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Buenos Aires

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The Pink House

The current building of the Casa Rosada or Pink House is located on what was the Royal Fortress of Don Juan Baltazar of Austria, built by the governor Fernando Ortiz de Zárate in 1594, on the ravines facing the river. In 1713 the Fortress is rebuilt, made entirely of bricks, with walls and bastions that lasted until its demolition, a century and a half later. Meanwhile, it served as the seat of the governors, then the viceroys of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata and, subsequently, the independent governments since 1810.

The building took center stage again in 1862 when Miter installed himself with his ministers and remodeled the former official residence of the Fort. His successor, Sarmiento, decided to embellish it by providing gardens and painting the pink facades. Then, President Julio A. Roca decided the final construction of the Government Palace on the corner of Balcarce and Rivadavia. With these changes, the last vestiges of the old Fort disappeared, however, some walls and an embrasure remain as witnesses and can be visited next to the Taylor Customs galleries in the Government House Museum.

Buenos Aires


According to popular knowledge, there are two theories about the color of the Government House. On the one hand, it is thought that it is due to the desire of Domingo Faustino Sarmiento to represent peace and the union of the parties that staged the civil wars during the first half of the 19th century. The mixture of white, used by Unitarians, and red, used by the federals. However, it is said that the Unitarians identified themselves, generally, with the light blue color.

On the other hand, during the nineteenth century, the pink color was widely used. In those days the main technique of painting arises from the combination of lime with bovine blood. The latter was the one that helped to avoid moisture and leaks in the walls, in addition to providing excellent fixation and durability.

Pratical Information




Balcarce 50