After a few days in Rosario we continued on to Cordoba, Argentina’s second largest city. We had heard good things about the culture, night life an the things to do in general, so we thought it might be a bit like Buenos Aires but perhaps a little less stuck up! I have to say, we were disappointed, and fellow travellers we’ve met since our visit to Cordoba have said the same.
We rented a lovely flat from a very friendly couple called Gabi and Edgar, who welcomed us to the city. We had high hopes. However once we ventured out of the flat the following morning, we struggled with things to do. There are fantastic churches in Cordoba, with beautiful interiors and exteriors, so we visited some of those first. These were impressive, from extravagantly baroque with gold plated fixtures on one hand to ascetically plain on the other. We had read that it was the Rome of South America, which in terms of churches I suppose is accurate, but Rome has a lot more to do!
The next day we visited the Museo de la Memoria, which was the most interesting thing we did in Cordoba, but it couldn’t be described as enjoyable. It’s a memorial museum very different from the Evita museum in Buenos Aires, which is much more centred around argentine pride. Cordoba’s memorial museum is housed in what used to be a detention and torture facility during the military dictatorship of the 1970s and early 1980s. Quotes from survivors were written on crumbling whitewashed walls, and one room contained framed photos of several hundred of the victim and those who are still missing. It’s a disturbing museum, but it was a disturbing time in Argentina’s history, a time that is still fresh in the memory’s of many citizens still alive today. You wouldn’t want a museum to sugar coat the monstrosities or enable people to forget just how gruesomely these people, some merely teenagers, were treated. I’d highly recommend this informative, emotive and tasteful museum to anyone visiting Cordoba, and I think it was he best thing to do in the city.
Cordoba disappointed us a little, but the sun was shining, and there were plenty of cafes to sit in and spend some time. We were also unlucky with the timing of our visit as our stay fell over a Sunday and a Monday, days where many attractions are closed in most cities in Argentina. Similarly to Montevideo, I wouldn’t recommend it as a destination in itself, but as a stopover city it’s still worth a night or two.