires city. A thriving hub with diverse industries like meat packing, oil refining, and textile manufacturing, La Plata also boasts cultural richness. Explore its national university, observatory, zoological gardens, national library, and a world-famous museum of natural history.
LA PLATA, city, Argentina, capital of the Province of Buenos Aires, located 35 miles southeast of the city of Buenos Aires. Though overshadowed industrially by Buenos Aires, La Plata has considerable commercial activity, including meat packing, oil refining, sawmilling, flour milling, and textile manufacture. The port is five miles distant at Ensenada and is connected to the city by rail and by a canal navigable by many seagoing vessels. Wool, oil, frozen meat, as well as wheat and other pampas-grown grains are shipped abroad through this port. In cultural matters, the city competes with the national capital itself. There is a national university, an observatory, zoological gardens, a national library, a provincial museum of fine arts, numerous churches, several theaters, and a racetrack. The museum of natural history is world famous for its extraordinary anthropological collection.
In 1880, after the Congress of the republic had declared the city of Buenos Aires to be the nation’s capital and a federal district, the legislature of the Province of Buenos Aires voted to build a new city to serve as the provincial capital. La Plata was founded in the following year and building was begun in 1882 on a barren waste a few miles inland from the village of Ensenada on the south shore of the Río de la Plata. The ground plan resembles that of Washington, D.C., consisting of a gridiron of streets crossed by broad diagonal avenues, with many parks and squares. The focal point of the city is the Plaza Moreno, where a fine cathedral stands. The public buildings were constructed on a scale befitting the province’s standing as Argentina’s richest. The government house, legislature, courthouse, and city hall are among the most impressive in South America.
In 1952 the official name of the city was changed to Eva Perón, in honor of the late wife of the Argentine dictator. With Juan Perón’s fall from power in 1955, the original name was promptly restored.