Friday, November 1, 2013

Buenos Aires: Palacio Barolo

One of our favorite adventures in Buenos Aires (wait, do I say favorite on every post?) was the Palacio Barolo night tour.  The Palacio Barolo is a gorgeous office building with a lighthouse on the top and an interesting history.

(Copied from Wikipedia)
Italian architect Mario Palanti was commissioned to design the building by the empresario Luis Barolo, an Italian immigrant who had arrived in Argentina in 1890 and had made a fortune in knitted fabrics. The Palacio Barolo was designed in accordance with the cosmology of Dante's Divine Comedy, motivated by the architect's admiration for Dante and his work. There are 22 floors, divided into three "sections". The basement and ground floor represent hell, floors 1-14 are the purgatory, and 15-22 represent heaven. The building is 100 meters (328 feet) tall, one meter for each canto of the Divine Comedy. The lighthouse at the top of the building can be seen all the way in Montevideo, Uruguay where there is a similar twin building built by the same architect. When completed in 1923 it was the tallest building, not only in the city, but also in the whole of South America. It remained the city's tallest building until 1935.

The tour took us through the various floors with a narration on how the building aligns to Dante's Divine Comedy. We ended up in the lighthouse with some amazing views of the city and even got to sit in the light tower itself as the guide turned on the searchlight for us. Pretty fun experience. Here are some of the photos.
 A view of the lobby (also considered 'hell').
A view from purgatory down into hell.
Some beautiful accents throughout the building. This is supposed to look like a dragon head on and just ornate scroll work from the sides.
A gorgeous view from the lighthouse. The moon was in almost the perfect spot too.
Can you see Evita on the side of the this building?
Even the staircases were beautiful - and to think this is 'just an office building'.
This is off one of the patios (maybe around the 12th floor or so?) It's a huge patio area and this is looking back at the building. There's some significance to the green as well, but I can't remember anymore what it was. A cool view that's for sure.
Our camera has this amazing night shot setting, which is the only reason this photo turned out at all.

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