Other Pages of Interest

Friday, June 18, 2010

El Zanjon

El Zanjon is a historic home that found new life when local historian Jorge Eckstein bought the property and began renovations in 1985. The original plan for Eckstein was to renovate the building and turn the space into a part restaurant, part art gallery for his artist wife. As they began renovations on the crumbling building, they realized that there were more layers, literally, than originally thought to the building. Above ground, the house is a beautiful 1830s, Spanish-style mansion complete with an open air-cistern and a lookout tower. After the wealthy family abandoned this house, most probably in the 1870s due to the yellow fever outbreak in San Telmo, the space became a communal home for immigrants and squatters for over 100 years. When Eckstein began the renovations, the home was filled with over 100 years of trash and debris. 139 truckloads of debris later, it was realized that the mansion was actually build upon another full living space that dated back to the 16th century and had been built on top of the original river's path through San Telmo. Since this time, the river has been rerouted (the smell and the rodents were not a great part of this area...moving the river helped) but the tunnels build to contain the river for hygiene reasons remain. This museum is a beautiful restoration of the original house and displays many artifacts found during the renovation, items that represent daily life in many different time periods.

El Zanjon
Location: Defensa 755, San Telmo
Phone: (54-11) 4361-3002
Hours: It is best call first for availability prior to visit. Spanish tours every hour Mon - Fri 11:00am - 4:00pm; every 30 minutes Sun 1:00pm - 6:00pm. English tours available, again, call first. Visitation to museum only available through a tour, open admission not available.
Admission: $30 pesos for hour tour, $15 pesos for 30 minute tour

This museum also offers a venue for private parties and events. Contact eventos@elzanjon.com.ar for information.

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