Martes a Sabado y Feriados de 09:00 a 14:00 hs y de 17:00 a 22:00 hs –  Domingos de 17:00 a 22:00hs            

  • Español

    In the history of the province, successive militias were created and trained to protect the territory, the ideologies, and convictions of the time. Santiago del Estero’s troops have earned recognition for their courage, their discipline, and their permanent collaboration to the emancipation of the nation. Among them was the Patricios Santiagueñosbattalion, the first inland army of the Viceroyalty, which was created by Borges in 1810. It took part in the liberation campaigns and today guards the Centro Cultural del Bicentenario (Bicentennial Cultural Centre) building.


    On the 28th of August 1810, Don Juan Francisco Borges informed the council:

    “Following Don Hipólito Vieytes’srequest from Córdoba, to have some people ready to join the army when he passes through our city, I have arranged to gather 300 men, chosenfrom the squadrons and urban militiasbecause of their bravery and good conduct, who will be ready with me, inflamed with the most special patriotism…”.

    This was how the Patricios Santiagueños battalion was formed, which would be incorporated into the Auxiliary Army of Peru and whose mission would be to crush any counter-revolutionary movement and lead the campaign to stop and repress the Spanish armies that entered from the north of Argentina.

    The Patricios Santiagueños battalion that participated in the liberation campaigns became, after the 1820s, part of the federal militias of the province. This Battalion will re-emerge in 2010 in the framework of the commemoration of the Provincial Autonomy, when, by decree of the Governor Dr. Gerardo Zamora on April 27th, The Patricios Santiagueños Guard of Honour was created, whose main function is to guard the building where theCentro Cultural del Bicentenario (Bicentennial Cultural Centre)stands, inaugurated on July 24th, 2010, as well as to act as guard of honour in official ceremonies.

    It is a squad that recreates Santiago’s original militia, the first of its kind in the province, which is made up of a group of thirty members of the police force.

    The Guard has two uniforms; one for general services, which has gaucho characteristics, with which they can be seen in some of the custodies of the cultural centre, and another one worn at special custodies and events.

    First inland army of the viceroyalty created to support the emancipation wars.

    This contingent of Patricios made up the Auxiliary Army of Peru, with outstanding participation in the battles of Cotagaita, Suipacha, Tucumán, Salta, Vilcapugio and Ayohuma.

    With the heroic intervention of Lorenzo Lugones, Juan Felipe Ibarra, Manuel Besares and Gregorio Iramain, among other santiagueños committed to the revolution.


    Three companies of 371 men commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Don Juan Francisco Borges, Adjutant Major Don Severo Ávila, Captain Don Manuel de Castaño, Captain Don Pedro Díaz Gallo and Captain Don Pedro Pablo Gorostiaga.


    They supported the federal cause during Argentina’s civil war, which pitted the nation against one another in bloody and continuous battles between the Unitarian League and the Federal League.

    They also served in the War against Brazil and offered to march with full resources against the Anglo-French blockade after the Battle of Obligado in 1845.


    Battalions of eight hundred men from Santiago were sent to fight in the unpopular conflict under the command of General Antonio Taboada. They rose up at Fortín La Viuda in September 1865 in solidarity with the Paraguayan people but were subdued and strongly repressed.


    People from Santiago, Tucumán, Catamarca, La Rioja and Cuyo fought fiercely and bravely in a fratricidal battle that defeated the troops of Felipe Varela, a federal leader, and gave victory to Don Manuel Taboada on 10thApril 1867, thus consolidating the central power of General Bartolomé Mitre.

    Weapons Room 

             Weapons were part of the national and provincial politics from the city foundation until the Argentinian state foundation in 1880.

    The Spanish people introduced the firearms and bladed weapons. Sometimes they were used for attack and others for defense. These were associated with power and dominance. Men used arquebuses and blunderbuss to defend their borders from indigenous people.

           Later, when Independence war called for it, Juan Francisco Borges founded the Cuerpo de PatriciosSantiagueños with 317 armed men. They contributed to the national army and the other provinces followed them. We are proud of this Santiaguenian contribution to the North Army band the proper preparation of our soldiers. Nowadays, the Cuerpo de PatriciosSantiagueños is the governor’s Honor Force on ceremonies and they also guard the CCB’s building.

    The path opened by Borges would not be closed easily. Popular sectors’ mobilizations started to raise. They supported to Juan Francisco Borges in 1815 when he fought for Independence for the first time.  From that space of military participation and rifle in hand, these majority sectors felt they were necessary participants in political action and so demanded it years later. They defended the new autonomy order. In 1820 Juan Felipe Ibarra assumed their leadership on 1820 and for the next 30 years. 

    Having the province’s control meant that they had to take care of the borders from the indigenous people,and the weapons and the soldiers who guarded it where the main characters in this story. Living between forts and bunkers along the Salado River wasn’t easy. This room shows a wide variety of weapons. But it was not easy to get them, as they were not made in our country. Only generals and soldiers who were on the first line could use them, and only right-handed. They were considered skilled men because they could recharge the weapons easily and had a good aiming. The shot distance was of 300 m.

    However, a lot of documents indicates that the arms were in terrible condition. Some of them were rusty, with some pieces missing and even, short of gunpowder. Therefore, they had to make agreements and presents. For instance, Ibarra gave a present to cacique Nasalo as a symbol of friendship and peace and for giving them the possesion of their lands.

         After Ibarra’s death, Taboada family formed a new group. They used rifles and carbines.

         Despite they had promised freedom, modernization and progress, the organization of Santiaguenian government since 1856 Provincial Constitution was violent. In alignment of what was happening at a national level, the army got political power again. Under the 1853 National Constitution, the National Guard and the Line Army ware created. These organizations were allied to Taboada and they tried to conquer all the North side. 

    The creation of a national army required new and better weapons, so rifles with bayonets made in the USA and Austria were bought. The Roberts and Remington patents witnessed this process. The weapons were used in the battle against Paraguay. Later, at the end of 19th century, the Argentinian Mauser were bought.

    If we talk about leaders and armed men we can talk about their personal weapons. Weapons were personalized with their initials engraved or embed on; with sized designs, wood or bakelite handle. All these details gave it a personal touch and distinction. Of course, every leader who flaunted his manhood and power possessed Dueling weapons. This is Manuel Taboada’s.

    To conclude, we can say that this room summarizes the politics and power along 19th century.

    Lic. Alicia Guebel

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