Ushuaia is the southernmost city in Argentina. It is the capital of Tierra del Fuego (Land of Fire ) and considered the southernmost city on earth. This busy port town is also referred to as “The End of the World”, but is the starting point for many expeditions to Antartica. Besides doing outdoor activities and boattrip on the Beagle Channel, walking the colorful streets is very rewarding.

I was facinated by the colorful streets, the history of Ushuaia as a former penal colony and the life of the indigenous people living here before the Europeans arrived. There are some interesting museums here which depict the history very well.

The art scene reflects life and history of this city. The first photo is a reminder of Ushuaia as a penal colony. The two åhotos above show the natives who lived here. The Yaghan, Alacaluts, and the Ona peoples once roamed this area. The Yaghan people constantly had a fire to keep themselves warm. They even kept fires within their bark canoes, providing warmth while they traveled. The name of this region, Tierra del Fuego, meaning "Land of Fire" was appointed by explorers as they were passing the Tierra del Fuego shorelines, seeing the land dotted with man-made fires.

Ushuaia dates back to early 1800s, starting as a missionary outpost and penal colony. From 1896 some of the most dangerous criminals were transported from Buenos Aires to the prison here. It closed in 1947. The former prison has now been converted into a museum – the marine museum. Parts of it is still intact and some of the cells still contains items from the prisoners who once lived here.  It was the prisoners who built many of the constructions in town, including the church.

Ushuaia's many years as a prison town is a heritage you will recognize in the urban art scene. Both life in the past and the present is represented. The photos above show a long wall leading down to the harbour. It was impossible to take a photo of all of it. I had to devide it into sections.  Along the waterfront and walkways there are lots of histocal monuments. Actually more monuments than I have seen in any other city of the same size!

It was not possible to get close to the house. There is a fence here. I should have liked to read the words and find out what the mean.

This is a large mural painted in a parking lot. Unfortunatly there were cars parked in the front the first time I passed it. Then I went back again after working hours. Then the sun was casting a shadow from a house. It can be challeging to get it right!  I still wanted to share this one since it is different from the more “historical” images. Ushuaia did surprise in many ways. I like the way history is reflected in the art scene.

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All the photoes are mine, Ulla Jensen (flickr, Instagram and facebook)