LUGARES MAGAZINE Nro. 65
Page. 22 - 25
By: Soledad Gil
AN ESCAPE TO SAN SALVADOR DE JUJUY
The Province is not exhausted with the wealth of Tumbaya, Purmamarca, Tilcara and Humahuaca. The Capital is a bustling place – in spite of its unshakeable siesta - its Provincial Holiday the Monday after the Carnival, its craftsmen, restaurants and favourite strolls.
San Salvador is worth more than the Pulpit of the Cathedral, although it could be keep you for hours of contemplation. Inspired by the one of the Church of San Blas of Cuzco, it represents the genealogical order of Jesus Christ from Adam to Solomon. It is flanked by the four evangelists Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, which are symbolised by the man, the lion, the bull and the eagle, whereas the railing emulates the Ladder of Jacob. Its wealth and shine go well with the gold of the tabernacle and the dark carvings of the confessionaries. Thus, the Plaza General Belgrano Main Square dedicated for once to the creator of the Flag and not to the Liberator San Martín- and the Cathedral are the best beginnings of a first visit. The temple dates from 1763 and was constructed by Agustín de Leiza y de La Tijera, blessed by the Bishop of Cordoba Monseigneur Manuel Abbot e Ileana in 1770.
Across, in the Government House, it is worth the trouble to ignore the bureaucratic lines and scurrying people that go and come in order to check out the guilded hall. There, on the first floor, is the flag that Belgrano donated to the Town Assembly of Jujuy on the 25th of May of 1813, as a prize to the town that accompanied it in the exodus of the 23rd of August 1812 and that made possible the triumphal battles of Las Piedras, Tucumán and Salta.
On the Plaza one can also find the Association of Craftswomen, although the Fair of the Railroad Station is better, at eight blocks from there. Between the classic objects of ceramics, earthen jars and bowls stand out the pieces of the Mario and Miguel Mendoza brothers, several times awarded in Regional contests. They are not cheap, but the expressions of their persons of the Puna, the angels and the mangers are worth the investment of above $25. In those "carts" you will also find carpets and regional leather works. This fair opens after four o’clock in the afternoon. The tourism office that works in the station does not close at noon and, in addition, it is just before the Savoy, one of the most reputed restaurants with an International cuisine. They combine charcoal broiled brochettes with trout and rabbit in a discreet atmosphere, preferred by executives at noon and by the young people during the night. Towards the other side of the Plaza Belgrano, on the Lavalle Street is one of the best museums of the City. It is nothing less than the place in which they killed to Juan Galo Lavalle on the 9 of October of 1841. In the room dedicated to his figure is the legendary door through which - according to several historians - the general was shot. There are also rooms dedicated to the Governors of Jujuy, Typical clothing, religious and Colonial art, among others.
Within the same museum and just opposite, you can freely browse through the the two craft shops in which you must be able to separate the chaff from the wheat - the Bolivian industrial from the handmade and National - but where it is not difficult to find good articles with reasonable prices.
On Belgrano, from five o’clock in the afternoon, you will find open the Spinning Mill, an unusual spun products factory. The plant is in Palpalá, but the premises of Jujuy are one of the forced stops of the tourists passing through. Take advantage of the sales liquidations. Paying in cash, it is possible to obtain bedspreads of an impeccable cotton for $30.
Exactly opposite the Church of San Francisco stands out in the middle of the urban bustle, who seems to have nothing to do by its youthful look and its Italian style compared to the original chapel of adobe mud bricks, which was sold off in 1830 by the government of Rosas when expelling the Order of the Franciscans. The present building, however, is from 1927 and it was in charge of erasing all Colonial style of the Convent that the Franciscan Order recovered when returning in 1861 and which they kept until 1900.
And everywhere, the fresh figs that Jujuy harvests like no other Argentinean Province. Finally, and at the time you thought you were leaving, the surroundings full of good programs: while you stay overnight in the Hotel Termas de Reyes Kinas Spa, a tour by the Parque Nacional Calilegua National Park, and a take off towards the green locality of Tiraxi on the way to the Gorge are all excellent proposals to enrich your goodbye.