San Isidro, Buenos Aires, Argentina

By Roy Heale

 

Victoria Ocampo Mansion

Victoria Ocampo Mansion

Argentine writer and intellectual Victoria Ocampo, CBE  was described by fellow renowned Argentine author Jorge Luis Borges as La Mujer Más Argentina—The quintessential Argentine woman. She was well known as an advocate for others and as publisher of the legendary literary magazine Sur. In her long professional career  as a writer and critic in her own right she became one of the most prominent South American women of her time. Her long life—April 7, 1890 to January 27, 1979—was filled with awards and distinctions and she is interred  in the well known Recoleta cemetery.

Although she owned several homes in Buenos Aires, San Isidro, and Mar del Plata, perhaps her favorite was her summer home, a country mansion in San Isidro, which is now just a 15 minute drive or a short train ride from the heart of Buenos Aires.

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Originally this was her summer home and today it is a UNESCO museum. The tranquil grounds are beautifully kept and the main floor of the mansion is open to the public where you can enjoy the period décor. There is a small indoor/outdoor restaurant offering interesting menu items at affordable prices. A nominal admission charge of ARS$30 for adults helps with the upkeep. It is a short walk from the Beccar train station or from the San Isidro village center. This is where Victoria Ocampo hosted the likes of author Graham Greene and politicians like Indira Gandhi. The restoration of this historic mansion allows visitors to step back in time and visit the library of her works.

 

The Gazebo

The Gazebo

The splendid gardens were created by Victoria herself. One of the lesser known facets of Victoria Ocampo was her love of plants, gardens and nature. She inherited this passion from her mother and learned the names of plants and gardening tasks at an early age. Victoria also introduced these contemporary style gardens in her Mar del Plata and Palermo Chico homes. She visited the major gardens of the world, wrote several gardening books, some of which can be found in the on-site library.

 

Outdoor Cafe

Outdoor Cafe

The Villa Ocampo UNESCO project was launched in 2003 in collaboration with the Argentine government, the Municipality of San Isidro, the Association of Friends of Villa Ocampo, plus many donors and sponsors. Under the direction of UNESCO the house, garden, furnishings, art and photography collections plus 11,000 books in the library were restored. The site was opened to visitors and aimed at a diverse audience offering a broad and comprehensive cultural program.

Restored Furnishings

Restored Furnishings

Open:

Wednesday to Sunday and holidays from 12:30 PM to 7:00PM

Guided Tours:

Wednesday, Thursday and Friday: 15:00hs and 16.30hs.

Saturdays, Sundays and holidays: From 14:00hs, every hour approx.

 

Music Room

Music Room

For More Information Visit: www.villaocampo.org