Arrived in Buenos Aires we experienced really bad rain weather. However, we made the most out of it and visited as many places inside possible. That’s the most beautiful bookstore I have ever seen.
El Ateneo Grand Splendid is one of the biggest bookstores in South America and certainly the most luxurious. Located in the Recoleta neighborhood, El Ateneo is as splendid as its name, and exudes Buenos Aires’s nostalgic elegance. The building originally housed the theater Teatro Grand Splendid, designed by architects Pero and Torres Armengol in 1919. After years of popular shows, including performances by the famous tango singer, the Grand Splendid was converted into a movie theater in the late ’20’s, featuring some of the first sound movies shown in Argentina. The El Ateneo publishing house converted this old theater into a bookstore in 2000, thankfully conserving its original aspect, but replacing seating with bookshelves. Framed by plush crimson curtains, the stage is now a cafe where literary types and people-watchers alike form part of the spectacle; acting like a porteño by sipping a cafe and reading a story has never been so literal.
Stay tuned for more travel posts.