Fodor's Expert Review Casa Rosada

Centro Government Building

The eclectic Casa de Gobierno, better known as the Casa Rosada or Pink House, is at Plaza de Mayo's eastern end, with its back to the river. The building houses the government's executive branch—the president works here but lives elsewhere—and was built in the late 19th century over the foundations of an earlier customhouse and fortress. Swedish, Italian, and French architects have since modified the structure, which accounts for the odd mix of styles. Its curious hue dates from the presidency of Domingo Sarmiento, who ordered it painted pink as a symbol of unification between two warring political factions, the federales (whose color was red) and the unitarios (represented by white). Local legend has it that the original paint was made by mixing whitewash with bull's blood.

The balcony facing Plaza de Mayo is a presidential podium. From this lofty stage Evita rallied the descamisados (the shirtless—meaning the working class), Maradona sang along with... READ MORE

The eclectic Casa de Gobierno, better known as the Casa Rosada or Pink House, is at Plaza de Mayo's eastern end, with its back to the river. The building houses the government's executive branch—the president works here but lives elsewhere—and was built in the late 19th century over the foundations of an earlier customhouse and fortress. Swedish, Italian, and French architects have since modified the structure, which accounts for the odd mix of styles. Its curious hue dates from the presidency of Domingo Sarmiento, who ordered it painted pink as a symbol of unification between two warring political factions, the federales (whose color was red) and the unitarios (represented by white). Local legend has it that the original paint was made by mixing whitewash with bull's blood.

The balcony facing Plaza de Mayo is a presidential podium. From this lofty stage Evita rallied the descamisados (the shirtless—meaning the working class), Maradona sang along with soccer fans after winning one World Cup and coming second in another, and Madonna belted out her film rendition of "Don't Cry for Me Argentina." Check for a small banner hoisted alongside the nation's flag, indicating "the president is in."

On weekends, hour-long guided tours leave every ten minutes, taking in some of the presidential offices and the newly opened Galería de los Patriotas Argentinos del Bicentenario (Bicentennial Gallery of Patriots), a pictorial who's who of Argentina's national heroes. The country's heroines have a room of their own here, the Salón Mujeres Argentinas, which is often used for presidential press conferences. An impassioned Evita presides over black-and-white photographs of Argentina's other great dames.

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Government Building Building/Architectural Site Silversea Cruise

Quick Facts

Balcarce 50
Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires  C1064AAB, Argentina

11-4344–3714

www.presidencia.gov.ar/visitas-guiadas

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Rate Includes: Free

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