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The Obelisk and the Avenida 9 de Julio »« La Morada

The Palacio Barolo – Inspired by Dante

One of the best panoramic views in Buenos Aires is from the lighthouse at the top of the Palacio Barolo, on Avenida de Mayo. But as impressive as the view over the Plaza del Congreso and the city might be, expect to be even more amazed by the building itself.

Palacia Barolo

When the Palacio Barolo was completed in 1923, it was the tallest building in South America, with a crowning lighthouse that could be seen from Montevideo, Uruguay. The Italian architect, Mario Palanti, was commissioned to build the palace by an Italian immigrant, Luis Barolo, who had become rich in the fabrics trade. Palanti was a huge fan of Dante, and designed his building to pay tribute to the great author’s Divine Comedy.

The building is precisely 100 meters tall, one meter for each canto in the epic poem. Following Dante’s footsteps, a visitor to Palacio Barolo begins his journey in Hell (the basement and ground floor), moves on through Purgatory (floors 1-14) and ends in Heaven (floors 15-22). The 22 floors equal the number of stanzas of the poem’s verses. Each floor is split into 22 offices. And as in the Divine Comedy, the number nine is repeated throughout the building’s plan. Nine entries to the building represent the nine hierarchies of hell, while nine arches in the central hall stand for hell’s nine circles.

This kind of thing is like crack for me. The palace was inaugurated on Dante’s birthday, and Latin inscriptions throughout the building pay further tribute to the poet. The crowning cupola, inspired by a Hindu temple in India, symbolizes Dante’s union with Beatrice, his perfect woman.

You can join a guided tour, during the afternoon or evening, when the city lights are on. It’s an incredible way to see Buenos Aires from above, and also learn about one of the city’s most unique and amazing buildings.

Palacio Barolo
Avenida de Mayo 1370
Location on our Buenos Aires Map
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May 5, 2011 at 5:00 pm
6 comments »
  • May 15, 2011 at 8:26 amAmer

    wow..such amazing architectural photos! love it!

  • April 6, 2012 at 10:19 pmFernando Carral

    Excelente nota y muy buenas fotos!!!!Que se conozca en el exterior

  • May 28, 2012 at 4:04 pmspringbyker

    These are spectacular photos of one of my favorite buildings in Buenos Aires!

  • May 28, 2013 at 8:43 amrobert

    great photos.  it is an interesting building.  Robert from Newcastle Australia


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