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Buenos Aires - Monserrat: Parque Colón - Monumento a Cristóbal Colón y Casa Rosada | by wallyg
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Buenos Aires - Monserrat: Parque Colón - Monumento a Cristóbal Colón y Casa Rosada

Monumento a Cristóbal Colón was designed by sculptor Arnaldo Zocchi and inaugurated in 1921 in Parque Colón. Built to celebrate the centennial of Argentine Independence, the cornerstone was laid in 1810. The monument consists of a 26-meter tall column, with a a 6.25-meter high marble statue of Christopher Columbus. At the base of the monument are sculptural allegorical representations inspired by the verses of Medea by Sophocles, and marble reliefs.


La Casa Rosada (The Pink House), officially known as Casa de Gobierno, is the official executive mansion and office of the Presidente de la Nación Argentina (President of the Argentine Nation). Its balcony, which faces this large square, has famously served as a podium by many figures, including Eva Perón, who rallied the descamisados there, and Pope John Paul II, who visited Buenos Aires in 1998. Located at the east end of Plaza de Mayo, the Italian-style neoclassical building was built in phases, but dates back mostly to the late 19th century.


The site, originally at the shoreline of the Río de la Plata, was first occupied in 1594 by la Real Fortaleza de Don Juan Baltazar de Austria, and then its 1713 replacement, Castillo de San Miguel. In 1857, President Justo José de Urquiza largely replaced the fort with Edward Taylor's La Aduana Nueva, a new Italianate-style Custom house, but its administrative annex survived to be used as the Presidential offices of Bartolomé Mitre in the 1860s. President Domingo Sarmiento gave the building its characteristic pink hue--reportedly to defuse political tensions by mixing the red and white colors of the opposing political parties. An alternative explanation, though, suggests the original paint contained cow's blood to prevent damage from humidity. Sarmiento also commissioned Carl Kihlberg to build Casa de Correos, the Second Empire-style Central Post Office, next door in 1873. President Julio Roca commissioned Enrique Aberg to replace the cramped State House with one resembling the Central Post Office in 1882. In 1884, he commissioned Francesco Tamburini to unify the two with the now iconic Italianate archway. The resulting statehouse that stills stands today was completed in 1898 following an eastward expansion that included the demolition of Taylor's custom house.

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Taken on July 22, 2012