The capital of the Mendoza Province is a beautiful city with the same name, a place to enjoy every step you make. The vibe of Mendoza is very special, I think it is because the Argentinians have that spark of joy, so hard to find elsewhere! Loud voices, happy faces, beautiful landscapes and amazing food await you in beautiful Mendoza. But the city is not only a gorgeous place but also a cultural hotspot of the province. I will give you the first stroll through this wonderful city, but I will not tell you everything so you can come and live it yourself. The places I suggest in this story are near each other so they can be visited on the same day. Albeit for a deeper experience, I would recommend you visit them on different days, if possible. Anyway, let's go for a cultural day in Mendoza!
One of the must-sees of the city, loved by locals and tourists alike, is Parque General San Martín. Even though you can get there through a lot of different entrances, I recommend entering the main doors. Majestic, high, black and golden doors give you the first glimpse of how beautiful this park is. A fun fact about this park is that the green areas are "artificial" because the plants, trees and everything in between was brought to the park and did not grow naturally inside. Here, you can do different sports, visit a university, explore museums and monuments. In my opinion, the most enjoyable thing you can do inside Parque General San Martín is the most basic. Take a walk and appreciate the view, take the time to enjoy the surroundings. There are 34 different statues for you to see, I invite you to find all of them. Another thing you cannot miss is "El Rosedal", a beautiful exhibit of flowers for you to enjoy. I would love to tell you more about the park, but it would take us way too long.
Its name translates to Foundational Area Museum, and it is one of a kind! To understand why this museum is so unique, you need to learn a very important part of the city's history. Mendoza was founded in 1561 by Pedro del Castillo, but the biggest part of the original city was destroyed by an earthquake nearly 300 years after its foundation. Well, in Foundational Area Museum, you can actually see excavations with vestiges of the original city. Probably the most impressive piece of this museum is in the Underground Chamber of the museum. Within its wall, it holds the ruins of the fountain that used to provide water from the Challao Springs to the city. It is as ancient and impressive as it sounds!
The Independence Theater is Mendoza´s main hall. Inside the place, it feels as if you could breathe the history within. Art is embedded in its walls, from the first opera ever played inside to the new shows it features, all can be felt and seen inside. Fun fact: the first movie shown in the theater was the classic Casablanca.
Nowadays, the highlight of the theater is the Orquesta Filarmónica de Mendoza (Philarmonic Orchestra of Mendoza). Its history goes as far as 1948, when the first Music Band of the city was formed. Its mission is "to disseminate and recreate the classic symphonic repertoire", including Latin American sounds. The Philarmonic Orchestra of Mendoza has performed with many remarkable and well-known artists such as Leo Sujatovich, Pinchas Zukerman, Verónica Cangemi, among other very talented musicians and performers. I was personally surprised to learn they also collaborated with actor John Malkovich. They also organize socio-cultural activities, like "Conciertos Didacticos" (Didactic concerts). All schools are invited to these concerts, so the culture reaches the youngest. In case you want to catch a show, the Orchestra performs every weekend.
The Nave Cultural (Cultural Ship) is located in the heart of Parque Central (Central Park). The name of the place is meant to show the many opportunities this ship represents: "journey, discovery, exploration", not only artistic but also scientific. As you can see, it has immense cultural importance. It is the cultural core of the city and a hotspot for as many activities as you can think of. Variety is a word to describe this place perfectly. A very distinctive fact about the Nave Cultural is that it used to be a train station, but it was renovated and transformed into a multi-space for cultural activities. As expected, this is a meeting point for a lot of different people of divergent ages and backgrounds.
You cannot miss a visit to the Nave Cultural specially if the Orquesta Filarmónica de la Universidad Nacional de Cuyo (Philarmonic Orchestra of the National University of Cuyo) is on stage. And the orchestra performs every week. It was formed in 1948, and it has been directed by many exceptional directors, both national and international, like David Handel, Yoshikazu Fukumura, Carmen Moral, the list goes on. As you can probably guess, the orchestra is a power-house of Mendoza. However, it is not as traditional as you might think, but I will let you discover that by yourself.
As you can see, Mendoza is not only beautiful but also a cultural place. It is fascinating to see how it brings different kinds of people together! Music, green areas and a good time are waiting for you in the city. Hopefully, you will visit Mendoza for at least a day and take it in your heart forever.
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