Basilica del Santisimo Rosario in Buenos Aires is a church complex that also contains Convento de Santo Domingo monastery, located within the district of Monserrat.
The basilica, positioned on the corner of Belgrano and Defensa streets, was built primarily by the Dominican monks from 1751-1773, with the the former monastery of the building complex today housing both an astronomical observatory and a natural history museum.
PHOTO: A view to the Santisimo Rosario basilica’s facade within Avenida Belgrano.
PHOTO: In front of the basilica, there is a mausoleum for Manuel Belgrano, one of the key figures in Argentina’s fight for independence, who also created the country’s national flag.
PHOTO: A closeup of the angel figures on top of the mausoleum’s base, artworks by Italian sculptor Ettore Ximenes. Bullet holes on the left-hand side tower are from 1807, when the British troops withdrew to the buildings premises, as part of the armed conflict against Manuel Belgrano’s local military forces.
PHOTO: Manuel Belgrano mausoleum facade from Defensa street. The mausoleum consists of red granite base, which includes, for example, two bas-relief artworks, portraying the introduction of the Argentine flag (which Belgrano designed) and the battle of Tucuman.
PHOTO: Manuel Belgrano mausoleum’s facade as seen towards Defensa street.
The land area for the basilica was donated to the Dominican monks as early as the 17th century, but the construction work got underway only in 1751, according to plans by architect Antonio Masella, who was from Turin, Italy.
The church that is on display today, which was declared a basilica in 1909, is in its original condition, excluding its right hand side (western) tower, an addition to the building from 1856.
Since 1902, there has been an adjacent mausoleum for Manuel Belgrano, which contains his earthly remains.
When Dominican monks were made to leave the church premises during the country’s first presidential term under independence, the Rivadavia administration (1826-1827), the former monastery premises were nationalized to be used as an astronomical observatory and a natural history museum (which they are to this day).