Casa Rosada in Buenos Aires is a pink colored administrative palace, an official building for the country’s government, and one of the most important landmarks in the region, also containing a museum showcasing Argentina’s presidents.
The palace is located on the eastern end of the Plaza de Mayo, at a location, which has been a center for the city’s and country’s political institutions since 1594 (when the founder of Buenos Aires, Captain Juan de Garay, gave orders to build the Juan Baltazar Fortress here).
Before the current building and prior to Argentina’s independence, the location had, since 1713, the Fortress of San Miguel, which was the administrative center for Argentina’s colonial governance.
PHOTO: Casa Rosada, as seen from a corner of the Plaza de Mayo, within Hipolito Yrigoyen street.
PHOTO: A detail on the facade of Casa Rosada, as designed by architect Francesco Tamburini, which demonstrates the building’s 16th century, Italianate architecture inspiration.
PHOTO: A view from Plaza de Mayo square towards Casa Rosada, with an equestrian monument for General Manuel Beglrano to the right.
PHOTO: General Manuel Beglrano’s equestrian statue and monument on closeup. The monument portrays an equestrian pose for General Manuel Belgrano, holding the Argentine flag on his hands, on top of a bronze base.
PHOTO: Plaza de Mayo square on its western end, towards the eastern end and Casa Rosada, as seen from next to the colonial era administrative palace, Cabildo. In the middle of the square, there is one of the major landmarks in Buenos Aires, Piramide de Mayo monument.
With independence, the presidents’ who controlled the country ordered the colonial era administrative fortress to be demolished (in 1857), which was first replaced by a customs house building, which did double duty as the presidential palace.
Next to the customs house, which was the largest building in Buenos Aires up to 1890, a new building was constructed in 1873, for the central post office, a design by Swedish-Argentine Carl Kihlberg, in French Second Empire style.
With Argentina’s unprecedentedly rapid growth in wealth, president Julio Roca gave architect Enrique Aberg a commission in 1882, to replace the former customs house with a new palatial building, using a style, which would connect it to the adjacent central post building.
This work was extended, with Roca asking architect Francesco Tamburini to design, in Italianate architecture style, a vaulted corridor to connect these two buildings, in 1884.
Today, although originally constructed out several buildings, the modern day palace is considered one entity, which was completed in 1898 as Casa Rosada in Buenos Aires, or the ‘pink house’.
The building got a historical museum in 1957, which was founded to portray and commemorate the country’s presidents, via presidential memorabilia and selected personal belongings from the past presidents, including such items as belts, books, furniture, and even three horse carriages.
One of the most recent additions to the Casa Rosada museum was done in 1991, when items found in archaeological excavations to the former fortress here were added to the collections.
You can visit the palace and its museum using guided tours, with details for these tours available from the building’s official website, atwww.casarosada.gov.ar.
These Casa Rosada in Buenos Aires tours, which are free and offered in both Spanish and English, are available in both weekends and holidays, with one full tour taking about 30 minutes.