El Zanjón

El Zanjón de Granados


Useful Information

Location: 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 30min.
English Mon-Fri 12, 14, 15, Sun every 30min.
Casa Mínima:
All year Wed 11, Sun 11-17.
[2020]
Fee: Túneles & Misterio (Tunnels & Mystery):
Adults ARS 1,000, Argentinians ARS 500, Argentine Seniors ARS 400.
Casa Mínima:
Adults ARS 600.
[2020]
Classification: SubterraneaCellar
Light: electric
Dimension:  
Guided tours: D=1h.
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: yes
Bibliography:  
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.

History

1536 probably the site of the first settlement of Buenos Aires.
1830 mansion erected.
1890 converted into a tenement.
1970s building abandoned.
1985 purchased by Jorge Eckstein.

Description

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 theis is the area where anything started. So the houses here are actually the oldest in the city. 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 is was abandoned and used as a dump by the locals. It was purchased by Jorge Eckstein, who has 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, hair brushes and other items. During the one hour 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.