MundoAndino Home : Argentina Guide at MundoAndino

Cordoba, Argentina

Cordoba is a city located near the geographical center of Argentina, in the foothills of the Sierras Chicas on the Suquia River, about northwest of Buenos Aires. It is the capital of Cordoba Province.

Cordoba is the second-largest city in Argentina after the federal capital Buenos Aires, with about 1.3 million inhabitants as per the 2001 census. The city was founded on July 6, 1573 by Jeronimo Luis de Cabrera, who named it after Cordoba, Spain. It was one of the first Spanish colonial capitals of the region that is now Argentina . The Universidad Nacional de Cordoba is the oldest university in Argentina. It was founded in 1613 by the Jesuit Order.

Cordoba has many historical monuments preserved from the times of Spanish colonialism, especially buildings of the Roman Catholic Church. The most recognizable is perhaps the Jesuit Block , declared in 2000 as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO which consists of a group of buildings dating from the 17th century, including the Montserrat School and the colonial university campus (today the historical museum of the Universidad Nacional de Cordoba, which since the early 20th century has been the second-largest in the country (after the University of Buenos Aires) in terms of the number of students, faculty, and academic programs.

As the location of the first university founded in the land that is now Cordoba, Argentina has earned the nickname La Docta .


First Settlement

In 1570, Viceroy Francisco de Toledo entrusted Spanish settler Jeronimo Luis de Cabrera, to populate and to found in the Punilla Valley. Cabrera sent an expedition of 48 men to the territory of the Comechingones. He divided the principal column that entered through the north of the provincial territory at Villa Maria.

The one hundred man expedition set foot on what today is Cordoba on June 24, 1573. Cabrera called a nearby river San Juan (today Suquia). The settlement was finally founded on July 6 of the same year and named Cordoba de la Nueva Andalucia, possibly in honor of ancestors of the founder's wife, originally from Cordoba, Spain. The foundation of the city took place on the left bank of the river on Francisco de Torres' advice.

The settlement was inhabited by aboriginal people called Comechingones, who were living in communities named Ayllus. After 4 years, having repelled the aborigines, the settlement's authorities moved it to the opposite bank of the Suquia River in 1577. The governing lieutenant at the time, Don Lorenzo Suarez de Figueroa, planned the first layout of the city, of 70 blocks. Once the city core been moved to its current location, it acquired a stable population since its economy bloomed associated with the trade with the cities in the northern territories.

In 1599, the religious order of the Jesuits arrived in the settlement. They established a Novitiate in 1608 and in 1610, the Colegio Maximo, which became the University of Cordoba in 1613 (today National University of Cordoba), the fourth-oldest in the Americas. The local Jesuit Church remains one of the oldest buildings in South America, that contains, the Monserrat Secondary School, a church, and residence buildings. To maintain such a project, the Jesuits operated five Reducciones in the surrounding, fertile valleys, including Caroya, Jesus Maria, Santa Catalina, Alta Gracia and Candelaria.

The farm and the complex, started in 1615, had to be left by the Jesuits, following the 1767 decree by King Charles III of Spain that expelled them from the continent. They were then run by the Franciscans until 1853, when the Jesuits returned to The Americas. Nevertheless, the university and the high-school were nationalized a year later.

Each Estancia has its own church and set of buildings, around which towns grew, such as Alta Gracia, the closest to the Block.

Early European Settlement

In 1776 the King Carlos III created the Viceroyalty of the Rio de la Plata, in which Cordoba stays in 1785 as the Government Intendency of Cordoba, including the current territories of the provinces of Cordoba, La Rioja and the region of Cuyo.

According to the 1760 census, the population of the city was promoting 22,000 inhabitants. During the May Revolution in 1810, the widespread opinion of the most notable citizens was of continuing respecting the orders of Fernando VII, attitude assumed by the local authorities. This position was not shared by the Dean Gregorio Funes, who was adhering to the revolutionary ideas, beside supporting contact with Manuel Belgrano and Juan Jose Castelli.

In March 1816, the Argentine Congress met in Tucuman for an independence resolution. Cordoba sent Eduardo Perez Bulnes, Jeronimo Salguero de Cabrera, Jose Antonio Cabrera, and to the Canon of the cathedral Michael Calixto of the Circle, all of them of autonomous position.

The decade of 1820 belonged to caudillos, since the country was in full process of formation. Until 1820 a central government taken root in Buenos Aires existed, but the remaining thirteen provinces felt that after July 9, 1816 what had happened it was simply a change of commander. Cepeda's Battle faced the commanders of the Littoral with the central power.

Finally, the Federales obtained the victory, for what the country remained since then integrated by 13 autonomous provinces, on the national government having be dissolved.

From this way the period known like about the Provincial Autonomies began. From this moment the provinces tried to create a federal system that was integrating them without coming to good port, this mainly for the regional differences of every province.

Two Cordoba figures sttod out in this period: Governor Juan Bautista Bustos, who was an official of the Army of the North and in 1820 was supervised by the troops quartered in Arequito, a town near Cordoba, and his ally and later enemy, General Jose Maria Paz. In 1821, Bustos repelled the invasion of Cordoba on the part of Francisco Ramirez and his Chilean ally, General Jose Miguel Carrera. The conflict originated in a dispute with the power system that included the provinces of Buenos Aires, Cordoba and Santa Fe; according to the 1822 census the total population of Cordoba was of 11,552 inhabitants.

Contemporary History

At the end of the 19th century the process of national industrialization began with the height of the economic agro-exporting model, principally of meats and cereals. This process is associated with the European immigration who began to settle the city, generally possessing the education and enterprising capacity appropriate for the development of industry. The majority of these European immigrants came from Italy , and Spain (mostly Galicians and Basques)

At the beginning of the 20th century the city had 90,000 inhabitants. The city changed considerably its physionomy following the construction of new avenues, walks and public squares, as well as the installation of an electrified tramway system, in 1909. In 1918, Cordoba was the epicentre of a movement known as the University Reform, which then spread to the rest of the Universities of the country, Americas and Spain.

The development of the domestic market, the British investments that facilitated European settlement, the development of the railways on the pampas rapidly industrialized the city. Cordoba's industrial sector first developed from the need to transform raw materials such as leather, meats and wool for export.

In 1927, the Military Aircraft Manufacturer (FMA) was inaugurated. The facilty would become one of the most important in the world after the Second World war with the arrival of German technical personnel. From 1952, its production began to diversify, to constitute the base of the former Institute Aerotecnico, the state-owned company Aeronautical and Mechanical Industries of the State (IAME). Cordoba was chosen as the site of The Instituto Aerotecnico that later became the Fabrica Militar de Aviones. It employed the Focke Wulf men until President Juan Peron was ousted by a coup in 1955. Lockheed Martin purchased FMA in 1995.

Cordoba, according to the census of 1947, had almost 400,000 inhabitants (a quarter of the province's total). Subsequent industrial development led thousands of rural families to the city, doubling its population and turning Cordoba into the second biggest city in Argentina, after Buenos Aires, by 1970. The city's population and economic growth moderated, afterwards, though living standards rose with the increase in the national consumption of Cordoba's industrial products, as well as the development of other sectors of economic activity.

At times rivaling Buenos Aires for its importance in national politics, Cordoba was the site of the initial mutiny leading to the 1955 Revolucion Libertadora that deposed populist President Juan Peron and the setting for the 1969 Cordobazo, a series of violent labor and student protests that ultimately led to elections in 1973. Cordoba's current economic diversity is due to a vigorous services sector and the demand for agro-industrial and railway equipment and, in particular, the introduction of U.S. and European automakers after 1954.


The city's geographic location is , taking as a point of reference San Martin Square in downtown Cordoba. The relative location of the municipal common land, is in the south hemisphere of the globe, to the south of the South American subcontinent, in the geographical centre - west of Argentina and of the province of Cordoba; to a distance of 702 km from Buenos Aires and 401 km from the city of Rosario

As per the provincial laws No. 778 of December 14, 1878, Not. 927 of October 20, 1883, and Not. 1295 of December 29, 1893, the limits of the city of Cordoba are delineated in the northern part, South, East and West located to 12 km from San Martin Square (31 25 ' S 64 11 ' O), which means that the common land has 24 km from side. The city, adjoins in the northern territory with Colon Department summarizing a total surface of 562.


The city is located in the plain of the Humid Pampa, to the east of the oriental cord of Cordoba Hills or Sierra Chica, which has an average height of 550 m. It spreads at the foot of the mount, on both banks of the River Suquia, and flows into the San Roque reservoir; from there, the Primero River goes east into the plains surrounding the city of Cordoba.

Once inside the city, the La Canada stream meets the Primero near the city centre area. Two kilometers to the east, Isla de los Patos (Ducks Island) was repopulated with ducks and swans in the 1980s. It was reported in March 2006 that a large number of ducks had died due to unspecified causes [*]. Pollution caused by chemical waste is suspected as the cause, but avian influenza is also being investigated.

Beyond the city limits, the river flows towards the Algarrobos swamp and ends its course on the southern coast of the Mar Chiquita (or Mar de Ansenuza) salt lake. All in all, the river has a length of approximately 200 kilometers and carries, on average, 9.7 m/s, with minimum of 2 m/s and maximum of 24 m/s [*] with a peak during the summer months.

Pollution of the water and of the riverbank is a major environmental issue in Cordoba. Periodic cleaning operations are carried out to increase the quality of the water and to preserve the viability of fishing, both in the San Roque reservoir area and downstream.


The climate of the city of Cordoba, as that of most of the province, is moderated by the altitude and, especially, the pampas winds, cold winds that blow from the South-western quadrant, originates in the Antarctica.

The variations or thermal extents are greater than in Buenos Aires, and lower in annual rainfall: 750 mm / year. The annual average temperature calculated during the 20th century was 18 C. In January, the hottest month of the austral summer, the average maximum is of 31 C and the minimum of 17 C.

In July, the coldest month of the year, the average temperatures are between 19 C and 3 C.

In winter it is very frequent that temperatures arrise superior to 30C, due to the influence of the wind Zonda.

Due to the extension of the metropolitan area, there exists a difference of 5C between the central area and the Greater Cordoba. The central district, a densely high-rise area is located in a depression, and it is the core of an important heat island. In addition the city presents a phenomenon of smog, but not as dense to make consequences for the health population.

According to studies realized by the Meteorological National Service from 1873, the annual rainfall registered in the city, shows a significant change in the trend from the half of last century. The annual average of rains has increased mas of 100 mm in the last 50 years.

The result of these studies, were compared with the global trends of temperature and was observed that the annual rainfall of the city is highly correlated by world trend of this variable. In the first half of the 20th century, the variations of the rain registred as those of the average temperature of the Hemisphere South are very slightly notable, compared with the one that is observed from 1950.



The most common ethnic groups are Italian and Spaniard (mostly Galicians and Basques).

Waves of immigrants from European countries arrived in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The main contributors were Spain, Italy, France, Eastern European nations such as Croatia, Poland, Hungary, Russia, Romania, Ukraine and the Balkans , Switzerland, Germany, the United Kingdom and Ireland, and Scandinavia (especially Sweden). By the 1910s, 43 percent of the city population was non-native Argentine after immigration rates peaked.

Most immigrants, regardless of origin, settled in the city or around Greater Cordoba. However, in the first stages of immigration, some formed colonies (especially agricultural colonies) in different parts of the city, often encouraged by the Argentine government and/or sponsored by private individuals and organizations.

Demographic distribution

Cordoba is the second largest city in the country in population and concentrates 40.9% of the Cordoba Province population of 3,216,993 inhabitants and represents almost 3.3% of the Argentine population, which according to estimates to June 2008, reached 39,745,613 inhabitants. Driven by migration both domestic and from abroad, the city's rate of population growth was an elevated 3.2% annually from 1914 to 1960; but, it has been declining steadily since then, and has averaged around 0.4% a year, since the national census of 2001.

According to the last provincial census of 2008, the city has 1,315,540 inhabitants, representing an increase of 3.78% with regard to the 1,267,521 registered during the national census of 2001.

Greater Cordoba is the metropolitan area of the city of Cordoba, a union of medium localities of the department Colon, from the north to the south. Great Cordoba is the second urban agglomeration of Argentina as for population and surface refers.

The growth of the metropolitan area was not equal in all directions, it spreads approximately up to 50 km to the northwest of the Cordoba city centre in a thin succession of small localities. This is almost the maximum distance from the Buenos Aires city center to the most distant of its metropolitan area points; whereas in the rest of the cardinal points it comes to .

The city receives a constant flow of students from the North-East, Southwest regions of Argentina and of other South American countries, owed principally to the National University of Cordoba, which increases gradually the city population. Cordoba grows constantly, expanding especially towards the southern areas of Alta Gracia and Villa Carlos Paz.

Urban Structure

The use of the city soil is regulated by the municipality, which determines and destines 26,177 hectares to urban area (40.24 %), 12,267 hectares to the industrial dominant area (21.3 %), 16,404 hectares to rural area dominant (28.45 %) and 5,750 hectares to other uses as military proposes, or institutional spaces (9.98 %) of the total area of the city.

Green spaces include different types of spaces, from squares, small squares, up to urban, green linear parks of different scales as the river Suquia, bicycle pathways and highway s). The surface supported by the Municipality of Cordoba in character of green Urban adds approximately 1645 hectares.

The historical centre is shaped by quadrangular blocks of some hundred thirty meters of side. The disposition of the neighborhoods and principal avenues is radial. From the city centre district large avenues that lead to the most peripheral neighborhoods are born. In conformity with the demographic growth the city has expanded principally to the northwest and to the southeast, following the trace of the National Route 9.


Cordoba is the second most important commercial area in Argentina, as well as home to one of the most important financial districts in South America. The district is home to the Bank of Cordoba and other private banking institutions. Sightseeing places include San Martin Square, the Jesuit Block (declared UNESCO World Heritage Site) and the Genaro Perez Museum. The streets mostly follow a regular checkerboard pattern, and the main thoroughfares are Velez Sarsfield, Colon, General Paz and Dean Funes Avenue, and April 27 Sreet.

The point of origin of the city is the San Martin Square, surrounded by the Municipality, the Central Post Office, The streets mostly follow a regular checkerboard pattern

Downtown Cordoba is home of large shopping malls, notably Patio Olmos. This mall is the result of a massive regeneration effort, recycling and refurbishing the west side old warehouses into elegant offices and commercial centres. An important cultural point of interest is the Palacio Ferreyra, a mansion built in 1916 based on plans by the French architect, Ernest Sanson. The Ferreyra palace was converted into the Evita Peron Museum of Fine Arts (the city's second) in 2007. Located at the corner of Hipolito Yrigoyen and Chacabuco Avenues, it has now been restored and adapted to house the city's principal art gallery.

Nueva Cordoba has a number of important avenues such as Yrigoyen and Velez Sarsfield. Most of the university students in this growing city live in this neighbourhood, and a recebt construction boom has been transforming this upscale area into the fastest-growing section in the city.

Ciudad Universitaria is a district located in the southern area of the city, next to the 17 hectares (43 acre) Sarmiento Park, the city's most important one. The Universidad Nacional de Cordoba(UNC) has most of its facilities in this area. The UNC was the first university built in Argentina, founded by Jesuits around 1622. The Universidad Nacional de Cordoba is also famous for the "Reforma Universitaria", a student led protest that started in March 1918 in the Medical School, in which the students rebelled against the prevailing university system. This was an old anachronic system in which professors were authoritarian and inefficient, with a religiously oriented curriculum. Eventually this revolt lead to a more secular curriculum and some significant re-structuring of the university government. The distinctive nature of the movement derived not only from its radical demands, but also from its extremist tactics, the level of sophistication of its organization, and its major continental impact. In fact, the Reform Movement rapidly spread from Cordoba to Lima (1919), Cuzco (1920), Santiago de Chile (1920), and Mexico (1921). Another important university, the UTN, dedicated to the teaching of engineering sciences, is located in this part of the city. There are also a gym and football stadium and tennis courts for the students. The Cordoba Zoo is located in this district.

Located about 6 kilometers (3.75 miles) from downtown Cordoba is the Cerro de Las Rosas. This very affluent neighborhood is famous for its schools, shops and educational institutions. This neighborhood's economic activity centers around the Rafael Nunez Avenue, a long wide road that stretches for a few miles and has restaurants, boutiques, banks and other shops. Over the last decade, this neighborhood has experienced steady growth; however, some of its most affluent inhabitants have moved to gated communities for security reasons. Some of these communities, such as "Las Delicias" and "Lomas de los Carolinos", are in the old Camino a La Calera.


The Cordoba public transport system includes buses, trolleybuses, taxis and remis. Long-distance buses reach most cities and towns throughout the country.

Long-distance railway passenger service is provided by Ferrocentral twice weekly overnight to Buenos Aires Retiro Station and a twice weekly daytime service to Villa Maria which follows the same route. The Cordoba to Buenos Aires train has a dining car, Turista, Primera and Pullman coach class, as well as Camarote class in a sleeping car. Prices range from AR$27 for Turista to AR$240 for two people sharing a bedroom. It departs Cordoba on Wednesday at 9:13 PM and Saturday at 4:21 PM. The trip takes 15 hours and uses Hitachi made cars. The Cordoba to Villa Maria train uses ex Portuguese stainless steel coaches.

The Argentine government had projected to build a high-speed train between Buenos Aires-Rosario-Cordoba. Originally scheduled to be started in 2008, with its inauguration in 2010, it is still waiting for financing to be completed. It will eventually join Cordoba and Buenos Aires, with an intermediate stop in Rosario, in about 3 hours at speeds of up to 350 km/h.

The city is served by the nation's third largest airport Ingeniero Ambrosio L.V. Taravella International Airport.


On December 10, 2007 the Secretary of Transport and Traffic of the Argentine Municipality announced the project to build the second Metro line in Argentina. A consortium of Iecsa/Gela companies was announced to build the US$ 1.1 billion metro system.

In April 2008, President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, enacted the project into law. The works, however, could currently be considered to be "on hold" due to the world financial crisis.


Since World War II, Cordoba has been developing a versatile industrial base. The biggest sectors are car manufacturing , railway construction (Materfer) and aircraft construction (Fabrica Militar de Aviones. Furthermore, there are textile, heavy and chemical industries and some agrobusinesses.

Cordoba has been considered the technological centre of Argentina. The Argentinian spaceport (Centro Espacial Teofilo Tabanera), where satellites are being developed and operated for CONAE, is located in the suburb of Falda del Carmen. The software and electronic industries are advancing and becoming significant exporters; among the leading local employers in the sector are Motorola, Vates, Intel, Electronic Data Systems, and Santex America.


Football (soccer), like in the rest of Argentina, is the most popular sport. Several leagues and divisions compete in the local championship annually. Some important teams are Belgrano, Talleres, Instituto de Cordoba, and Racing de Cordoba.

Basketball could arguably be the second most popular sport in Cordoba city. Asociacion Deportiva Atenas is the most popular club, and one of the most successful in Argentina, having won the National League (LNB) seven times, and being three times winner of the South American League.

Rugby union is also a very popular sport in Cordoba, which has close to 20 teams with many divisions. Tala Rugby Club, La Tablada,Palermo Bajo, the Cordoba Athletic Club (one of the oldest clubs in Argentina and founded by the British who worked in the building of the Argentine Railroads around 1882), "Cordoba Rugby Club", "Jockey Club Cordoba", and "Universitario" are some of the most prestigious teams. Cordoba is one of the strongest rugby places in Argentina, and is the home of many international players. Many of the great players in Argentina and Italy began their carriers in the Cordoba's rugby clubs.

Golf and tennis are also very popular; notable players that started playing in Cordoba include Angel "Pato" Cabrera and Eduardo "Gato" Romero in golf and David Nalbandian in tennis.

The Argentine stage of the World Rally Championship has been run not far from the city since 2004.

Hockey and tennis are also important sports in Cordoba.



Cordoba has long been considered one of the most culturally rich cities of Argentina. The Literary activity flourished in the city at the beginning of the last century. Cordoba was the city of Leopoldo Lugones, Arturo Capdevila and Marcos Aguinis, among many other prestigious writers. Among the city's best-known museums are the Caraffa Fine Arts Museum, founded in 1916, and the Evita Fine Arts Museum, founded in 2007. The Paseo del Buen Pastor, a cultural center opened in 2007, features an art museum, as well as a shopping gallery devoted to local vintners, cheese makers, leather crafters and other artisans.


The typical music in Cordoba is the cuarteto. It can be heard in many parties and pubs. The most popular cuarteto singers are: Carlos La Mona Jimenez, Rodrigo, La Barra and Jean Carlos, among others. The places they usually sing are named bailes (dances). One of the first groups was Cuarteto de Oro.

Other very popular music styles among the youth are electronic music (or electro), as well as reggaeton. These are commonly played at "boliches," as night clubs are known in Argentina. Cordoba is sometimes referred to as the Night Life City , because of its wide range of clubs and teenage matinees (dancing clubs).

Cordoba also enjoys a rich musical culture that includes classical, jazz, rock, pop and electronic in a variety of venues. Cordoba is home to the Teatro Libertador San Martin, which regularly features classical music, opera, folk music, theater plays, etc.


Cordoba has many historical monuments left over from the colonial era. In the centre, near the Plaza San Martin square, is the Jesuit Cathedral, whose altar is made of stone and silver from Potosi. Every ornament inside is made of gold and the roof is all painted with different images from the Bible. Another important building is the Cabildo (colonial government house), located next to the church. The Jesuit Block, the Monserrat School, the University and the church of the Society of Jesus are located in Cordoba.


Different festivals occur year-round. The first is in February, the Carnaval, where children enjoy throwing water balloons at each other on the street.

Then in the middle of the year, on July 20, Friends Day is celebrated. Usually, most of the teenagers meet at Parque de las Naciones or Parque Sarmiento and spend the afternoon there. At night, they go dancing to different places, and enjoy a drink.

The last festival is Spring Day, held on September 21, which is Students' Day. Many go to the park or spend the day in the nearby city of Villa Carlos Paz. There they can enjoy lots of activities like concerts, dancing, going down town or visiting the river bank.

Twin cities

Cordoba has 17 twin cities:

Image gallery

File:Arco de Cordoba 2007-11-16.jpg|The Cordoba Gateway

File:Torreecipsa.jpg|The Ecipsa Tower

File:Rivadavia esq. Olmos-1 2009-04-21.jpg|La Mundial, the "world's narrowest building"

File:Legislatura Cordoba 2009-03-30.jpg|Provincial Legislature

External links

Municipality of Cordoba - Official website.

Cordoba.com.ar - Shooping, Restaurants, Hotels, Tourism and more.

Portal Nueva Cordoba (Specific Site of Nueva Cordoba's neighborhood)

Guide of Cordoba (especially for culture and nightlife)

Everything about Cordoba

La Voz del Interior - Cordoba's most important newspaper

University of Cordoba

Universidad Tecnologica Nacional - Facultad Regional Cordoba

Capillas y Templos de la Provincia de Cordoba - Argentina

Cordoba Debate - The Vestibule of the City

Tourism of Cordoba

How to reach Cordoba? find the best road, maps and distances from other argentinian cities

Didn't find what you were looking for.
Need more information for your travel research or homework?
Ask your questions at the forum about Capitals of Argentine provinces or help others to find answers.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Cordoba, Argentina

Disclaimer - Privacy Policy - 2009