San Nicolas or the city (financial district)
San Nicolás (Downtown), the most important financial and commercial district in Buenos Aires. In this area of town, you will find many touristic and cultural places, from the famous Buenos Aires obelisk, that commemorates the second establishment of the city, to the ‘La City Porteña’ or “the city”, name given to the financial district, where most of the most important international banks and financial companies have their Argentinean headquarters.
The actual area was the point of first European settlement. Its north-south axis runs from Monserrat in the north to Retiro railway station in the south. Its east-west axis runs from Buenos Aires Ecological Reserve and Puerto Madero.
The Obelisco is one of the defining monuments of Buenos Aires. It was inaugurated in 1936 to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the first, and unsuccessful, founding of the city by Pedro de Mendoza. (The city was later re-established in 1580.) It sits at the intersection of Corrientes and Avenida 9 de Julio, which is the heart of the city and the Theater District.
The Obelisco is the focal point of the vista between Plaza de Mayo and Diagonal Norte, meant to mimic the vistas found in Paris around Place de la Concorde. A church was demolished to create the site, and on both sides, Corrientes bulges into a circle to accommodate it. An oval parklike cutout with a gentle hill along Avenida 9 de Julio surrounds it, along with bronze plaques representing the various Argentine provinces.
When Argentines have something to celebrate, the Obelisco is where they head. If you’re in town when Argentina wins an international event, you can be sure hundreds of people will gather around the Obelisco with flags in their hands, waving them at the cars that honk in celebration as they head past. Certainly, the Obelisco would have a great vista, but it is not a structure built as a viewing spot. Renovations near the site are ongoing, so access might be restricted during the time of your visit. As the city’s preeminent phallic symbol, it was graced with a very large condom on December 1, International AIDS Awareness Day.