July 9, 1816. Argentina’s birthday. On this momentous day, Argentina gained its independence, and in commemoration of this big event the Argentines named main street in downtown Buenos Aires 9 de Julio. But this is not just any street. You have to see it to believe it.
Nine lanes wide, with gardened medians between the opposing flow of traffic, this is the widest street in the world. Those with a quick pace and long legs will be lucky if they get to the other side with the changing of two traffic lights that are placed at every intersection. A pedestrian crossing usually requires a few extra minutes and a few green lights. However, the inevitable stop in the center provides a great perspective of the magnitude of the street as well as the city.
The street runs far in both directions and connects the unique sections of the great metropolis. Some of Buenos Aires’ main landmarks can be seen along the way; most notably, the Obelisk. The Obelisk is a Washington Monument-like structure that sits in the middle of 9 de Julio. Back in 1936 it was constructed in just 31 days. Other architectural masterpieces that line the sidewalks are: the original French Embassy, the statue of Don Quixote, and the Teatro Colon.
Along 9 de Julio you can find various stops for each of the subway station lines where their paths cross. Lines B, C, and D create a focal point in the subway system where they come together at this street. They share a station situated directly beneath the Obelisk which are called Carlos Pellegrini, Diagonal Norte, and 9 de Julio.
Whether traveling by foot, car, subway, bike, taxi, or bus, you will surely come across 9 de Julio and you will know it when you see it. There you can tip your hat to those who fought for the freedom of the great country of Argentina.
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