Buenos Aires (English: "Fair Winds"; originally Ciudad de la Santísima Trinidad y Puerto de Santa María de los Buenos Aires, "City of the Holy Trinity and Port of Saint Mary of the Fair Winds") is the capital of Argentina and its largest city and port, and one of the largest cities in the world. It is on the southern shore of the Río de la Plata, on the southeastern coast of the South American continent, opposite Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay, at 34°40′S 58°24′W (-34.667, -58.40).
Strongly influenced by European culture, Buenos Aires is sometimes referred to as the "Paris of the South" or "Paris of South America." . It is one of the most sophisticated cities in Latin America, renowned for its architecture, night life, and cultural activities.
After the internal conflicts of the 19th century, Buenos Aires was federalised and removed from Buenos Aires Province; its city limits were enlarged to include the former towns of Belgrano and Flores — both are now neighbourhoods in the city.
Argentines sometimes refer to the city as Capital Federal to differentiate the city from the province of the same name. In the 1994 constitution, it was declared an autonomous city, hence its formal denomination: Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires.
Deeply influenced and self-consciously modeled after its European heritage, Buenos Aires is the site of the Teatro Colón, one of the world's greatest opera houses. There are several symphony orchestras and choral societies. The city has numerous museums related to history, fine arts, modern arts, decorative arts, popular arts, sacred art, arts and crafts, theatre and popular music, as well as the preserved homes of a number of art collectors, writers, composers and artists. It harbours many public libraries and cultural associations as well as the largest concentration of active theatres in Latin America. It has a world-famous zoo and Botanical Garden, a large number of landscaped parks and squares, as well as churches and places of worship of all denominations, including many who are architecturally noteworthy.
Buenos Aires is the financial, industrial, commercial, and cultural hub of Argentina. Its port is one of the busiest in the world. Tax collection related to it has caused many political problems in the past [*]; navigable rivers by way of the Rio de la Plata connect the port to north-east Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay. As a result, it serves as the distribution hub for a vast area of the south-eastern region of the continent.
To the west of Buenos Aires is the Pampa Húmeda, the most productive agricultural region of Argentina (as opposed to the dry southern Pampa, mostly used for cattle farms). Meat, dairy, grain, tobacco, wool and hide products are processed or manufactured in the Buenos Aires area. Other leading industries are automobile manufacturing, oil refining, metalworking, machine building, and the production of textiles, chemicals, clothing, and beverages.
Buenos Aires as seen from the Ecological ReserveBuenos Aires was home for Argentine writers Leopoldo Lugones, Jorge Luis Borges, Manuel Mujica Laínez, Adolfo Bioy Casares, Ernesto Sábato, Leopoldo Marechal, Victoria Ocampo, and Julio Cortázar (who lived in Paris for most of his career). International figures who lived in Buenos Aires include René Goscinny, Marcel Duchamp, Witold Gombrowicz, Jerry Masucci, Romola Nijinska, Rosa Chacel, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and Eugene O' Neill, as well as businesspeople John S. Reed, and Aristotle Onassis.
During the Spanish Civil War and its aftermath, Buenos Aires provided refuge for many, including philosopher José Ortega y Gasset and composer Manuel de Falla, who later moved to Córdoba.
Luca Prodan arrived from England in the 1980s and became an icon of Argentine rock.
The University of Buenos Aires, one of the top learning institutions in South America, has produced five Nobel Prize winners and provides free education for students from all around the globe.
For much of the 20th century, Buenos Aires was the cultural capital of the Spanish-speaking world, and many porteños flaunted their riches abroad. This gave birth to a stereotype of Argentines as vain and arrogant that became widespread across Latin America; some (especially Uruguayans) make the distinction between porteños and provincianos (people from the provinces), who are excluded from this characterization.
Buenos Aires is a major center for psychoanalysis, particularly the Lacanian school.
Princess Máxima of the Netherlands, born in Buenos Aires as Máxima Zorreguieta Cerruti, on May 17 1971, is the wife of Prince Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, heir apparent to the Dutch throne.
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