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Historic Research Institute of the Manzana de las Luces (Block of the Lights) | Monserrat

Block of the Lights Building Block of the Lights In the Block of the Lights there are also the National School of Buenos Aires and the Church of San Ignacio

The whole nation somehow originated in this block consisting of the former Venue of the Jesuit Order and School, place of tunnels where the most precious freights could be secretly acquired, and the symbol of Academism; back then, it housed the Legislative Power. Nowadays, it is the seat of the National School of Buenos and the Church of San Ignacio. This archaeology complex called “Manzana de las Luces” (block of the lights) consists of old buildings that now host a cultural centre for the display of works of visual art, theatre productions and conferences. It started in 1633, when it merely was a plot that the Jesuits took for the “Company of Jesus”; an order that left to the city several significant buildings. The Jesuits were ejected in 1767, these buildings being used for educational and institutional purposes, like Buenos Aires University (Academy of Medicine and Exact Sciences Department) and the National Congress. The name was first used by the newspaper “El Argos”, in 1822, because of the Illuminist teaching it provided. There is a series of underground tunnels that were constructed in the XVIIIth century to connect the significant buildings around it related to the country’s political life, in order to defend the city against sudden attacks. As time passed by, it served for other purposes. It became the ideal place for smuggling when Lima was the capital of the Viceroyalty of Rio de la Plata and the port of Buenos Aires had been banned from commercial activity. Nowadays, it is an eminent centre for the spreading of the culture and history, offering specialized guided visits. There is also an exhibition room where contemporary works are displayed, plus a theatre that allows the presentation of experimental films; apart from that, there is a shop where high-level works and artisan pieces are at sale. It opens on weekdays from 10am to 4pm, and on weekends from 2:30pm to 6pm.

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Perú 272 - Monserrat




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