[Photos by WritersClearinghouse News Service]
Won the War, Lost Their Hearts
By Richard Carreño
Argentinians have had a love-hate relationship with the British as long as memory (history) can serve. From invasions in the 19th century (twice) to the awkwardness of a 1982 war over a constellation of rocks (islands) known as the Falklands to the Brits and the Malvinas to the Argies (they lost), tensions have often run high between the two countries. Conversely, nowhere -- aside from in Britain's kissin' cousin, the United States -- has the popular culture of the United Kingdom reigned with such alacrity as in this capital city.
It came with the railroads, built by British engineers with funding from the City, London's Wall Street. In a horse-oriented culture, polo followed. English-styled clubs (the sporting Jockey included) soon appeared. As did English-styled fashion with a Savile Row cut, popularized by the city's male elite.
Even a version of Big Ben (the British Tower) rose up, a favorite meeting site for Porteños, as citizens of this port city are known. Until 1982, that is.
It was known as Torre Monumental afterward. Before 1982 Torre de los Ingleses (Tower of the English) is a clock tower located in the barrio (district) of Retiro, Buenos Aires, Argentina. It is situated in the Plaza Fuerza Aérea Argentina (formerly Plaza Británica) next to the Calle San Martín and Avenida del Libertador. It was a gift from the local British community to the city in commemoration of the centennial of the May Revolution of 1810. .
After the Falklands War in 1982, the tower was renamed Torre Monumental, though some still call it Torre des Ingleses.