Underground Buenos Aires – The Granados’s Ditch – A fascinating story
At759 Defensa Street(in the neighbourhood of San Telmo, in the City ofBuenos Aires) we find an 1830 house that cherishes a peculiar history.
In1985 aneighbour of San Telmo, Mr. Jorge Eckstein, decided to purchase the house to start a restaurant.
As he was cleaning it he noticed that the floor in the last patio was sinking and as soon as he started the excavations he noticed some tunnels.
He then called a group of archaeologists from theUniversityofBuenos Airesand it was they who found out that along one of those tunnels a rivulet used to flow, the Third of the South.
Actually, it wasn’t a rivulet, but a ditch, as the former have constant water, while ditches accumulate rainwater. There were two other streams: The Third of the Centre and the Third of the North. These three ditches worked as a natural drainage system.
The neighbours had started piping these ditches since the late 18th century. To put an end to the problems associated to the floods and pollution, the neighbours started covering the ditches, which since then languished underground.
Once Don Jorge became aware of the whole story he decided to open a Museum, instead of a restaurant. The place is called “The Granados’s Ditch” because the section of the stream that used to go through this place (before being piped) was used by the Granados sisters, renowned bakers of that time, to do their laundry. So, the place is called after the Granados sisters.
Don Jorge is also the owner of the Minimal House and the house located at the corner as well, where he also found some other tunnels which connect both houses
The tunnels and the museum can be visited from Monday to Friday, from 11 AM to 4 PM and on Sundays from 1PM to 4 PM