El Zanjón

El Zanjón de Granados

Useful Information

Location: Defensa 755, San Telmo, C1065 AAM.
San Telmo district, Buenos Aires.
(-34.616730, -58.371730)
Open: Túneles & Misterio (Tunnels & Mystery):
All year Mon-Fri 11-15, Sun 13-18.
Español - Spanish Mon-Fri 13, 16, Sun every 30 min.
English Mon-Fri 12, 14, 15, Sun every 30 min.
Casa Mínima:
All year Wed 11, Sun 11-17.
Fee: Túneles & Misterio (Tunnels & Mystery):
Adults ARS 1,000, Argentinians ARS 500, Argentine Seniors ARS 400.
Casa Mínima:
Adults ARS 600.
Classification: SubterraneaCellar
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Guided tours: D=1 h.
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: yes
Address: El Zanjón, Defensa 755, San Telmo, C1065 AAM, Buenos Aires, Tel: +54-4361-3002. E-mail:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


1536 probably the site of the first settlement of Buenos Aires.
1830 mansion erected by a Spanish family, dedicated to the leather trade.
1871 abandoned due to yellow fever.
1890 converted into a tenement house.
1970s building abandoned.
1985 purchased by Jorge Eckstein.


El Zanjón (The Ravine) is located in Buenos Aires' colonial San Telmo district. The city was founded by the Spanish conquistador Pedro de Mendoza in the 16th century, and this is the area where anything started. So the houses here are actually the oldest in the city, built and destroyed between 1730 and 1865. The El Zanjón de Granados museum is located in the underground cellars of a mansion which was erected in 1830. Below the mansion the remains of human habitation since the 16th century were buried. Originally it was a luxury 23-room mansion of a wealthy family with six slaves. In 1890, it was converted into a tenement. In the 1970s it was abandoned and used as a dump by the locals.

It was purchased by Jorge Eckstein, a businessman and graduate in Chemistry, in 1985. He intended to turn it into a restaurant, but when he started to clear out the garbage, he accidentally broke through the floor and discovered 2 km of tunnel. It was a storm drain which flowed into the Río de la Plata. He understood the historical value of the space and spent 20 years restoring the building and its underground, turning it into a museum. He finally opened it for the public, showing the numerous remains which were discovered, like a slave cell, a water cistern and various other remnants. On display are African pipes, English china and French tiles, as well historic coins, ceramics, hairbrushes and other items. During the 1 h tour you will see the restored mansion’s guest rooms, the kitchen, three patios, an enormous reception hall, and the underground tunnels.

The name El Zanjón (The Ravine) is the result of the rediscovery of an old ravine underground. The Tercero del Sur was an intermittent watercourse which drained into the Rio Plata in the southern part of the city. The complex also contains the Casa Mínima, the narrowest house of the city. It was only twice as wide as its entrance door.