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“Very unique Church”

Basilica Maria Auxiliadora y San Carlos
Ranked #158 of 805 things to do in Buenos Aires
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Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Reviewed 15 March 2016

So not only is this the Famous Basilica where the pope was baptized but it was also on the Amazing Race 27.
Very unique and beautiful. I felt at home here and even my Non religious friends loved the artistry. I'm really glad we visited this church.

Thank SWATTWorld
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 10 February 2016

Today I woke up early to visit the Basilica of “Maria Auxiliadora y Carlos” as their morning opening hours are from 7:30 am to 12:00. While this is a monumental temple constructed by the Silesians order, it is not one of the main line tourist attractions. This is beginning to change as visitors to Buenos Aires learn that this is the church where Pope Francis [known in his home country Argentina as “Papa Francisco”] was baptized. Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the Pope’s secular name, was born in a catholic family of Italian origin in November 1936 in the Barrio of Flores, Buenos Aires. He was baptized on Christmas day of 1936 in the Basilica Maria Auxiliadora y San Carlos.
The Basilica was built between 1900 and 1910, with the approval of Pope León XIII and under the supervision of the well known Italian architect, Ernesto Vespignani and is a magnificent church in its own right.
As you enter the Basilica, you immediately are overwhelmed by its grand appearance. The Basilica has three levels. In the middle level is the main alter which has a statue of Christ. On either side of the main alter there are sets of magnificent marble stairs that lead to the top level; that of the Virgin’s chapel where a five meters high figure of “Maria Auxiliadora” is suspended from a huge dome. The figure of the Virgin was secured by the Silesians of Argentina and sent from Paris in 1904. The first level of the Basilica, the main floor, is a huge hall with magnificently coloured columns on either side of the floor between which are small chapels. The beautifully decorated ceiling is even more notable.
When you listen to the organ, you realize how astounding the acoustics of the Basilica are, thanks to its design and to its Organ which is one of the valuable possessions of the Basilica. The Organ, a “Carlo Bossi” Organ [Italy 1910], is considered one of the best in BA. It was inaugurated in 1911 in the presence of the famous Italian composer Petro Mascagni.
In 1942 Pope Pío XII, bestowed the title of “Basilica of Maria Auxiliadora y San Carlos” on the Church.
The Basilica is considered a historic place of the Barrio of Almagro, and in 2006 was declared a point of historic and cultural interest in Buenos Aires. As stories have it, Carlos Gardel sang as part of its Boys chorus in 1901. Jorge Mario Bergoglio, as the archbishop of Buenos Aires, before becoming Pope Francis, also presided over several celebrations in the Basilica.
As I mentioned, the Basilica is magnificent in its own right. The fact that Pope Francis was baptized there, does add more to its magnificence.
I did not take pictures inside the Basilica; but I did take a few from the street, which I am attaching.
It is a place worth visiting while in Buenos Aires. The Basilica is open from 7:30 am to 12:00 and again from 5:30 pm to 8:00. You reach the Basilica in Almagro either by number 5 or 26 buses. You can also use the underground, line “A” [which is the most direct way to go, getting off at station Castro Barros]. You will be on “Avenida Rivadavia”; so you will have go south one street to “Avenida Hipolito Yrigoyen” and the Basilica is on 3999 Avenida Yrigoyen at the corner of “quintino BocaYuva” Street.
If you visit in the morning, I would recommend walking back to “Avenida Rivadavia” and walking a block east to 3899 to have a coffee at “Las Violetas”, one of the best in the Barrio of Almagro.
Enjoy your visit.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 28 August 2018 via mobile
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Reviewed 2 May 2018 via mobile
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