Plaza de Mayo - Focal Point of Political Life in Buenos Aires
The Plaza de Mayo (or May Square) is the main square in downtown Buenos Aires, Argentina. It is flanked by Hipólito Yrigoyen, Balcarce, Rivadavia and Bolívar streets. The Plaza de Mayo has always been the focal point of political life in Buenos Aires. Its current name commemorates the May Revolution of 1810, which started the process towards the country's independence from Spain in 1816.
On October 17, 1945, mass demonstrations in the Plaza de Mayo organized by the CGT trade union federation forced the release from prison of Juan Domingo Perón, who would later become President of Argentina; during his tenure, the Peronist movement gathered every October 17th in the Plaza de Mayo to show their support for their leader (and October 17 is still "Loyalty Day" for the traditional Peronists). Many other presidents, both democratic and military, have also saluted people in the Plaza from the balcony of the Casa Rosada. Today, Plaza de Mayo continues to be an indispensable tourist attraction for those who visit Buenos Aires.
Several of the city's major landmarks are located around the Plaza: the Cabildo (the city council during the colonial era), the Casa Rosada (home of the executive branch of the federal government), the Metropolitan Cathedral of Buenos Aires, the May Pyramid, the Equestrian monument to General Manuel Belgrano, the current city hall or municipalidad, and the headquarters of the Nación Bank. The Buenos Aires financial district (microcentro), affectionately known as la City also lies besides the Plaza.
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