Photo Credit: Jesus Alexander Reyes Sánchez

Before a South American adventure, it is recommended that travelers brush up on some facts on Buenos Aires in order to enhance their experience in the bustling city. While dining in cozy cafes and mingling with the area’s locals, without a quick review of Buenos Aires’ history it would be easy to miss the fact that the seemingly modern capital actually dates back to the 1500s.

Interestingly enough, Buenos Aires was founded twice. The first time was by Spain’s Pedro de Mendoza and his expedition of men in 1536. De Mendoza decided to name his new treasure Nuestra Señora Santa María del Buen Aire, or Our Lady Saint Mary of the Good Air. Unfortunately for this explorer, not long after his men settled in the area they were attacked by local Indian tribes. They also had a hard time finding enough supplies to keep them alive. Needless to say, they left the future city to find another place to live. Then, about 50 years later, another Spaniard named Juan de Garay brought another expedition to the site. He decided to call the area Ciudad de Trinidad. Lucky for these men, when de Mendoza and his crew left, they abandoned their animals. By the time the second group arrived, they found enough livestock to keep them alive long enough to establish a colony that eventually grew into a breathtaking city.

Since it’s founding, Buenos Aires has grown immensely. However, the city’s rich history still manifests itself in the many museums visitors can find nestled among the towering skyscrapers. One of these many sites is the José Evaristo Uriburu Historical and Numismatic museum. This building was originally home to the Buenos Aires Stock Exchange, but is now an attraction that offers a unique window into the country’s past. Visitors to this museum can see the nation’s currency throughout its history, which provides a unique way to view the evolution of such a culturally rich destination.

Another interesting spot in the city is the Museum of Spanish Art. This building was originally the home of Enrique Larreta, an Argentinian writer and a lover of Spanish art and furniture. Today, this museum is filled with the paintings and sculptures Larretta collected during his trips to Spain. This is only the beginning of the fascinating and unique museums visitors will find throughout the capital. From buildings dedicated to ancient weapons to cars, Buenos Aires is a city that loves to put its rich history on display.