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CABILDO OF BUENOS AIRES

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The first building was built with “adobe” walls and cane and straw. It had a room for the special reunions and three small rooms. One of these rooms was the jail. This building was abandoned in 1632 due danger of collapse. After several changings and projects, the town Cabildo began to take its original look at 1751, which is when they finished the designs of the Jesuit architect Juan Bautista Prímoli. Its tower was completed in 1764 thanks to the Spanish architect José Antonio Ibáñez. In May of 1810 an “open council” (Cabildo abierto in spanish) was convened. This Cabildo abierto was accepted by Viceroy Cisneros. In this one,  the decision was to generate a new government of its own until the French were expelled from the kingdom of Spain. Napoleon had won the war against the Spaniards and placed his brother on the throne as the king of Spain.

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Curiosities:

There were closed councils (cabildo cerrados) and open councils (cabildo abiertos). In the former, issues and problems were resolved daily problems and ordinary issues, while in the other one, the serious or urgent matters.

The royal officials or the relatives of the governor, priests, military, debtors, foreigners, street vendors, or those who had a sentence or who worked against the government could not participanted in the open or closed cabildos.

In one of the first sessions, in the town hall, they debate about the election of the saint that will represent the city of Buenos Aires. As they did not reach an agreement, they decided to throw papers with all the posible saints names into the lot. They put the papers in a hat. When they were extracting one of the papers the name of San Martin of tours appear. As San Martin tours was not an Spanish saint and becasue the neighbors’ complaints they repeated the draw for a second and third time. On the three occasions the name of San Martin de Tours came out, so they finally had to  accept his patronage.

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The new and popular government has in it military and intellectuals “Criollos” (the ones that were borned in the Viceroyalty of River Plate were called criollos since they had spanish or European roots).  They wanted to liberate the lands belonging to the viceroyalty of the River Plate. Among them were Mariano Moreno, Manuel Belgrano, Manuel Alberti Juan Larrea, Cornelio Saavedra and several others.

The truth is, the ideas of independence came from long time ago. The revolution of May began to grow gradually since the French revolution. The ideas of freedom and equality reach the lands of the south. Also, the news that were arriving from the north (the US independence). What a coincidence is, that in times of the independence of the United States of 1776, the king of Spain created the viceroyalty of the River Plate. This way the viceroyalty of the Rio de la Plata begins to govern in a closer way the territories that now are part of Argentina. They gave to this territory an importance that it did not had before. Previously this lands were part and depending on the Viceroyalty of Peru.
Economic reasons are also behind our statement. When you are a colony of the Kingdom of Spain you could only trade within the Kingdom and it was prohibited to trade with other nations. The process of independence that has its formal beginning in the Cabildo, at 1880 in a 25 rainy day of May, concludes in the congress of Tucumán on July 9 of 1816, previous armed battles between “realistas” (loyal to the king) and “nationalistas” (that wanted the freedom). In this last date is when we finally sign the “act of independence”, declaring the landss of the United provinces of Rio de la Plata free of any other foreign government or nation.
The cabildo originally had five arches to its right and five arches to its left. It also had a clock in his tower.
Six archs were destroyed. Three arches from the north were demolished to build the avenue of May and three arches from the south were demolished to build South Diagonal.
The first original watch now remains in the church of San Ignacio de Loyola (the oldest church in Buenos Aires that stands).

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Chronology

In 1580 Buenos Aires was founded.

In 1608 the construction of a simple building was proposed.

In 1612 they finished it.

In 1621 they rebuilt it.

In 1632 they abandoned the building as it was falling.

In 1711 they started the reconstruction.

In 1725 the construction began.

In 1751 the construction concludes.

In 1763 the tower was finish and the first clock of the city was place.

In 1821 the last agreement in their rooms was made.

In 1860 the tower is modified and a lightning rod is added and a new watch is placed.

In 1880 it became the place of the national courts.

In 1889 three arches of the north were cut.

In 1931 three arches of the south wing are destroyed.

In 1933 it is declared a National Historical Monument.

In 1938 began the restoration.

In 1940 the restoration is finished.

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