Likely one of the most famous buildings in all of Argentina is Casa Rosada. It is the executive mansion and office of the President.
Construction started in 1859, continuing in phases until the 1890s. Prior to that there was a fort on this location dating from the 1500s. The building had served as a customs house and post office before becoming the Presidential Palace.
The same honor guards that man the tomb of San Martin in the Cathedral guard the palace as well, marching back and forth throughout the day.
The Palace is located on the Plaza de Mayo (May).
The courtyard is the home to some excellent palm trees that are 100 years old. Recently one died, and had to be replaced.
The Hall of Busts are of notable Argentinians of the past.
The White Room is used to greet foreign heads of state, as well as the traditional location for the passing of power when a new president is elected, however this year that ceremony moved down the street to the Congress Building.
The tour continued on the 2nd floor.
It took some effort to get tickets to the tour as it is very popular, but well worth the wait.
Of all the important streets in Buenos Aires, none is above Avenida de Mayo, May Avenue. Named in honor of the May Revolution of 1810 that lead to the Argentine independence, the street takes you from the Plaza of Congress to the Presidential Palace.
The Congressional Building graces the far end of the plaza.
The plaza has a massive fountain and a collection of statues.
The view from the plaza looking down Avenida de Mayo.
The Confiteria El Molino, an Art Noveau coffee house was completed in 1917. All of the marble, ceramics an glass was imported from Italy.
The windmill was in honor of the Molino Lorea, the first flour mill in Buenos Aires.
Across the plaza is the Senate Building.
Most of the buildings along the street have character.
None have more character than the Palacio Barolo. Once South America’s tallest building, the entire structure is an ode to Dante’s Divine Comedy.
The height of one hundred meters corresponds to the one hundred cantos of the story. There are nine access points within the building, representing nine circles and nine hierarchies of Hell.
The 22 floors of the building reflect the number of stanzas in the poem. Even moving up the building takes one through hell, purgatory and paradise.
The building is a beautiful masterpiece.
This relatively plain, Spanish mission looking building is the Cabildo. It was used as the center of government during the colonial era. Since 1610 there has been a government building on this site, with this one dating from the late 1700s.
The Piramide de Mayo, or May Pyramid, was originally constructed in 1811 in celebration of the revolution. It was renovated in the 1860s.
During the ‘Dirty War’ of the 1970s dictatorship in Argentina, up to 30,000 people ‘disappeared’, without a trace, including many children. During this time 3 people together was considered a mass assembly, with possible arrest.
Beginning in 1977 women began together in the plaza in public defiance of the ban on public gatherings, they wore white head scarves to symbolize the diapers of the ‘lost’ children. This is memorialized in the pavement of the plaza.
Many of the children taken were given to families of those in power, and raised as their own. To this day the ‘Mothers of the Mayo Plaza’ continue to pursue to reunification of the now older adults to their rightful families.
The Casa Rosada (Pink House), is the office of the President. While it is officially the Presidential Home, in reality the president lives elsewhere in Buenos Aires.
Soldiers from the Regiment of Mounted Grenadiers march from the Palace every few hours.
The Metropolitan Cathedral is the state church for Argentina. Before he became Pope, Francis was the Archbishop of Buenos Aires in this cathedral.
The interior is impressive.
The tomb of General San Martin is located in the Cathedral. As the Father of the Nation of Argentina, he is honored with guards.
Argentina at times has had a volatile history, but they seem to make sure all aspects are remembered, and the Avenida de Mayo is the best way to understand what makes up Argentina of today, by understanding their past.