Experiences

El Zanjón: a tour underground

Located in the Main Street of San Telmo neighborhood is a place where you are able to stroll inside tunnels from 1830.

The tour began from the main spot at Defensa 755, the place is actually not well promoted but is something interesting and different to do. The facade belongs to the old Miguens family house and today try to capture the spirit from the colonial times. The first question you probably ask is: What is the Zanjón? The area where now will find this Museum was a narrow river called “Zanjón de Granados”. Is an historical place from 1530 approximately.

 

The guide visit is nice but the most interesting thing is to get the chance to see the tunnels. The story began at 1830 when the Miguens family built this house, it was really big and had many rooms, three patios and a well equipped kitchen. In the surrounding, more precisely next to this house, was the Zanjón de Granados river. The issue they and the other neighbors have to face was how to build a series of tunnels to channel this river, the construction of the underground tunnels was necessary to prevent the contagious of several diseases and from the flood. The Miguen’s family lived there till the “Fiebre Amarilla” (yellow fever) so they decided to sell the property and move to a better area. The next owner decided to make a profit of this so He constructed a “Conventillo” (tenement),where there were 23 rooms, 2 share bathrooms and a kitchen.

Many years passed, the tenement was finally closed and this property has been abandoned for several years. A man in the ‘80 was looking for a place to construct a restaurant, He found this old house and decided to buy it but what was the surprise? During the construction part of the floor fall down and they discovered a tunnel under this area in 1985. Luckily the new owner was passionate about history so he changed his plans and that’s why we have the Museum.

 

Today we visit the house and the parts of the archeological discovery like the old cistern, tank, walls, the archeological objects exhibition, etc. Of course the main attraction is the underground tunnels, the guide told us that this go beyond the property and they still trying to recover the most of it, it is said that should finish under the 9 de Julio ave., now is just one or two blocks of extension and is wonderful to get the chance to experience something like this.

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