Recoleta is a downtown residential neighborhood in the city of Buenos Aires, Argentina. It is a broad area of historical and architectural interest, especially by the Recoleta Cemetery and a major tourist and cultural focus within the city. It is considered a neighborhood luxury and the value per square meter is one of the most expensive in the city. The subway line D passes through the neighborhood.
Its name comes from the Convent of the Recoletos Fathers, members of the Franciscan Order were established in the early eighteenth century, founding a convent and a church dedicated to Our Lady of the Pillar and the cemetery attached to it. The walk to the Recoleta is almost in the geographic center of the district, and one of its highest points, so that in the late nineteenth century the place attracted wealthy families from the south of the city, escaping the yellow fever epidemic. Since then it is one of the most elegant and expensive of Buenos Aires family mansions, embassies and luxury hotels, including the Alvear Palace Hotel, the most luxurious of Latin America.
When Buenos Aires was experiencing terrible epidemics of cholera and yellow fever in the 1870s, the population was decentralized to avoid infection. That was why, while the popular classes settled in the south-east of the city, the wealthiest they did in the Recoleta, where terrain height reduced the presence of disease-carrying insects.
These families (some of them members of the ruling elite Creole ancestry considered, by descent from prominent people during the independence period) in the neighborhood built mansions and large French-style buildings (many demolished in the late 1950s and early 1960s). Therefore, alluded to Buenos Aires as the Paris of America. Today, some of these traditional buildings coexist with elegant modern buildings.
Along with some sectors of the surrounding neighborhoods of Retiro and Palermo, Recoleta is part of the area known as Barrio Norte, a traditional dwelling place of wealthier sectors of society and a large part of the cultural life of the city.