Quilmes is located in the South East of Gran Buenos Aires, on the River Plate Coast 17 kilometers from the Federal Capital. It is part of the Gran Buenos Aires cluster.
The geographical location is 34°43 South latitude and 58°16 West longitude. It borders the districts of Avellaneda and Lanus to the North West;Lomas de Zamora and Almirante Brown to the South West; Florencio Varela and Berazategui to the South East, and the River Plate to the North East.
The climate is nearly Pampas temperature, though modified by urbanization. Morning temperatures are usually two or three degrees lower than in the City of Buenos Aires. The average temperature in January is 25 °C and in July 11 °C. During summer temperatures can reach above 35 °C and in Winter drop down to -2 °C. Humidity is usually high, which makes the weather feel cooler or warmer than what it really is. Rainfall is about The surface area is 94 km2 and, with a population of almost 600,000 inhabitants, it is the second most populated district in the suburban area representing almost 5% of the total population of the Province of Buenos Aires.
The city is subdivided into the following localities: Bernal, Don Bosco, Quilmes, Ezpeleta, La Florida and San Francisco Solano.
The head of the municipal Government in Quilmes is the Mayor, who is elected by the neighbours in free and mandatory elections to a four–year term; the Government includes an Ombudsman Office and a legislative body, the City Council, consisting of 24 councillors.
The current Mayor in Quilmes is Francisco Gutiérrez, who took office last December 11, 2007 for a period of 4 years until December 2011.
The history of Quilmes dates back to 1665 when, hounded by the Sapnish, the Kilmes Indians, after resisting more than 100 years were expelled from their place in the Calchaquí valleys, at present the province of Tucumán. Thus, the last stronghold of civilization became a long caravan of Indian families forced to leave their land and resettle more than 1,200 kilometers away on a slope by the River Plate. 200 families settled in 1666 South of the Riachuelo in what they called Reducción de la Santa Cruz de los Indios Quilmes (Quilmes Indians Holy Cross Reservation).
However, in 1812 the Triumvirate Government adopted, by executive order, August 14 as foundation date of Quilmes, since that day the Indian Reservation was declared extinct and the locality was founded. The city anniversary is celebrated that day because there is no precise date for the settlement of the Kilmes Indians in the River Plate banks.
The emblem for the Quilmes District is the official Coat of Arms used in different areas and offices of the Municipality. The oldest reference to it appears in the Order approved in the session of the City Council of December 23, 1914, but is was established as Municipal Official Stamp in 1924.
The river and the slope are the most outstanding topographical features in Quilmes; the pot with fire represents the humble and religious origin of the Quilmes Indians Holy Cross Reservation, which provided the foundations for the present city; the rising sun, the march towards progress; the birds represent the «freedom» declared for the Indian Reservation in 1812; the «25 de Mayo» frigate commemorates the heroic naval campaign of Admiral William Brown, particularly the combats of July 30, 1826 and February 24, 1827.
THE HISTORICAL SQUARE
The old Municipal Palace, now Casa de la Cultura (House of Culture), next to the Cathedral and School N° 1 make up the Historical Square. These sites, across the city square, were, from the beginning in 1666, the original core areas where the first poeple settled. The urban layout of the town was created in 1818, based on this original nucleous (church and square) and with reference to a regular orthogonal grid, the boundaries of which are at present the Alberdi and Brandzen avenues, the Hipólito Yrigoyen avenue and the natural border of the slope.
In the mid 19th Century, the most important public buildings were erected in the Historical Block: the first municipal building (1860), the library and the quarters (1860), the school for boys (1863), the parochial house (1873) and the school for girls (1882).
With the new century, the progressive trend is seen in the refurbishment of almost all the existing buildings and in the construction of new ones. Thus, for the May Revolution celebration in 1905, the new municipal building was commissioned, following the stylistic trends of those days. For different administrative and economic reasons the building was inaugurated only in 1912.
Until the early 60’s, the site preserved the same profile as in the past. Only the Church was refurbished again and the library extended its facilities occupying the biulding of the Vital Records Office. Between 1958 and 1962, a multiple-storey building for the Municipality was erected in the historical block in Sarmiento street. That building, though, is no longer used for the Municipality.
Quilmes was born by the river and therefore, the riverside is the identification par excellence of all quilmeños since the beginning of the 20th Century.
The first resort by the river opened in 1915. It had a wooden promenade, two breakwaters and a swimming pool. Since then it became a unique place for those who enjoy the river all the year round. People of all ages go there, from youngsters who enjoy water sports to whole families who choose the place for recreation.
So many people visited the riverside that it became the most crowded river resort in the country.
A landmark on the Ottamendi drive, the road to take to the riverside, is the Monument to the Kilme Indians, a huge sculpture that pays homage to those who settled in this land more than 300 years ago and gave their name to the place.
The riverside road extends along 10 blocks offering visitors a variety of facilities and services: open recreational areas, restaurants, camping lots, all surrounded by leafy trees.
Naturally, nautical sports are the most popular in the area. There are several different facilities along the riverside being the most important the Club Náutico Quilmes (Boating Club), founded more than 80 years ago.
For those who love fishing, the Pejerrey Club offers its facilities since the early 20’s. It has a 300 meters long breakwater with artificial lighting for night fishers.
CERVECERÍA AND MALTERÍA QUILMES
This is one of the largest beverage companies in Argentina. It produces, distributes and sells beer, soft drinks, juices, isotonic beverages and mineral water in alliance with leading international companies.
In 1888, Otto Bemberg, a German immigrant who brought along from his country the enthusiasm and passion for beer, founded Cervecería Argentina. Two years later, on October 31, 1890 the first chopp was manufactured and since then it started to be sold in the market under the Quilmes brand, a name that captures the indigenous roots of the town. Bemberg, who first arrived in Argentina in 1852, was then starting a project which would later became one of the largest companies in Argentina. In the '30s, the Quilmes brewery was considered a true industrial city. The contribution the Company made into the daily life of the community was constant and sustained: it participated in the creation of the Quilmes Fire Brigade Association (1911), the construction of the local hospital (1919) and the implementation of the water works service and system (1931).
QUILMES NATIONAL UNIVERSITY
Founded on October 23, 1989, it is one of the Universities with headquarters in the Buenos Aires suburban area, a region with a population of three million people, where 20% of the country`s industrial plants are settled. Its first academic year was 1991 and it became a standardized University on December 12, 1992. Located in Bernal, the University receives students from Quilmes, Berazategui, Florencio Varela, Avellaneda, Lanús and Almirante Brown. It currently has more than eleven thousand students in its graduate level courses and postgraduate courses.
ARGENTINO QUILMES CLUB
Between 1895 and 1899 there was a soccer team called El Relámpago (Lightning), that included Creole players eager to confront Quilmes Atlhetic Club. The British entity dominated the soccer scene in Quilmes and would not allow native players to join their team.
Therefore, on December 1, 1899 a group of Argentine Student from Colegio Nacional de Buenos Aires (some of them members of El Relámpago team) founded the Club Argentino de Quilmes, for «Creole soccer» practice.
QUILMES ATLÉTICO CLUB
Founded on November 1887, it is the oldest soccer league in Argentina. Its history dates back to the early 1880’s, when 30,000 British (English,Irish and Scottish) lived in the country. Part of that community settled in Quilmes and the story goes that the Creole were amazed watching «these crazy, big British guys in shorts wasting their time chasing a ball». The British decided to come together and create the Quilmes Athletic and Polo Club to practice polo and soccer.
Seven years later, under the initiative of Presbyter J.T. Stevenson, the Quilmes Rovers Athletic Club was founded and this became the official foundation date. In 1897, the club was called Quilmes Cricket Club, but soon soccer became the most popular sport and around 1900 the institution took its current name, Quilmes Atlético Club. The moment of glory was 1978, when it became the champion of the Metropolitan Competition.