It all began with Pedro Luro, the famous Basque-French pioneer with great character and entrepreneurial spirit, who arrived in Argentina just 17 years old, without a penny to his name. Thanks to a long life of tireless work and great determination, he transformed himself into one of the most important landowners in the wealthy province of Buenos Aires. In 1852, Pedro Luro owned a general store in the small town of Dolores, when an estancia owner gave him the job of creating forest on his estate, offering Luro a certain price per tree planted. The owner then disappeared off to Europe. When he returned, he found to his amazement that Pedro Luro had planted so many trees that in order to pay him the estancia owner had to hand over to Luro part of the estancia itself. This was the origin of Dos Talas. And it was here, in 1858, that Pedro Luro, by now married to Juana Pradere, set up home with his family in a large two-storey house which he had built especially. When Don Pedro died, in 1890, he left the legacy of this traditional estancia to his daughter Agustina, married to Francisco Sansinena, and she carried on the work started by her father, adding the particular stamp of her own personality. Based on the existing eucalyptus forest her father had planted, Agustina commissioned the prestigious French landscape architect Charles Thays to design a park of 30 hectares (74 acres).
There appeared avenues of trees–more than 50 species of them–a rose garden, statues , and an artificial lake. In 1893, Agustina ordered the construction of another building of two storeys and a cellar: this is the main house at Dos Talas where you’ll stay today. And in 1920, in a corner of the park, the chapel was built, surrounded by a semi-circle of cypress trees in the memory of her eldest daughter who died tragically at the age of 33. The architect was Alfredo Villalonga, and this replica of a French church was filled with works of sacred art brought over from Italy, found in churches which had been destroyed in the first world war.
For twenty years, Agustina’s second daughter, Bebé Sansinena de Elizalde, ran Argentina’s most successful literary salon “Amigos del Arte” (Friends of the Arts), filling the estancia with a constant stream of illustrious guests. Among them was the great Argentine writer, Ricardo Güiraldes, part of whose famous work about the Gaucho, “Don Segundo Sombra” was written here in 1921. Other famous guests include Ortega y Gassett, Bioy Casares, Victoria and Silvina Ocampo, and Mujica Laínez – all important names in the flowering of Argentina’s literary history.
Pedro Luro was the founder of this magical place, and five generations later, the Elizalde family have preserved the magnificent park and the main house so that they remain unaltered, full of the rich heritage which each generation has left, as a mark of their lives here.
Dos Talas-(7100)Dolores-Phone/Fax:+54 (2245) 44 3020-Cel:+54 9 (2245) 503091 - estancia@dostalas.com.ar