On the pleasingly landscaped Plaza Independencia, the Victorian-style Kiosco del Centenario (1910) marked the centennial of Argentine independence. To the south, once isolated by walls and gates, the former Distrito Militar (army headquarters), dating from 1900, now houses the Museo de Artes Visuales (Mitre 351, tel. 02965/43-3774, 8 a.m.–8 p.m. Mon.–Fri., 2–8 p.m. Sat.–Sun., free), exhibiting historical photos as well as modern photography, painting, and sculpture. The tourist office occupies its adjacent Anexo (Annex, Mitre 387).
In 1920, Trelew’s Spaniards built the Teatro Español (25 de Mayo 237), on the plaza’s west side. Half a block east of the plaza, dating from 1914, the Teatro Verdi (San Martín 128) served the Italian community; at San Martín and Belgrano, the Salón San David (1913) still hosts the Eisteddfod festival. Half a block northwest, the Welsh Capilla Tabernacl (1889) is Trelew’s oldest surviving building.
Two blocks northeast of the plaza, early Patagonian tourists stayed at the Hotel Touring Club (formerly the Hotel Martino, dating from 1906), which underwent a major 1920s upgrade but now seems frozen in time (the moribund Touring Club Argentino once rivaled the Automóvil Club Argentino). It is still a popular meeting place for trelewenses, however.
Half a block northwest, dating from 1889, the Antigua Estación del Ferrocarril (Fontana and Lewis Jones) was the city’s second railway station and is now the regional history museum; immediately north, the Museo Egidio Feruglio (Avenida Fontana 140) is a state-of-the-art paleontology museum.
© Wayne Bernhardson from Moon Argentina, 3rd edition