Iglesia y Convento de Santo Domingo
Since late colonial times, the mid-18th-century Dominican church (also known as Iglesia de Nuestra Señora del Rosario) at Avenida Belgrano and Defensa has witnessed some of Argentine history’s most dramatic events.
It still displays banners captured by Viceroy Santiago Liniers from the Highlanders Regiment No. 71 during the 1806 British invasion, and the exterior shows combat damage from the British occupation of 1807.
Near the church entrance, an eternal flame burns near sculptor Héctor Ximenes’s Mausoleo de Belgrano (1903), the crypt of Argentina’s second-greatest hero; Belgrano was an indifferent soldier, but he did design the Argentine flag.
Following independence, President Bernardino Rivadavia secularized the church, making it a natural history museum and turning one of its towers into an astronomical observatory. In 1955, during the coup against Juan Perón, anticlerical Peronists set it afire.
© Wayne Bernhardson from Moon Argentina, 3rd edition