San Telmo was formerly known as "Altos de San Pedro" (Highland of Saint Peter) after San Pedro González Telmo, and was a neighborhood where the people that worked in the Harbor used to live. The area is one of the oldest ones in the City of Buenos Aires, and is also one of the ones that has conserved its old architecture in the best way inside this constantly changing city.
One of the biggest events in the history of San Telmo took place when the yellow fever epidemic hit Buenos Aires in 1871. The area was then populated by wealthier families, but the disease made everyone flee the area leaving their big houses behind. A lot of those houses still stand today and were for years inhabited by immigrant families, and, as timed passed, they were transformed into what is today known as "Conventillos."
San Telmo is characterized by its large old houses of colonial style, and the many streets of the area that are still maintain their original cobblestone paving. The area is full of antique stores, and on the weekend the neighborhood transforms into a large antique market, and the calle Defensa (Defence street) is cut off and filled with stalls selling everything one can dream of and you can also see street artists, puppeteers, magicians, and live statues. The Plaza Dorego and the "Mercado de San Telmo" (Saint Telmo Market) are filled with people selling handcrafts, and vegetable and food stands.
It is also an area filled with the constant presence of the Tango, and San Telmo has always been considered one of the cradles of this spectacular dance in Buenos Aires. It's a place where history, humor, and memories come together anywhere you turn. The area has served as inspiration for numerous artists and today the restaurants, plazas and stores located here are some of the most frequented in Buenos Aires.
With its stories and anecdotes, its ample constructions and old warehouses, not forgetting the secret of recycling, San Telmo has recently become a valued area once again, because of this it's starting to transform into one of the most traditional and luxurious areas in Buenos Aires. Going along its streets you can distinguish age old houses with there traditional yards and small stores that are in the business of buying and selling all kinds of vintage products.
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- San Telmo limits with the following areas of Buenos Aires: La Boca, Barracas, Constitución, Monserrat and Puerto Madero.