The Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires is the geographical and political focal point of the city. Named after the May, 1810 revolution that led to the country’s independence from Spain, the city’s grandest avenues and boulevards span out from it, and flanking the plaza’s landscaped, green centre are the seats of the country’s power, both past and present. The Plaza de Mayo is the scene of the country’s greatest and not-so greatest moments, and most days you’ll find a group of protesters here, exercising their right to be heard at the heart of the nation. Most famously, Las Madres de Plaza de Mayo have been keeping vigil here for over 30 years in an epic, and widely praised attempt to track down and identify children who disappeared’ during the 1976-1982 dictatorship. (They can be seen wearing their familiar white shawls every Thursday afternoon). On approach to the Plaza de Mayo, eyes are immediately drawn to the Italianate Casa Rosada (or the ‘pink house’), the offices of the president and museum containing a vast array of artefacts on the city’s history. (It was the from the casa’s grand balcony that Evita Perón made her famous farewell speech, immortalised in the song ‘ Don’t cry to me, Argentina!’). The elegant, Spanish colonial-style Cabildo was the original city hall. Today it holds a collection of 18th century paintings and decorative pieces, as well as an artisan’s market (Thursdays and Fridays). Another visit-worthy building is the La Cathedral Metropolitana, a neo-classical cathedral with an ornate rococo interior. A soaring pyramid is dedicated to the revolutionaries of 1810. Of the many mass scenes and manifestations the Plaza de Mayo has seen over the years, the 2001 riots that stemmed from the collapse of the country’s banking system still stings (somewhat ironically the Microcentre, of financial district is located directly next to the plaza). A different mood was felt on May 23rd 2010, when hundred of thousands of Argentineans converged on the plaza to joyfully celebrate the bicentenary of its independence. A great restaurant in Buenos Aires.| Since 2006 Holiday Velvet offers Buenos Aires holiday rentals.