Heritage, history and design of the gardens of the Palacio San José
The Palacio San José, owned by General Urquiza in Entre Rios, has left testimonies of the 19th century landscape history of Argentina.Its parks and gardens are evidence of a period where the reproduction of landscape models eur
At the 17th session of the General Conference of the United Nations Educational,
Scientific and Cultural Organization , which took place in Paris on October 17, 1972, the considerations stipulated
the “cultural heritage” and ” Natural heritage”. One of the axioms that outlined the heritage
culture refers to “places like the combined works of man and nature with
special value for their beauty or their interest from the point of archaeological, historical or scientific.”
The heritage protection in Argentina takes shape in 1940, when Ricardo Levene inspired
the Law No. 12.665 creating the National Commission of Museums, Monuments and Sites.
Not long in Argentina ago, it has been working on the protection of cultural heritage
not only to the protection of architecture, but also its natural environment, focusing the idea
on the whole, in the historic areas, including nature built into this type of
Prior to these safeguard policies and heritage, in 1935 the law No. 12,261 declared a National Monument
in San Jose Palacio, their entrances and gardens, providing for the installation of a regional museum.
The San José Palace was the private residence of General Justo José de Urquiza, located thirty kilometers from the city of Concepción del Uruguay, in the Province of Entre Ríos, Argentina.
Parks Palacio San Jose manifest today a particular case of natural heritage
designed nineteenth century, being unique, either by the compositional style of the gardens, as well as
the assessment of botanical species that make up the park.
Justo José de Urquiza and his admiration for vegetation
The owner, Justo José de Urquiza, is the person who forged the construction of the Palacio San Jose in
1848, and promoted the creation of gardens where exotic species adapted and productive.
The alien vegetation was acquired by him, or received from gift: “The sensitivity of Urquiza by
nature was such that those who knew him knew that one way to establish good relations with
him was through the gift of a rare plant to increase its collection Botany “1.
Urquiza related to various merchants and naturalists who undertook to provide
the plant species nested parks and gardens of the palace. Urquiza own entitling
their sales representatives for buying saplings and seeds. One of the places acquired
plant species was the fifth of Jose Gregorio Lezama, in the south of Buenos Aires. In the
San José Palace Museum in the historical archive there are documents which narrate aforementioned purchases …
Outfielder goes pa. Bs. As. To fix some private businesses are given the commission
to buy some seeds and flowering plants in the (home) fifth Sor.
Lezama, to whom the order is directed to the Ser. Taurel pa. they are sold, and to this
latter country. Which also pays the amount of the purchase of those … 2.
The mentioned Mr. Manuel Taurel was the commercial secretary of Urquiza.
: To the nineteenth century in Argentina two important places of acclimatization of plant species were
the fifth of Gregorio Lezama in Buenos Aires, and the Palace, near San Jose Concepcion
del Uruguay, in Entre Rios.
In these experimental centers reproductions of foreign species were performed for both
utilitarian and aesthetic practices. The naturalist Eduardo Holmberg provided copies and advice
on the care and cultivation of many plant species from its fifth
particular Buenos Aires: “Among the purchased plants include vines Holmberg Chasellas of
Fontainebleau, muscat Spain and others. In a memo sent in May 1860 include plants
teocote pines, cypress lambertiana, Santa Rita, dracaena and some fruit . “3
The doctor and naturalist Aimé Bomplad, arrived at Rio de la Plata to beginning of the century and then
established in the Province of Corrientes. Urquiza comes to medical services in July 1950 in
search of a cure for his army suffered an epidemic of dysentery. Thus begins
a friendship that is strengthened with seeds and plants sent to join the acerbic
From various parts of plants and seeds to San José were received: from Montevideo merchant
Agustin de Castro, from Mendoza by Jose Maria Pacheco, from Europe, they were required to Marshal
Andres de Santa Cruz, in charge of business Urquiza in Paris. Several more appointments could
do about purchases of plant species to the palace, all expressed
through various invoices and purchase contracts that are in the archive of the Museum of
Palazzo San Jose.
Trade relations and political contacts Urquiza have given the possibility of access
to particular plants actually.
In a study of cultivated plants in the Palacio San Jose in life of General Justo José de Urquiza
figure in ornamental species royal palm (Roystonea regia), this palm was brought to the
American continent from Mauritius, Garden Pamplenousse, Luiz de Abreu Vieira e
Silva in 1809, for King Juan VI (of the kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and Algarves). This unique specimen
was placed in the Botanical Garden of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The specimen been jealously guarded
to flourish: “In 1828 flowers for the first time. Serpa Brandao, director of the time control to
capture and burn the fruits to reserve the Botanical Garden monopoly of that plant planted
by the real “4 hands. It is not aware of the route of this species until his arrival in the
palace gardens, however could surmise that might be a gift from Pedro II.
They reviewed the Argentina and Brazilian history, political and trade relations between Entre Rios,
in command of their governor Right Jose de Urquiza, and the Brazilians were assiduous; Brazil and Entre
Rios were part of the alliance that defeated the governor of Buenos Aires, Juan Manuel de Rosas,
in the battle of Caseros in February 1852. Also these contacts were held with gifts between
rulers. In an article on stays parks include a section on San Jose where
a contribution of Brazilian emperor parks Urquiza stands: “… the cork oak stands
, according to tradition, was presented to him by the emperor Urquiza Of Brazil Pedro II “5.
The presumption of the gift of royal palm Urquiza by the Brazilian ruling could be authentic,
to be a kind jealously guarded, and even tells that arrived from Brazil birds
exotic for aviaries Palacio San Jose.
The botanical gardens valuation of San Jose is truly significant, copies
foreigners were adapted in the greenhouses of the park and cultivated it. The dimensions of the
gardens were stunning, the book Palacio San Jose Heritage Botanical detailed inventory.
… 88 pomegranate trees , 759 orange trees, 6,476 peaches, apricots 78, 569 pear trees of various kinds,
240 apple trees, 41 almonds, plums 89, 21 cherries, 32 walnut trees, medlar 80,
44 cherry trees, 14,700 quinces, 495 fig trees of various kinds, 226 vines … Moreover, …
1,550 poplars, willows 2,100, 586 paradises, 71 withs … 6 .
This inventory does not have date made, but it productive species and then highlights
a number of ornamental species in the park.
The vegetation is the essence of the design of the parks of this particular stay. The composition
of the various gardens give a time signal and underline the opulence and imposing personality
of a prominent character and history ruler of Argentina, General Justo José de Urquiza.
The design of courtyards, gardens and parks in the palace San Jose
Construction of the palace courtyards and
the entrerriano landscape is composed of gently rolling plains covered with tall grass where
trees grow around the rivers and streams of the region. The palace San Jose was installed at the top
of the hill next to the river Gualeguaychu. The stay was arranged with its main entrance facing east; It was common on farms in the area east orientation in order to have the benefit of the
gentle breeze that comes from there. This compositional arrangement of construction generated an axial axis
east-west, dividing the buildings and parks in proportion to both sides.
The first builder that has references is Jacinto Dellepiane and not as the architect is believed
Pedro Fosatti, which will come later when most of the buildings are already finished.
The construction start in 1948 with a first quadrangular body post-colonial style, with
strong bars, window sills and two square watchtowers that end in an octagonal shape.
No exact dates of construction, however, the incorporation of the second set and
service block, it would be next to the years 1853 and 1854. This hypothesis is strengthened by incorporating the
data of the marriage of Urquiza with Dolores Costa, formalizing a family it is consummated with
eleven children, and seeing the need to extend the residence.
The second body presents a proto-modern style faithful to the ideals of its owner. The house
was composed of thirty-eight rooms with two large courtyards and only two entrances,
located on the main east-west axis of the composition. Other buildings that were installed
were: two sheds for carriages two dovecotes, the bakery and bakery, and across the
store, all in the so – called backyard.
Architect Pedro participation Fosatti required in 1857. This architect performs the chapel
and rejuvenates all buildings. The front has a gallery with seven arches that crash onto
columns of Tuscan style.
The first patio is accessed the courtyard, with details reminiscent Italian with columns
The second courtyard, or patio del Parral, retains today a single water tank, but it is presumed that there was another, located
symmetrically. Fosatti this courtyard features a wrought – iron gallery built
by Tomas Benvenuto, Italian immigrant residing in Buenos Aires. These fittings not only
serve to climb the vines, but also concealed asymmetries construction,
due to the absence of windows and doors symmetrically or different heights on all
fronts of the patio.
Housing environment and internal courtyards compartmentalized gardens were arranged round
the palace complex San Jose.
This is the first park of access to the residence, the broader and engulfing all the other gardens.
Here were the foreign species that came to San José, hence its exotic name.
Its composition refers to a plantation in five – meter grid five meters, this will
be assessed on the ground. This provision equally cultivated exotic plants
like fruit, ranking the most exotic next to the house. At present there are few trees
but are clearly visible in the grid system.
The palace gardens called attention to what is perhaps closer visitor in search of the
barbarism of the caudillo of the interior, and was opposed parks, playgrounds and gardens finely
designed in the style of European parks and gardens.
One of these people was Alfredo M. Du Graty who left an important graphic testimony by publishing
in 1858 in Paris the book The Confederation Argentina where an engraving of the buildings were reported
and the Palace gardens San Jose. This character writes Juan Munoz God: “The aristocrat
Belgian Alfredo Du Graty arrived in Argentina in 1850. He had carried out military studies in Brussels and had a remarkable culture … “7. Du Graty becomes Director of the National Museum of Natural History in
Paraná, at the time that Urquiza is President of the Confederation. The highlight of the military
Belgian, is the engraving published in his book where (with his knowledge of perspective) reveals plantations
in squares; Also in that it recorded the wells that collected rainwater that can be seen
was used for watering crops bucket. Another detail shown in the picture are the two small
greenhouses on both sides of the road, used for acclimatization of foreign vegetables.
Similarly, in the back there are details that are not clear in engrave Du Graty, since
they have some alterations as the chapel which is not existing, or the sublime path that
crosses the back of the gardens is not nor was A) Yes.
This huge garden is consumed with the road lined with magnolias access (Magnolia grandiflora),
grevileas (Grevillea robusta), oaks (Quercus ilex), cork oak (Quercus Suber), Ombu
(Phytolacca dioica), cycads (reboluta yica), Araucaria ( Araucaria angustifolia), cypresses (Cupressus
sempervirens), pine (Pinus pin), palm trees pindó (Arecastrum romanzoffianum), among
barias cash crop species.
It is finally highlight the ornamental garden with two large aviaries fine ironwork and marble
from Carrara evenly arranged on both sides of the road. These aviaries iron
wrought copper lattice glass to acclimate tropical species, they were made by the
Italian Tomas Benventto in Buenos Aires to be installed here. The press in 1867 expressed the
feelings of the landscape: “… An elegant aviary filled with songbirds rises amidst
this pompous and embalmed vegetation and hearing no less than embelesan view … . ” 8
Finally they highlight a cast iron fountain in the center of the flagstone path and the two sculptures
on the pillars of the gateway symbolizing the continents of Europe and Africa.
The front garden is enclosed by an artistic grille made by Francisco Carulla,
another Italian blacksmith, and is called the “French garden”, perhaps because of its excessive symmetry and parterres
We are here arises the need to question the designation of French garden, based on certain
feelings, concepts and facts that point to the hypothesis that this space is inspired by
the Tuscan gardens rather than the French gardening:
1. The notion of garden French part of the proportional arrangement of the flowerbeds, a fact that was the case
in the early Renaissance gardens of Florence and described in the book of Francisco Páez
of the Chain: “… concentrated around a basic axis and generally answered the extension
of the own axis of the main building … “9 this pose is assessed clearly in San Jose.
2. The dimensions of this garden is not recognized by the vast expanses of French gardening,
and yes resemble those smaller proportions of the garden spaces Renaissance
Italian; just remember that the Italian gardens are the immediate consequence of the release of the
closed medieval gardens, with its more limited and similar dimensions that are handled
in this entrerriano space.
3. Another feeling that points to an Italian garden, is based on the ornate decoration of its
composition, using statues, fountains fish, goblets with plants, various flooring, railings
worked, sculptures; all these applications were used ornamental excess in the gardens
4. Finally, if the beautification of the residence corresponded to the Tuscan architect Pedro Fosatti
and in front of the building Tuscan columns were installed, this could sustain this position of being
inspired by Italian ideas of the Tuscan region French garden more images .
Apart from these imaginary this garden enhances the building with harmonic and aesthetic stonemasons
cultivated plants colorful blooms. In the book published by the Museum San Jose recounted
on cultivated species “in the flowerbeds is periodically renewed planting flowers in
season such as thoughts (Viola tricolor), marigolds (Calendula sp.), Petunias (Petunia),
copetes (Tagete sp.), Rabbits (Antirrhinum sp.), Etc … “10.
This garden is completed with a series of prominent tree and shrub species: boxwood (Boxus sempervirens),
magnolias (Michelia fuscata), azaleas (Rhododendron indicum), fuschia (Fuschia magellanica),
Santa Rita (Bougainvillea spectavilis), various roses and palm Washingtonia (Washingtonia
filifera), among various species.
This garden is concluded with various ornamentations: two ponds on both sides that could
have had peses for its great depth, goblets were also vegetated on
the pilasters the perimeter, and finally, on the pillars of access gate that separates the garden
Exotic of this are the Italian marble statues of Africa and Europe.
This garden is undoubtedly the most striking of all standing out for its colorful and orderly arrangement,
framing the entrance to the Grand Palace de Urquiza.
This garden is in the back and is accessed or residence or service access
side, the only yard with two roads intersect. These streets were covered with flagstone
as a gesture of modernity driven by Urquiza, leaving aside the earth and dust, acceding
to his residence through a consolidated way daintily.
This garden is written: “At the edges Avenue back garden, and limit the areas
landscaped with tree specimens and shrubby, goblets and marble busts of four are located
conquerors (Alexander, Hernan Cortes, Julio Cesar and Napoleon) “11. The goblets that
chronicles bear the inscription of Dolores de Urquiza, wife of General.
The subsequent entry (side) has been used daily and was made for the entry of
the carriages having the possibility of depositing guests and residents well near the
rear access enlajado Palace on the way. The importance of this road will seal the
sculptures of the conquerors and two other sculptures (Spring and Autumn), all facing
the side entrance to the north, unlike all the composition has proportionately
on the main road East to west.
Another pattern of the hierarchy of this entry as pautan those provided plant species: yours (Thuja
orientalis), oak (Quercus suber), various palms (Washingtonia filifera, Phoenix canariensis,
Arecastrum romanzoffianum), cycads (Cycas revoluta), jacarandas (Jacaranda mimosifolia ), grevileas
(Grevillea robusta), persimmon (Diospyros kaki), federal stars (Euphorbia pulcherrima), roses
(roses sp), azaleas (Rhododendron indicum), etc.
In this garden the vast majority of species are merely stating the importance ornamental
The provision in the layout is the artificial lake, located beyond the rear west patio. The
dirt road that goes from the back yard and continues the central east-west to the shores of the
lake is accompanied on both sides by rows of poplars carolinos (populus angulata).
This park recounted:
… the house had another place of solace for the ride and enjoy life outdoors. An
artificial lake built close to the house, was the last great monument built in
San Jose. It had an extension of 180 m. Long by 120 m. Wide and 5 m. Of depth.
That fed water was brought from a nearby lagoon through pipes
Lake construction required the realization of a river near the cutwater Gualeguaychu
obtaining water required. The work also demanded precise movements of soil to
fill the sides of the lake when installed on the slope of the hillock. In this lake festivals they were held
and meetings with fireworks and even could ride on a steamboat, the “San Cipriano”.
is unquestionable that designs playgrounds, parks and gardens in San Jose witness to a
period of man -made landscape in Argentina and the eccentricity of an original character
and pioneer. Urquiza built his dwelling and meadows with European style inculcating a deep
respect for nature, being a not – so – known leader entrerriano legacy.
His extensive knowledge of the idiosyncrasies of entrerriano peasant, linked to cattle
extensive and the lack of agricultural practices, led him to propose a change of consciousness
based on education and concrete actions:
… being governor of Entre Rios in 1851, introduced compulsory in schools
primary practical teaching of agriculture …, also in 1854, being
president of the Argentina Confederation, issued a resolution government by
forcing all the farmers of Entre Rios with over a hundred head of cattle
to plant compulsorily thirty trees useful per year, establishing a list of
acclimatized “13 species.
Similarly Urquiza recognized the lack of literature on the subject and sent to print books
on agricultural practices, texts by Antonio E. Caravia Toribio Arauz in Montevideo and Buenos
This research leaves open various work patterns, being the beginning of the systematic study of
design and plant species used, as well as landscape built in the nineteenth century in
the early history of Argentina. Its asset valuation must reach not only the care of
architectural construction, but also the nature and garden designer melbourne assembled there by proposing
studies, research and historical reconstructions of the gardens.
1 Heit, Marta A. (2000). San Jose Palacio Botanical Heritage, Plan publication series I Museum: Catalogues, Museum
and National Monument Justo Jose Urquiza, Concepcion del Uruguay, Province of Entre Rios, Argentina,
2 Ibid, page 10.
3 Ibid, page 10.
4 Falcao Ichaso, Carmen Lúcia (2002). Catalog of Rio de Janeiro Botanical Garden, Fundacao Andorinha Purple,
sponsored by the Government of Canada.
5 Contín, Mabel Irma (2000). Parks stays, An approach to the history of Argentina landscape architecture,
from the city to park stay, Research Laboratory Planning and the Environment, Committee on Research
Scientist, Directorate General of Culture and Education of the Province of Buenos Aires , printed in Entrecomillas S.
RL Calle 6 No. 502/506, La Plata, Argentina, page 77.
6 Heit, Marta A. (2000). Palacio San José Patrimonio Botánico, op. cit., page 18.
7 Muños God, John (2002). Plants grown in the San Jose Palacio life of General Justo José de Urquiza, University
Nacional de Entre Rios, EDUNER, Concepcion del Uruguay, Entre Rios, Argentina, page 12.
8 Uruguay (1867) Diario de la Tarde, National Press, Fiesta de San José, Tuesday, April 2, Year XI N ° 2051 Entre Ríos.
9 Páez de la Cadena, Francisco (1998). History of gardening styles, editorial Istmo SA, Madrid, Spain, page
10 Heit, Marta A. (2000). Palacio San José Patrimonio Botánico, op. cit., page 27.
11 Contín, Mabel Irma (2000). The parks of estancias, op. cit., page 76 and 77.
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Communication, National Directorate of Heritage Museums and Art, Office of the President.
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