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Romance, mystery, history

Of all of the picturesque cobblestone streets in Colonia, the Calle de los Suspiros is the most iconic and representative of the Historic Quarter. It dates back to the 17th century and is the oldest street in the Quarter. The passage of hundreds of years has not marred it in any way. The first street to run parallel to the city’s wall, it was originally called Ansina. It still has the original drain running down its middle, the true mark of a Portuguese street. The buildings on this street feature their original adobe walls and roofs laid with tejas musleras, or “thigh tiles”, which were molded over the maker’s thighs.

How did it acquire its current, more romantic name? Several legends surround it; the most popular links it to its seedy past. It was apparently the location of the city’s jail, pubs and brothels. It was very popular with sailors who came to the street in search for entertainment – the beauties they beheld stirred many a sigh. Hundreds of years have passed, and it is still a street of sighs, though today for entirely different reasons. Its colors, narrow intimacy, irregular cobblestones and unique charm still stir as many sighs as back then.

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By Claudia Pesce

Claudia Pesce was born in Buenos Aires, but started traveling shortly after her first birthday. Upon returning to Argentina at...

03 May 2011

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