Last week, Road2Argentina organized an activity to the Manzana de las Luces; a combination of tunnels and ancient buildings in downtown Buenos Aires. The area was developed by Jesuits at the beginning of the 17th century and is considered to be the oldest area of the city. Nearly 20 roadies turned out for the short tour and we had a great time!
The tunnel system has been the subject of many myths and no one knows exactly why they were built and what they were used for, but smuggling was probably one of its main uses over the last four centuries. Although we weren’t able to actually walk through any of the tunnels, we did get a feel for what they were like.
The name “Manzana de las Luces” means Block of Lights and has nothing to do with red, green, or yellow fruit. The name is derived from the time period in which it was constructed; during the enlightenment in Europe. It is the location of the first pharmacy in Buenos Aires, the grand church of San Ignacio, and the site of the first ever university in Buenos Aires.