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Argentina: Avenida 9 de julio

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Avenida 9 de julio | Argentina | Americas

[Visited: November 2011 and many times before]

It runs from north to south, it is enormous, and quite central; you are bound to encounter the Avenida 9 de Julio sooner or later on any visit to the Argentine capital. It can be daunting the first time you see it, and especially, if you have to cross. The width of the avenue is defined by the general width of a city block in Buenos Aires, the avenue is 140m wide and several km long, which results in the feel of a gigantic, rectangular square. Day or night, the Avenida 9 de Julio is full of traffic; it offers 7 lanes in each direction, with an added 4 lanes on two streets that are divided from the avenue by a row of trees. For pedestrians, this means that crossing the avenue takes time, unless you are willing to run.

Picture of Avenida 9 de julio (Argentina): Flower beds on Plaza de la República with a view of Avenida 9 de Julio

Construction of the street finally got off the ground after decades of discussion in 1935, and it developed into what we can see today in the following decades. Moreover, in 1937 the obelisk was erected in only 31 days, in the middle of the Avenida 9 de Julio to commemorate the foundation of the city. The name refers to the independence day of Argentina. The heart of the city, it has become the unmistakeable landmark of the city; from it, distances to other cities and towns in Argentina are calculated. But more than an amazing traffic artery, the Avenida 9 de Julio offers a lot to see, so I decided to walk the entire Avenida 9 de Julio from north to south, and back. No, this was probably not a healthy idea: I was constantly surrounded by the exhaust gases.

Picture of Avenida 9 de julio (Argentina): Cupola on building on Avenida 9 de Julio adorned with a statue

After passing the prominent and classy French embassy at the northern part, I saw small plazas on the sides, enjoyed the sight of the beautiful jacaranda trees, the impressive Teatro Colón, fountains with statues, while I crossed the avenue and its two parallel streets countless times until I reached the monument that dominates this incredible avenue. The Obelisk, in the middle of Avenida 9 de Julio and the centerpiece of the Plaza de la República, is taller than surrounding buildings and therefore remains the focal point of the avenue: you can see it from almost everywhere. Next to the Obelisk, a tall pole with the sunny Argentine flag dwarfing the people walking below. Further south, I found a modern statue representing Don Quijote, ran into a demonstration of construction workers on their way to Plaza de Mayo, until I reached the end. Walking north again, I discovered many new corners of Avenida 9 de Julio before I reached the northern end. Actually, the avenue does not really have an end or beginning: on either side, it continues as a highway. Which probably explains why the wide avenue feels like a highway with cars racing by.

Picture of Avenida 9 de julio (Argentina): Obelisk towering high above Avenida 9 de Julio
Picture of Avenida 9 de julio (Argentina): One of the many traffic lights regulating traffic on Avenida 9 de Julio
Picture of Avenida 9 de julio (Argentina): The central section of the Avenida 9 de Julio offers up to 7 lanes
Picture of Avenida 9 de julio (Argentina): Cars and motorcycles on Avenida 9 de Julio
Picture of Avenida 9 de julio (Argentina): The Plaza de la República with obelisk and Argentine flag
Picture of Avenida 9 de julio (Argentina): Looking north from the Plaza de la República in the middle of Avenida 9 de Julio
Picture of Avenida 9 de julio (Argentina): Jacaranda trees flowering over Carlos Pellegrini
Picture of Avenida 9 de julio (Argentina): Man crossing the Avenida 9 de Julio
Picture of Avenida 9 de julio (Argentina): Avenida 9 de Julio reflected in a work of art
Picture of Avenida 9 de julio (Argentina): Sculpture of Don Quijote on Avenida 9 de Julio
Picture of Avenida 9 de julio (Argentina): Ingredients of Avenida 9 de Julio: cars, trees, flowers, and the obelisk
Picture of Avenida 9 de julio (Argentina): Foutain on Avenida 9 de Julio with jacaranda in the background
Picture of Avenida 9 de julio (Argentina): Obelisk and traffic with flowers in the foreground on Avenida 9 de Julio

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