History of Bahia Blanca

The city was founded as a fortress on 11 April 1828 by Colonel Ramón Estomba under the orders of Brigadier-General and subsequent Governor of Buenos Aires, Juan Manuel de Rosas, being named Fortaleza Protectora Argentina (Argentine Protective Fortress), intended to protect inhabitants from cattle rustlers, and also to protect the coast from the Braziliannavy, which had landed in the area the previous year. It was visited by Charles Darwin during his travels through South America in September 1833. The fortress was attacked by malones (incursions of nomadic aboriginals on horseback) several times, most notably in 1859 by 3,000 Calfucurá warriors. It became commercially important after the Buenos Aires Great Southern Railway linked the town to the city of Buenos Aires in 1885, facilitating the transport of grain from thePampas.

The rapid growth of the local economy, the policy of encouragement of immigration from Europe and the country's abundant natural resources attracted many immigrants, mainly from Spain and Italy, and a remarkable number from France, who settled in Pigüé, about 125 km to the north of the city. Another important foreign settlement close to the city was of Dutch settlers, in Tres Arroyos, located about 250 km north east. Major groups of immigrants from Germany and Jews from Eastern Europe also arrived in the city and in the region at the beginning of the 20th century, as well as during World War II and the post-war period.

European immigrants brought their customs and culture that combined and fused with the already existing social mores. There were at least five opera houses in Bahía Blanca at the beginning of the 20th century and six cinemas by 1920.

Puerto Belgrano, located 29 km to the south-east, is Argentina's largest naval base. Its construction started with a secret decree signed by Argentine President José Evaristo Uriburu. It was designed and built at the turn of the 19th century (1898-05-12 to 1902-03-08) by