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Locals boast that the Virgin Mary chose the site where Luján now stands as her home. In 1630 the driver of a cart bearing her statue was perplexed when the wheels seemingly refused to turn any further. When upon the removal of the statue, the cart continued with ease, all became clear: the Virgin meant to stay where she was. The devoted driver thus set about building her a home, the first chapel of Luján. Today La Virgencita – now patron saint of Argentina - resides in a much grander abode; the Basilica Nacional, completed in 1930. The main plaza in Luján, which was granted its status as a town in the mid 18th century, is named for former resident General Manuel Belgrano, who designed the Argentine flag. Numerous plaques on buildings and sidewalks offer further tidbits of historical trivia. This tiny town holds more national significance than its size would lead you to believe.

By Elizabeth Sutcliffe
I'm a curious explorer with continually itchy feet. If I could, I would dance my way around the...
23 Jan 2008

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