La Casa Rosada
La Casa Rosada (the Pink House) is the official seat of the executive branch of the government of Argentina, and of the offices of the President. The President normally resides at the Quinta de Olivos, a compound in Olivos, Buenos Aires province.
The Casa Rosada sits at the eastern end of the Plaza de Mayo, a large square which since the 1580 foundation of Buenos Aires has been surrounded by many of the most important political institutions of the city and of Argentina. The site, originally at the shoreline of the Río de la Plata, was first occupied by the “Fort of Juan Baltazar of Austria,” a structure built on the orders of the founder of Buenos Aires, Captain Juan de Garay, in 1594. Its 1713 replacement by a masonry structure (the “Castle of San Miguel”) complete with turrets made the spot the effective nerve center of colonial government. Following independence, President Bernardino Rivadavia had a Neoclassical portico built at the entrance in 1825, and the building remained unchanged until, in 1857, President Justo José de Urquiza ordered the fort demolished in favor of a new customs building. Under the direction of British Argentine architect Edward Taylor, the Italianate structure functioned as Buenos Aires’ largest building from 1859 until the 1890s.
The old fort’s administrative annex, which survived the construction of Taylor’s Customs House, was enlisted as the Presidential offices by Bartolomé Mitre in the 1860s and his successor, Domingo Sarmiento, who beautified the drab building with patios, gardens and wrought-iron grillwork, had the exterior painted pink reportedly in order to defuse political tensions by mixing the red and white colours of the country’s opposing political parties. An alternative explanation suggests that the original paint contained cow’s blood to prevent damage from the effects of humidity. Sarmiento also authorized the construction of the Central Post Office next door in 1873, commissioning Swedish Argentine architect Carl Kihlberg, who designed this, one of the first of Buenos Aires’ many examples of Second Empire architecture.
Presiding over an unprecedented socio-economic boom, President Julio Roca commissioned architect Enrique Aberg to replace the cramped State House by one resembling the neighboring Central Post Office in 1882. Following works to integrate the two structures, Roca had architect Francesco Tamburini build the iconic Italianate archway between the two in 1884. The resulting State House, still known as the “Pink House,” was completed in 1898 following its eastward enlargement, works which resulted in the destruction of the customs house.
A Historical Museum was created in 1957 to display presidential memorabilia and selected belongings, such as sashes, batons, books, furniture, and three carriages. The remains of the former fort were partially excavated in 1991, and the uncovered structures were incorporated into the Museum of the Casa Rosada. Located behind the building, these works led to the rerouting of Paseo Colón Avenue, unifying the Casa Rosada with Parque Colón (Columbus Park) behind it. Plans were announced in 2009 for the restoration of surviving portions of Taylor’s Customs House, as well.
Catedral (Buenos Aires Metropolitan Cathedral)
The Buenos Aires Metropolitan Cathedral is the main Catholic church in Buenos Aires, Argentina. It is located in the city centre, overlooking Plaza de Mayo, on the corner of San Martín and Rivadavia streets, in the San Nicolás neighbourhood. It is the mother church of the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires.
The Cathedral of Buenos Aires was rebuilt several times since its humble origins in the 16th century. The present building is a mix of architectural styles, with a 18th century nave and dome and a severe, 19th century Neoclassical façade without towers. The interior keeps precious 18th century statues and altarpieces, as well as abundant Neo-Renaissance and Neo-Baroque decoration.
Founded in 1858, it is the oldest coffee-shop in Buenos Aires. In 1880, it was moved to its current property –at the beginning, it was placed at the corner. Finally, in 1898, the magnificent door opened up onto Avenida de Mayo. The facade was developed by architect Christophersen.
Two decades later, the Tortoni was already become the center of meetings for Buenos Aires intellectuals and hosted many of the illustrious characters coming either from Buenos Aires or abroad. Inside the cafe, pictures, poems and busts tell steps of its history.
Its basements are today havens for jazz and tango fans, and the wine cellar is the place where presentations of books and poetry encounters are carried out. Towards its back side, there are rooms for dominoes, dice and billiards. The Tortoni still offers its customers some endangered drinks like leche merengada (whipped milk).
School of Spanish in Buenos Aires – Casper, Roger, Dan, Marina, Ludmila, Danilo, Ana Carolina, Ksenia Suzanna with Sandra
School of Spanish in Buenos Aires – Casper, Roger, Dan, Marina, Ludmila, Danilo, Ana Carolina and Ksenia Suzanna with Sandra – La Casa Rosada
School of Spanish in Buenos Aires – Casper, Roger, Dan, Marina, Ludmila, Danilo, Ana Carolina and Ksenia Suzanna with Sandra in Café Tortoni