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Plaza de Mayo - Detail — Fotopedia
Plaza de Mayo - Detail - Buenos Aires
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Plaza de Mayo

The Plaza de Mayo (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈplasa ðe ˈmaʝo]; English: May Square) is the main square in the Monserrat barrio of central Buenos Aires, Argentina. It is flanked by Hipólito Yrigoyen, Balcarce, Rivadavia and Bolívar streets.

Since being the scene of the 25 May 1810 revolution that led to independence, the plaza has been a hub of political life in Argentina.


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Pirámide de Mayo

The Pirámide de Mayo (Spanish pronunciation: [piˈɾamiðe ðe ˈmaʝo]; English: May Pyramid), located at the hub of the Plaza de Mayo, is the oldest national monument in the City of Buenos Aires. Its construction was ordered in 1811 by the Primera Junta to celebrate the first anniversary of the May Revolution. It was renovated in 1856, under the direction of Prilidiano Pueyrredón. In 1912, after having undergone many modifications, it was moved 63 metres (68.9 yards) to the east, with the idea that a much larger monument would eventually be constructed around it.

The monument is crowned by an allegory of Liberty, the work of the French sculptor Joseph Dubourdieu. From the ground to the peak of the statue's Phrygian cap, the Pyramid measures 18.76 metres (61.5 feet).


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Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires (/ˈbwnəs ˈɛərz/ or /ˈrɪs/, Spanish: [ˈbwenos ˈaiɾes]) is the capital and largest city of Argentina, and the second-largest metropolitan area in South America, after Greater São Paulo. It is located on the western shore of the estuary of the Río de la Plata, on the continent's southeastern coast. The Greater Buenos Aires conurbation, which also includes several Buenos Aires Province districts, constitutes the third-largest conurbation in Latin America, with a population of around thirteen million.


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May Revolution

The May Revolution (Spanish: Revolución de Mayo) was a week-long series of events that took place from May 18 to 25, 1810, in Buenos Aires, capital of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata. This Spanish colony included roughly the territories of present-day Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay and Uruguay. The result was the removal of Viceroy Baltasar Hidalgo de Cisneros and the establishment of a local government, the Primera Junta (First Junta), on May 25.

The May Revolution was a direct reaction to Spain's Peninsular War. In 1808, King Ferdinand VII of Spain abdicated in favor of Napoleon, who granted the throne to his brother, Joseph Bonaparte. A Supreme Central Junta led resistance to Joseph's government and the French occupation of Spain, but eventually suffered a series of reversals that resulted in the Spanish loss of the northern half of the country. On February 1, 1810, French troops took Seville and gained control of most of Andalusia. The Supreme Junta retreated to Cadiz and dissolved itself, and the Council of Regency of Spain and the Indies replaced it. News of these events arrived in Buenos Aires on May 18, brought by British ships.


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Monserrat, Buenos Aires

Monserrat (Spanish: [monseˈrat]) or Montserrat (in the original Catalan name, pronounced: [munsəˈrat]) is a neighbourhood in the east of the Buenos Aires CBD. The district features some of the most important public buildings in Buenos Aires, including city hall, the city legislature, Casa Rosada, the Colegio Nacional de Buenos Aires and the Libertador Building (Ministry of Defense), among others.

Avenida de Mayo runs through the Monserrat district, connecting Plaza de Mayo and the Plaza de los Dos Congresos (Congressional Plaza).

A block, or two, south of the Plaza de Mayo, the older section of Monserrat begins. This is Buenos Aires' oldest neighborhood and even today, very little of the cityscape there is less than a hundred years old (except along Belgrano Avenue), thereby making a nearly seamless transition to the likewise historic San Telmo district, to the south.