Avenida Rafael Obligado 5790; Tel. + (011.54.11) 4784-9551
High above the city an 18 meter statue of Jesus rises every thirty minutes above visitors heads. Photo by Clare Nesbit
Tierra Santa is almost too strange for words. This is the place where visitors can, “visit Jerusalem in Buenos Aires all year!” From the sand covered alleys, 18 meter high mechanical Jesus (resurrected for your viewing pleasure every 30 minutes!), to grubbing down in the Baghdad Café, the world’s only religious theme park really delivers. The strange blend of the commercial and religious reaches terrifying new heights here as tourists stroll by a life size statue of Jesus being flogged in the street next door to the kiosk where you can purchase “authentic” handicrafts made right there in the holy land.
Despite the creepy juxtapositions, Tierra Santa has a lot to offer which is why it remains a worldwide destination. Make no mistake, many make real pilgrimages here and take the bizarre scene very seriously. People are dead silent through the kitschy “Creation” show and pray with genuine tears in the shrines to the saints. Keep in mind that Tierra Santa is extremely tourist friendly with multiple language options for maps and information. This is a great place for both religious and non-religious kids to learn. If they skipped Sunday school, don’t worry – they can make it up in an afternoon at Tierra Santa. Weekends and holidays boast puppets, jugglers, and enhanced entertainment for kids. This is really somewhere to write home about and if the day goes awry – there is a waterpark next door!
Cost: Children US$1, Adults US $2.50, Seniors US $2 Arrive by train: FFCC General Belgrano. Station: Scalabrini Ortiz
—Tierra Santa review by Clare Nisbet