Between Cordoba City and the city of Rio Cuarto there are several beautiful little villages worth a visit, due to their proximity to the mountains and their relaxed lifestyle. One of them is Villa General Belgrano.
Hostel owners, the guy at the supermarket counter and people we met at parties all alike told us that we should visit that typical German village. Impressed by the amount of people that proposed a visit to the village, I wanted to know what is so special about “the German village”, hoping I would find some typical German food (mainly bread and typical dishes) and beer. So I went to visit it!
Foundation of the biggest German colony in Argentina
After the settlement of some Germans in the late 1920s, Villa General Belgrano was founded 1932 by 15 families that took advantage of the agricultural potential of the place situated in a valley. Soon the people consisting mainly of European immigrants, established a typical Bavarian village, emphasised by the architecture of the houses. More and more immigrants found their way into the village, mainly refugees from the war, but also survivors of the German warship “Admiral Graf Spee” that sunk 1940 at the coast of Montevideo. Soon the village consisted of 127 German families (that established Villa General Belgrano as the major German colony in Argentina), 34 Swiss families, 25 Italian families and 19 Austrian families.
Because of its Bavarian influence, a state in the south of Germany very rich in its own culture, Villa General Belgrano invites once a year to the traditional and world famous Bavarian Oktoberfest, where beer is provided in one liter cups. Hosting 150.000 tourists each year during the Oktoberfest, it is the 3 largest Oktoberfest in the world, after the original Oktoberfest in Munich and the Blumenau Oktoberfest in Brazil.
Entering the village you immediately notice the difference to other Argentinian villages. Suddenly you see nicely shaped brick houses embedded in wood with roof tiles on top. The typical beautiful Bavarian architecture is more than emphasised. Moreover, there are beautiful wooden signs everywhere indicating the special craftsman products offered, including beer, typical food and products such as salami and marmalade. Due to the many bright colours and the beautiful houses you suddenly feel like being in a different part of the world! A great 2 day visit for travellers with a flexible budget, especially for families!