advertisement

Quinta is an Argentine word meaning country home. This is where Juan and Evita lived on weekends, escaping the routine of their work in Buenos Aires. It is the only one of their homes that you can visit today, located about 45 miles from the center of Buenos Aires, beyond Ezeiza Airport. The home dates from the 1940s, but the majority of furnishings are from the early 1970s, when Perón returned to power and shared this house with his third wife, Isabelita. The complex is also called the Museo de 17 de Octubre, named in honor of the date that Peronism began. The house is tiny, and the complex also contains a museum explaining the history of Peronism, which was curated by Gabriel Miremont, who also designed the Museo Evita. Interesting items on display include a cross given by the city of Santiago, Spain, to Evita during the famous Rainbow Tour of 1947. In addition, the colossal marble statues of Juan, Evita, and a descamisado (worker), originally intended for the never-built Evita memorial planned for Avenida Libertador in front of the former Presidential Palace, are also in the gardens. The statues of Juan and Evita are headless now, damaged in the 1955 revolution that deposed Juan Perón. According to speculation, the heads are in the Río Riachuelo running through La Boca. (So as not to offend the workers, the head of the descamisado was spared the same fate.)

An imposing mausoleum on the grounds now holds the remains of Juan Perón, moved here from Chacarita Cemetery in a chaotic and violent parade on October 17, 2006. A space exists for Evita, but her family will not allow her to be moved from Recoleta Cemetery. The stark setting is ornamented with a mosaic produced by Lilian Lucía Luciano and the Azzurro group of artisans and is inspired by "The Embrace," or El Abrazo, a famous photo of Evita and Juan taken by Pinelides Fusco on October 17, 1951, at her last speech as she was dying of cancer. (You'll recognize its reenactment in Madonna's Evita movie.) The museum complex costs $1 to enter, but it is only open weekends and you should call to verify closing time. Because it is hard to get to, it is best to take a taxi from Buenos Aires, which costs about $60 each way.