Born in the eighteenth century as the small rural village of “Pago de los Arroyos”, and recognized as Illustrious and Loyal Villa in 1823, Rosario reached the rank of city in 1852. Then, taking the name of the Virgin of the Rosary (whose image remains in the cathedral, in the same place where the original chapel arises, becoming later the main church of the city) began a stage of rapid development to the point of becoming in a few decades the second city of Argentina, and one of the most thriving cities in South America.
Rosario is also known as the Cradle of the Flag, since on February 27th, 1812, on its shores on the banks of the Parana River, it was raised for the first time the flag of Argentina, created by the General Manuel Belgrano.
Rosario is located at the southeast of Santa Fe province, on the right bank of the Parana River in the so-called Pampas. It is situated at an intermediate point between different regions of the country, linked by highways to cities like Buenos Aires (300 km), Córdoba (400 km) and Santa Fe (150 km). It is also in a strategic location within the Mercosur, as a key point of the bi-oceanic corridor that runs from the Atlantic (Brazil and Uruguay) to the Pacific (Chile), and as a part of the waterway of the Parana river that joins the vast territory of the litoral and northern Argentina with Bolivia, Paraguay and Brazil.
It has an estimated population of 1,200,000 inhabitants and is the center of the Gran Rosario Metropolitan area. Its climate is warm and humid throughout most of the year.
The point of origin of the city is the Plaza 25 de Mayo ("May 25 Square"), now surrounded by the municipality (Palacio de los Leones), the Basilica Cathedral of Our Lady of the Rosary, the Central Post Office, the Decorative Art Museum and a building called “La Bola de Nieve” (The Snowball). From that square towards the river, between the Cathedral and the municipal building is “Pasaje Juramento” (Oath Passage), leading to the Flag Memorial.
The urban structure is organized by two major arteries: “Oroño” Boulevard, in north-south direction, and “Pellegrini” Avenue, east-west. Both streets mark the boundaries of the town center together with the river. While Oroño is populated by old buildings and stately homes and features a large grass median richly wooded, use for the pedestrians for walking, Pellegrini is a commercial avenue of heavy traffic where there are numerous restaurants and ice cream shops, representing one of the most important malls of the city.
At their confluence starts the “Parque de la Independencia”, which has 64 hectares and it is the main green area of the city.
An important part of Rosario's urban character is its Parana river bank. The city recovered the river bank in the last decade, thanks to a reorganization of terrains formerly owned by the port and the national railroad system. Going from the center immediately north of the port, the river bank is surrounded by a large amount of parks; “Urquiza” Park, Argentine Flag Memorial, Spain Park, the “Colectividades”, “Sunchales”, “Alem” and “La Florida” beach. The beach area and islands is a must tour for every visitor.
Its varied architecture merit a separate chapter, with areas where it has remained intact the style of the early twentieth century. The boulevards and spacious parks give its distinctive character of big a city.
Walking over the cliffs of the river at sunset it is a classic, and the Flag Memorial is the ideal starting point for any walking tour of the center.
The city has a wide cultural offer: museums, theaters, cultural centers and markets and craft fairs; and has also a great gastronomic variety, whose identity is associated mainly with river fish dishes and homemade ice cream. The city also has several modern shopping centers, and an extensive pedestrian walkway.
Rosario has experienced a huge tourism growth in the last years, which has positioned itself as a tourist city and one of the main argentine headquarters for urban tourism in general, and of events, fairs and meetings, in particular. For their cultural property, the river identity and the image of the city that is constantly growing, it has been highlighted nationally and internationally. Also the quality and warmth of its people make Rosario a friendly city always ready to welcome visitors arriving from all over the world.