Last Wednesday we were wandering in San Telmo like tourists. The morning was very quiet and the neighborhood became alive after noon.
At noon, we took a guided tour of El Zanjón (Defensa 755).
The name was not new to me but I couldn't remember what it was about. I was able to convince my husband to wait 'til noon to have a tour of the place.
Beautiful, perfectly restored, this place is not among the top spots to visit in Buenos Aires if you just have 4 days in the Capital, but if you live here or visit for an extended period of time you should definitely include a visit to El Zanjón in your plans.
In 1995 the building was bought to make a restaurant, but when the owner started working on the basement, he found old ruins. What were they? He changed plans and called the Archeology department of the UBA, who came to find out what these were.
It turns out they were part of a sewage system made to prevent flooding of San Telmo, and some speculate it is the first large proof of the tunnels interconnecting Buenos Aires underground that were made by missioners during the colonialist era.
Pictures are not allowed and access is only by guided tour. They have tours in both English and Spanish, and last about one hour.
Mon to Fri:
English guided tours: noon, 2PM, 3PM
Spanish guided tours: 1PM, 4 PM
on Sunday tours are every 30' in both languages, 11:00AM to 5:30PM.
Current prices and admission times, here.
You can read the full story on the BBC here: http://www.bbc.com/travel/story/20180124-the-mysterious-tunnels-beneath-buenos-aires (Non-SSL)