The Buenos Aires Metropolitan Cathedral (Spanish: Catedral Metropolitana de Buenos Aires) is the main Catholic church building of Buenos Aires city, Argentina. It is located at the corner of San Martín and Rivadavia streets, in the San Nicolás neighbourhood, in front of the Plaza de Mayo 13 at the city's downtown.
The building's style is neoclassical, with a prominent dome but not a traditional steeple.
The current building was designed by Turinesse architect Antonio Masella. Its construction began in 1753, and was finished over a century later. Even though the cathedral was consecrated in 1791, construction of its facade only began as late as 1802, during the government of Bernardino Rivadavia, from a design by French architects Catelin and Benoit. Construction was temporarily halted in 1827. It then resumed, and continued slowly to completion.
The body of General José de San Martín is entombed in a separate mausoleum reachable from the main body of the cathedral. He was believed to be a Freemason, and was therefore not buried in the cathedral proper.
Five previous churches occupied the same ground before the current building. The first one was made of mud but it was destroyed in 1593; the second was inaugurated in 1608, but fell down in 1616; the third was constructed with wood brought from Paraguay but did not last long; in 1680 the roof of the fourth church inaugurated in 1671 fell down, forcing its total demolition; the fifth was designed by architect Bianchi, but by 1752 it had already begun to fall apart.
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