Sitting proudly at the heart of Plaza de Mayo in the area of Buenos Aires known as “Centro” is La Casa Rosada. Translated to English, La Casa Rosada literally means “The Pink House.” And, while the translation does not lie about the color of the building, this “casa” is a little more than just a house. This Italian style structure, known to locals as “Casa de Gobierno” or Government House, is where each President of Argentina has worked since it was built in the late 1800s.
Although my expectations of a full tour were immediately zapped because of a renovation and restoration project that was currently taking place, I was still extremely impressed with my experience at La Casa Rosada. Not only is the building aesthetically beautiful, but its history is rich and intriguing as well. In a small, basement level museum, I was able to learn a great deal about the history of the building itself and about the country of Argentina in general.
Facts included that Madonna was one of a very limited number of people actually allowed to visit the balcony where Eva Peron made her final farewell address to the Argentine people before she died. In fact, the Argentine government even allowed the filming of the famous “Don’t cry for me Argentina” scene in the movie Evita to take place on the actual balcony.
Another interesting fact was that the reason why the building is pink is because back in 1873 when it was built, there were two main political parties; one red and one white. After debate on what color to paint the building, the compromise was reached that the structure be painted pink, which echoed the sentiment of unity to the country.
Visible in the museum are many of the traditional symbols of the great country of Argentina. For example, the design of the sash and cane that each President is presented with on his or her day of inauguration has a specific set of rules and regulations. The evolution of both of these items is displayed amidst the great artwork and artifacts that have been gathered over time from the Argentine Presidents’ chambers in La Casa Rosada.
If you find yourself in Buenos Aires, this building, in addition to being a must-see from the outside, is a must-see from the inside. Even if construction prevents a full tour, be sure to visit the small museum in the basement to learn interesting information about the country, its past presidents, and this stunning building.
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