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San Miguel de Tucumán


San Miguel de Tucumán

San Miguel de Tucumán
(From top to bottom; from left to right) Aerial view of the city; Nacional University of Tucumán; Independence House; Tucumán Government House and the Tucumán Cathedral.
(From top to bottom; from left to right) Aerial view of the city; Nacional University of Tucumán; Independence House; Tucumán Government House and the Tucumán Cathedral.

Coat of arms
San Miguel de Tucumán is located in Argentina
San Miguel de Tucumán
Country  Argentina
Province  Tucumán
Department Capital
Established 1565, 1682
 • Intendant Domingo Amaya
 • City 90 km2 (34.88 sq mi)
 • Metro 480 km2 (209.3 sq mi)
Elevation 431 m (1,300 ft)
Population (2009 est.[1])
 • City 527,607
 • Metro 830,000
Time zone ART (UTC−3)

San Miguel de Tucumán (usually called simply Tucumán) is the capital of the Tucumán Province, located in northern Argentina at 1,311 kilometres (815 mi) from Buenos Aires. The fifth-largest city of Argentina after Buenos Aires, Córdoba, Rosario and Mendoza, it is the most important city of Northern Argentina. The Spanish Conquistador Diego de Villarroel founded the city in 1565 in the course of an expedition from present-day Peru. Tucumán moved to its present site in 1685.


  • Overview 1
  • History 2
  • Cultural and tourist heritage 3
    • Main sights 3.1
  • Cultural life and education 4
  • Sports 5
  • Transport 6
  • Climate 7
  • Media 8
  • Notable residents 9
  • Gallery 10
  • Sister cities 11
  • References 12
  • External links 13


The city is bordered on the north by Las Talitas (Tafí Viejo), on the east by Banda del Río Salí and Alderetes (Cruz Alta), on the west by the city of Yerba Buena, and on the south by Lules.

The city is located on the slopes of the Aconquija mountains, the easternmost mountain range before the large Chaco-Pampean flats. It is the commercial center of an irrigated area that produces large quantities of sugarcane, rice, tobacco, and fruit, giving the province its nickname, the Garden of the Republic. The National University of Tucumán (1914) and the Saint Thomas Aquinas University of the North (1965) are in the city.

On July 9, 1816, a congress gathered in Tucumán declared independence from Spain, which did not officially recognize it until 1862. The meeting place of the congress, the House of Tucumán, has been reconstructed as a national monument. After the national government broke down in 1820, the town was capital of the short-lived Republic of Tucumán.

Its telephone code is 0381, and its postal codes are T4000 (Center), T4001 (North), T4002 (South) and T4003 (East).


"Tucumán 1812", by Gerardo Flores Ivaldi. The Cabildo and San Francisco church are displayed on the painting.
Former Tucumán station built by North Western Railway.
Demolition of the former Cabildo, 1908.
San Martín street in San Miguel downtown.
Basílica de San Francisco.
Casa de Tucumán, where the Argentine Independence was declared.
Historic buildings surrounding the Plaza Independencia.
Post office.

The first foundation of "San Miguel de Tucumán y Nueva Tierra de Promisión" was on May 31, 1565 by Diego de Villarroel in the Campos de Ibatín, distant 60 km to the south west from the current city is located nowadays. The city was moved to "La Toma" (where the old town or casco histórico is placed today) in 1685, due to the low quality of Ibatín water.

On September 24, 1812, the Battle of Tucumán took place near the city, when the Spanish army coming from the Alto Perú were defeated by the army led by Manuel Belgrano. Belgrano had been committed to step back to Córdoba by the government of Buenos Aires, but the Tucumán inhabitants requested him to resist another Spanish invasion.

With his troops almost unarmed and tired but reinforced with local gauchos (self named Los decididos de Tucumán), Belgrano attacked the Spanish army by their backs, defeating them and ensuring the Independence of Argentina so after the battle of Tucumán, the same army led by Belgrano would achieve another victory in Salta.

After those battles, Belgrano established in a circle-shaped fortress known as "La Ciudadela", located 1-km from the current Plaza de la Independencia (former Plaza Mayor). Because of being a patriot barracks and located on an intermediate point between the Río de la Plata and the Alto Perú and Santa Cruz de la Sierra, San Miguel de Tucumán was designated as city venue for the Congress of the Independence. On July 9, 1816, the Independence of Argentina was declared, not only of Spain but any other foreign domination. The act of the Independence was signed at the Casa de Tucumán, also named "Casa Histórica" or "Casa de la Independencia".

By 1850 the city has been increased its population considerably, overpassing the estimated registers. Because of that, in 1870 it was proposed the city was expanded, setting new limits. During those years, the first railway line reached the city, built by British-owned Córdoba Central Railway. The immigrants arrived to the region (most of them were Spanish, Arabian, Jews and Italians) influenced the architectural style that adapted to those new cultures, leaving the original colonial style behind. Therefore, new buildings in the city were made in Neoclassical, eclectic and pinturesque styles.

During the first years of 20th Century the city added 400 ha for recreational uses, therefore the first great park (similar to the existing in Paris and London) was built. Until 1930 the city doubled its population.

Cultural and tourist heritage

The House of Government of Tucumán was built in Art Nouveau style at the end of 19th. Century. The White Room is commonly used to received notable people that visit the city.[2]

In the city downtown, the San Miguel de Tucumán Cathedral still preserves some colonial elements and other elements from the Italian architecture. The Basílica de San Francisco (also declared Historical Heritage), the Parroquia San roque, Basílica del Santísimo Sacramento (known as "Iglesia de Santo Domingo"), Basílica de Nuestra Señora de la Merced and the Iglesia Nuestra Señora de Lourdes are some of the most important churches of the city.

The Casa de Tucumán (or "Casa de la Independencia") is the most significative building of the city so the Independence of Argentina was declared there. After the Congress of Tucumán, the house was inhabited by diverse people and the deterioration became visible durint all those years, which is clearly evident in the famous photo taken by Angel Paganelli in 1869. The Government of Argentina acquired the historic house in 1874, being destinated to serve as a post office. In that building were held some celebrations to commemorate the Independence, starting in the 1880s.

Nevertheless, the government did not remodel the house until 1903, when it was demolished almost completely due to its very poor condition. The only room that was preserved from demolition was the room where the Independence was declared by the congressists. In 1942 the house was completely rebuilt, based on the original plans and the picture took by Paganelli in 1869. For that purpose, the same kind of bricks, tajas and baldoas were used

Other notable buildings of San Miguel are the Teatro San Martín (with some elements in neoclassical style), and the Correo Central, made in a mix of styles and a tower inspired in the palaces of Florence (specially Palazzo Vecchio), the old Legislature, the Palace of Justice, the Casino (former Savoy Hotel, built in 1912), the birthplace of Nicolás Avellaneda, the Colegio Nacional Bartolomé Mitre and the Campo de las Carreras, where the battle of Tucumán took place and now an historical park.

Main sights

Cultural life and education

La Merced Church
University of San Pablo.

For decades, San Miguel de Tucumán has been one of the cultural spots in the country, in part due to the influence of the National University of Tucumán. It has been the birthplace and/or home of well-known personalities such as folk singer Mercedes Sosa, author Tomas Eloy Martínez, a professor at Rutgers University in the United States; musician Miguel Ángel Estrella, artist/architect Tomás Saraceno, painter Luis Lobo de la Vega, and many others.

Two large theatres (San Martín and Alberdi) and several smaller and independent theaters offer a wide array of events, including plays, concerts, operas, and ballet, all year round. The Septiembre Musical is by far the most important cultural event during the year. This music festival, generally held at Independence Square, brings together several local and national artists who perform different musical styles ranging from folk music to rock.

Universities in the city include the public National University of Tucumán and the National Technological University, and the private (and Catholic) Saint Thomas Aquinas University of the North and the Saint Paul T University.

Since August 2008, the city has been the location of trials of high-ranking former military officers charged with war crimes from the 1976–83 disappeared" by the military during that dark period of Argentine history.


Association football is the favourite sport in the city. San Miguel's main football clubs are Club Atlético San Martín de Tucumán and Club Atlético Tucumán.

Basketball is also a popular sport, some clubs are Juan Bautista Alberdi Club, Central Córdoba Club, Belgrano Club, Villa Luján Club, Tucumán BB Club and others.

The city is also a rugby union hotbed and hosts the Unión de Rugby de Tucumán, as well as the province's two most successful clubs: Tucumán Rugby Club and Universitario. The rugby of Tucumán is the second most powerful in the Argentine, behind the Rugby of the Buenos Aires Union. For eight times, the Naranjas (Oranges) won the Argentine Championship of Unions; this is the greatest number won by a hinterland union. Other important rugby clubs of the city are Natación y Gimnasia, Cardenales, Tucumán Lawn Tennis, Los Tarcos, amongst others. The fans of the rugby of Tucumán are the most passionate among the Argentines.


The city is served by several bus lines that have routes within the city limits, and some others that connect it to the neighbouring cities of Yerba Buena, El Manantial, Tafí Viejo, Las Talitas, Banda del Río Salí, and Alderetes. San Miguel de Tucumán enjoys one of the largest bus stations in Argentina. The 30,000 m² estación central de ómnibus (opened in 1994) is the point from where hundreds of bus services arrive from and depart to almost all of the largest and mid-size cities throughout the country.

The Teniente General Benjamín Matienzo International Airport (TUC/SANT) is the city's airport (though located 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) east of the city, in the neighboring department of Cruz Alta) serving over 290,000 passengers a year. There are daily flights to Buenos Aires, Jujuy, Santiago del Estero, Campo Arenal, the Minera Alumbrera Gold Mine, as well as international flghts to Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia. The Mauricio Gilli Aerodrome is a Private Airport, located 16 kilometres (9.9 mi) west from the city, for Private Aviation. It is locally known as Aeroclub.

The city has also four railway stations, with only the Mitre Railway terminus operating passenger trains to Retiro in Buenos Aires, with intermediate stops in Santiago del Estero and Santa Fe provinces amongst other stations. The other train station active is Belgrano Railway station, originally built by the Córdoba Central Railway and currently operated by freight company Trenes Argentinos Cargas y Logística.

Railway stations in San Martín de Tucumán:

Name Former company Line Status Current operator/s
Tucumán (Mitre) Central Argentine Mitre Active Trenes Argentinos, NCA
Tucumán (Belgrano) Córdoba Central Belgrano Active (freight only) TACyL
Tucumán (Central Norte) 1 Central Northern Belgrano Closed
Tucumán (Noroeste) 2 Argentine North Western Belgrano Closed (1978)


  • 1 Also known as "El Bajo" station.
  • 2 The line was also known as "Provincial".


San Miguel de Tucuman lies in a transition zone between temperate climates to the south, and subtropical climates to the north. It has a humid subtropical climate (Cwa) under the Köppen climate classification with dry winters and rainy summers.[3] The average annual temperature is 19.3 °C (66.7 °F).[4] The precipitation pattern is monsoonal: out of the 966 mm (38.0 in) that fall annually, most of it falls in the summer months, while the winter months tend to be dry.[4]

Winters are characterized with mild temperatures during the day followed by cool to cold nights.[5] The average temperature in winter is 13.6 °C (56.5 °F).[3] July is the coldest month with a mean temperature of 12.1 °C (53.8 °F).[5] Frosts are uncommon, with some years recording no frosts at all.[6] Usually, when frosts occur, they are light with temperatures rarely falling below −2 °C (28.4 °F).[7][6] Winters are sunny, averaging 9–12 clear days and 9–12 overcast days.[5] Snow is extremely rare, but in 2007, it reached the city center. There have been other episodes of sleet and snow in the mountains around the city, and in 2010, sleet was reported downtown again, a very rare event.

Spring and fall are transition seasons with warm to hot temperatures during the day and mild nights.[5] Springs are very short, and by October, summer weather settles in the city, with highs beyond 30 °C (86.0 °F) very common. This is due to the dryness of the season: daytime highs are close to those in the summer, when rainfall and clouds are persistent, whereas spring is often sunny and arid. April marks the beginning of the fall, but temperatures remain warm: 21 to 27 °C (69.8 to 80.6 °F) during the day, and 12 to 18 °C (53.6 to 64.4 °F) during the night. Rainfall decreases as fall progresses.

Summers are hot and humid.[4][5] The average temperature during the summer ranges from 24 to 26 °C (75.2 to 78.8 °F).[3] In the summer, one can expect daytime highs ranging from 30 to 31 °C (86.0 to 87.8 °F) with very high humidity; at night, 19 to 20 °C (66.2 to 68.0 °F) are the norm.[5] Much of the rainfall that the city receives occurs during the summer months and cloudy weather tends to be more common, averaging 11–13 overcast days and only 2–4 clear days.[5] Heat waves can push temperatures up to 40 to 45 °C (104.0 to 113.0 °F).[4] However, some relief is possible after cold fronts from the south caused by Pampero winds which brings in cooler air.[4] These winds can be strong following a hot day in advance of the cold fronts.[4]

The highest temperature recorded was 45.0 °C (113.0 °F) on October 31, 2009 while the lowest temperature recorded was −2.5 °C (27.5 °F) on July 11, 2007 and on August 16, 1999.[7]

Climate data for San Miguel de Tucumán (1981–1990, extremes 1970–present)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 41.5
Average high °C (°F) 31.3
Daily mean °C (°F) 25.3
Average low °C (°F) 20.2
Record low °C (°F) 11.3
Average precipitation mm (inches) 196.2
Average precipitation days 15 12 14 10 6 5 4 3 4 6 12 12 103
Average relative humidity (%) 75 77 83 84 81 80 74 66 63 62 70 73 74
Mean monthly sunshine hours 229.4 183.6 186.0 162.0 167.4 156.0 195.3 235.6 192.0 201.5 216.0 232.5 2,357.3
Percent possible sunshine 54 50 49 47 50 50 60 67 54 51 53 55 53
Source #1: Servicio Meteorológico Nacional,[5] Oficina de Riesgo Agropecuario (record highs and lows)[7]
Source #2: UNLP (sun and extremes)[8]


Channel 8 studios Tucumán.

San Miguel de Tucumán is home to two free-to-air television stations (Channel 8 and Channel 10), four newspapers (La Gaceta, El Siglo, El Periódico, El Tribuno de Tucumán), three cable television companies (CCC, ATS, and TCC), and several radio stations.

Notable residents


Sister cities


  1. ^ Population projections
  2. ^ "Casa de Gobierno de Tucumán"
  3. ^ a b c Sesma, Pablo; Guido, Elvira; Puchulu, Maria (1998). "Clima de la Provincia de Tucuman" (PDF). Retrieved 1 August 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Provincia de Tucuman–Clima Y Metéorologia" (in Spanish). Secretaria de Mineria de la Nacion (Argentina). Retrieved August 2, 2015. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h "Datos Estadísticos (Período 1981-1990)" (in Spanish). National Meteorological Service of Argentina. Retrieved April 10, 2013. 
  6. ^ a b "Heladas Meteorológicas–Tucumán Aero" (in Spanish). Facultad de Agronomía - Universidad de Buenos Aires. Retrieved October 27, 2015. 
  7. ^ a b c "Tucumán, Tucumán". Estadísticas meteorológicas decadiales (in Spanish). Oficina de Riesgo Agropecuario. Retrieved October 26, 2015. 
  8. ^ "Datos bioclimáticos de 173 localidades argentinas". Atlas Bioclimáticos (in Spanish). Universidad Nacional de La Plata. Retrieved April 8, 2014. 
  9. ^ Sister Cities designated by Sister Cities International, Inc. (SCI). Retrieved March 29, 2015.

External links

  • Official website
  • Tucumán portal website
  • Terminal de Ómnibus Bus Station website
  • Tucuman Turismo Tucuman Tourist Office (Official Website)
  • La Gaceta The most important local newspaper
  • Universidad Nacional de Tucumán Tucuman State University
  • Universidad del Norte Santo Tomas Aquino Tucuman Catholic University
  • Universidad Tecnologica Nacional (Tucuman Campus)
  • Map of Tucuman, Tucuman AR Allows Zoom down to street level

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