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Paraná

Marshlands, islands and the Río Paraná separate Santa Fe from Paraná. This city is the capital of Provincia de Entre Ríos, or Between Rivers—aptly called as the province is bordered on the west by the Paraná River and to the east by the Uruguay River. Even though today it is the provincial seat of power, it is much more laid back and ignored by tourists than the towns along the Río Uruguay. Paraná city has had its cycles of power and obscurity through the centuries.

The Guaraní called this waterway Paraná, or Relatives of the Sea. Spanish colonizers learned the importance of this water highway, and established cities and ports along its banks. Sometime in the late 16th or early 17th century, a bajada or port area appeared, dropping off supplies to military forces and trading with local indigenous. It began to be called Bajada del Paraná or Baxada de la Otra Banda del Paraná. The formal founding of the city, Villa del Rosario, was June 25, 1823 and it became the provincial capital. With the wars of succession against Buenos Aires governor Juan Manuel de Rosas, Paraná was declared the provisional capital of the Confederación Argentina (1854-1861) with General Justo José de Urquiza as president. In 1883, it was the capital of Entre Ríos Province. At the end of that century, its port received thousands of Italian, Jewish, German and other immigrants. The river continued to be Paraná’s only connection with the rest of the country until 1969, when the Túnel Subfluvial Uranga-Silvestre Begnis opened.

Streets gently roll with this river town’s hills, then steeply decline to the ports. The puerto viejo (old port), which marks the west extreme of Parque Urquiza, is the city’s original harbor. Beneath its streets are underground tunnels which were used by wash women to get to the river easily, and by businesses. One at the Club Atlético Estudiantes on the Costanera reputedly goes to a haunted house. From the old port, Bajada Los Vascos zigzags up the bluff. Atop the bluff is La Batería where cannons used to defend the harbor. Now the monument to Urquiza watches over the city he once ruled.

Many buildings from the city’s hey-day as the Confederación Argentina capital, like Urquiza’s home, were demolished in the early 1900s. A few remain, however. The only public structures left are the Confederation’s Senate (now Colegio del Huerto, Urquiza and Corrientes) and the Museo de Ciencias Naturales y Antropológicas (Gardel 62). Others were private buildings, such as the Berduc mansion (San Juan and Uruguay). Paraná’s other fine edifices were constructed 1880s-1920s and have eclectic Italian architecture. Amongst these are the Cathedral, which safekeeps a 17th century image of the patron saint, Nuestra Señora del Rosario.

Paraná is a good base for making day trips to other attractions. Hop the train to Oro Verde and check out the Jardín Botánico (weekends, holidays; during week by appointment. Ruta Provincial 11, Km 10, Tel: 0343-497-0583 / 154-054-286, E-mail: botanica@fca.uner.edu.ar, URL: www.jardinbotanicooroverde.org) and Observatorio Astronómico (Saturday 7:30 p.m. Ruta Provincial 11, Km 10, Tel: 0343-154-173-869, E-mail: observatorioae@hotmail.com, URL: www.astroentrerios.com.ar. Entry: adults $1.25, children under 13 $0.70). Oro Verde may also be reached by city bus Línea 6 from Calle Buenos Aires in front of Plaza Alvear.

Near Diamante, 60 kilometers (36 mi) south, is Parque Nacional Pre Delta (Tel: 0343-498-3535, E-mail: predelta@apn.gov.ar, URL: predelta.blogspot.com. Entry: free). This 2,600-hectare (6,425-ac) park was established in 1992 to protect the unique river island environment. Two trails, “Las Lagunas” and “Laguna Curiyú,” allow hikers to discover its flora and fauna. Birdlife is abundant. The park is open 7 a.m.-9 p.m. Visitors may camp overnight (bathhouses, grills; free). Trained locals may be hired for guided treks (guiasdelpredelta@hotmail.com) or boating excursions (Guillermo Trosero, Tel: 0343-154-768-525, E-mail: fenixexcursiones@hotmail.com).

(Altitude: 77 m / 253 ft, Population: 235,967, Phone Code: 0343)

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Other places nearby Paraná: Corrientes, Itatí, Mburucuyá, San Cosme, Rosario, Santa Fe, Esteros Del Iberá and Santa Ana De Los Guácaras.







By Lorraine Caputo

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Things to do in Paraná

Museo Provincial De Ciencias Naturales Y Antropológicas

141276Museo Provincial de Ciencias Naturales y Antropológicas Professor Antonio Serrano covers the entire scope of natural sciences. Individual galleries are dedicated to the geology, flora and fauna of ...
Museum
Paraná, Argentina

Parque Urquiza

141277Paranense life focuses on the river. For several kilometers along the Río Paraná\'s towering left bank bluffs stretches the terraced Parque Urquiza. This greenspace begins in the Puerto Nuevo where ...
City Park
Paraná, Argentina

Túnel Subfluvial Uranga-silvestre Begnis

Travelers wending between Paraná city and Santa Fe are suddenly plunged into the depths of the Túnel Subfluvial Uranga-Silvestre Begnis, beneath the Río Paraná. For almost 3 kilometers (1.9 mi) ...
Other Activity
Paraná, Argentina
Mapa
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