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21 Fantastic Images From The Argentine Disneyland

Meet the Republic of the Children, the Argentine theme park that inspired Walt Disney.

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Is this Disneyland?

No, it’s the Republic of the Children in the city of Gonnet, Argentina, some 60 kilometers from Buenos Aires. It’s the first theme park in the American continents.
Mariano Lago / BuzzFeed

No, it’s the Republic of the Children in the city of Gonnet, Argentina, some 60 kilometers from Buenos Aires. It’s the first theme park in the American continents.

Nobody gives you so much for so little!

The Republic of the Children is open every day and its admittance fee is only 20 Argentine pesos (barely $2.40). Parking is 10 pesos ($1.20).
Mariano Lago / BuzzFeed

The Republic of the Children is open every day and its admittance fee is only 20 Argentine pesos (barely $2.40). Parking is 10 pesos ($1.20).

The project to build a theme park where children could learn about democratic institutions started in 1949 and pushed by Domingo Mercante, who was governor of the Buenos Aires province at the time.
Mariano Lago / BuzzFeed

The project to build a theme park where children could learn about democratic institutions started in 1949 and pushed by Domingo Mercante, who was governor of the Buenos Aires province at the time.

This park opened four years before Disneyland opened in the U.S.

Building started in 1949, and it opened in 1951, with a meeting headlined by Juan Domingo Perón.
Mariano Lago / BuzzFeed

Building started in 1949, and it opened in 1951, with a meeting headlined by Juan Domingo Perón.

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This is how the place looked while it was being built.

There's a bust memorializing Evita Perón.

The Republic of the Children had its moment of glory during Perón’s time in power. But after the president was overthrown in 1955, the park lost its initial push and was nearly abandoned. Successive military dictatorships didn't make things better and the park was almost sold to private investors in the late '70s. With the return of democracy to Argentina, the Republic of the Children recovered its original purpose of teaching kids about Republican institutions.
Mariano Lago / BuzzFeed

The Republic of the Children had its moment of glory during Perón’s time in power. But after the president was overthrown in 1955, the park lost its initial push and was nearly abandoned. Successive military dictatorships didn't make things better and the park was almost sold to private investors in the late '70s. With the return of democracy to Argentina, the Republic of the Children recovered its original purpose of teaching kids about Republican institutions.

According to the information on the park's official website, Walt Disney visited the place in 1952.

Mariano Lago / BuzzFeed

Apparently, Disney was very impressed by the place, a re-creation of a small country built in scale for 10-year-olds.

He was influenced by its style when he started to plan his own theme park in America. Disneyland opened in 1955.
Mariano Lago / BuzzFeed

He was influenced by its style when he started to plan his own theme park in America. Disneyland opened in 1955.

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The Republic of the Children is 53 hectare, with 35 buildings.

Most of them are located in the Civic Centre, which presents European and Islamic architectural styles.
Mariano Lago / BuzzFeed

Most of them are located in the Civic Centre, which presents European and Islamic architectural styles.

The buildings were inspired by famous edifices around the world.

Jorge Lima, Alberto Cuenca, and Carlos Gallo were the architects in charge of the project.
Mariano Lago / BuzzFeed

Jorge Lima, Alberto Cuenca, and Carlos Gallo were the architects in charge of the project.

This is the Culture Palace, inspired by India’s Taj Mahal.
Mariano Lago / BuzzFeed

This is the Culture Palace, inspired by India’s Taj Mahal.

Inside, there’s the International Dolls Museum. Its inner patio resembles the Patio de Los Leones in Alhambra, Spain.
Mariano Lago / BuzzFeed

Inside, there’s the International Dolls Museum. Its inner patio resembles the Patio de Los Leones in Alhambra, Spain.

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The Government House is inspired in the civil Gothic style from Northern Europe. Its interior houses the presidential office and the offices of the Republic’s ministries.
Mariano Lago / BuzzFeed

The Government House is inspired in the civil Gothic style from Northern Europe. Its interior houses the presidential office and the offices of the Republic’s ministries.

The legislature building is inspired by the British Parliament. There, the Children’s Government gathers once a year. Formed by students from the Buenos Aires province, they debate subjects of interest and send their resolutions to La Plata city’s Deliberant Council to be discussed there by real councilors.
Fernando Gandolfi / Via es.wikipedia.org

The legislature building is inspired by the British Parliament. There, the Children’s Government gathers once a year. Formed by students from the Buenos Aires province, they debate subjects of interest and send their resolutions to La Plata city’s Deliberant Council to be discussed there by real councilors.

In the Civic Centre, there’s also a Children’s Bank. Its front pays tribute to the Ducal Palace in Venice.
Jony Sniuk / Via es.wikipedia.org

In the Civic Centre, there’s also a Children’s Bank. Its front pays tribute to the Ducal Palace in Venice.

This is the Terminal Station. A little train circulates around the park.
Alex Rebolledo / Via commons.wikimedia.org

This is the Terminal Station. A little train circulates around the park.

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Outside the Civic Centre, the Republic of the Children has a “country” area with an artificial lake, where the Navy is located. A small boat sails the waters of the lake.
Mariano Lago / BuzzFeed

Outside the Civic Centre, the Republic of the Children has a “country” area with an artificial lake, where the Navy is located. A small boat sails the waters of the lake.

There’s also a small replica of Ezeiza Airport, just the way it looked in the '50s.
Mariano Lago / BuzzFeed

There’s also a small replica of Ezeiza Airport, just the way it looked in the '50s.

In the rural area there’s a pulpería, like the traditional bars in Argentina’s rural towns, and a small educational farm.
Mariano Lago / BuzzFeed

In the rural area there’s a pulpería, like the traditional bars in Argentina’s rural towns, and a small educational farm.

Oh, there’s also an amusement park. But, sadly, it's nothing compared with Disneyland’s attractions.

Mariano Lago / BuzzFeed

Don't cry for me, Walt Disney...

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