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Cabildo Histórico Review
Next to the cathedral on Plaza San Martín's western side, the Cabildo Histórico now houses municipal offices and holds occasional cultural events. Construction of the long, two-story, arcaded structure began in 1588 (excavated cells—including what was probably a prison—date from as early as the 17th century), but wasn't completed until the late 18th century; the facade dates from this time. For more than 300 years wealthy residents gathered here to discuss town affairs. The upstairs Salón Rojo (Red Salon) is still used for official receptions. The main floor houses an exhibition space, a café, a library, a tourist office, and a bookshop with literature about the city. In the summer, tango dances are held in the Patio de Tango late on Friday nights. A plaque in the Pasaje Santa Catalina alludes to a darker time in the building's history. It reads, "The Cabildo functioned, beginning in 1976 during the military dictatorship, as a clandestine center of detention, torture, and death."
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