A striking feature in Buenos Aires' public square of Plaza de Mayo is the distinctive Casa de Gobierno (Government House), completed in 1898 and known colloquially as Casa Rosada or Pink House. A mishmash of architectural styles and painted an unusual pink hue, the Argentine presidential palace is an unmissable sight, literally!
Located on the eastern end of Plaza de Mayo and built on a former fort in the late 19th century, Casa Rosada is the executive building of the President of Argentina. Its eclectic mixture of architectural styles can be attributed to different architects from France, Italy and Sweden who were commissioned to modify the building. Notable elements of the exterior include the Italianate portico built in 1825 at the entrance and the balcony looking on to Plaza de Mayo, which is the presidential podium where Eva 'Evita' Perón famously rallied the working class and where Madonna sang in the film 'Evita'.
The palace's distinctive pink tone is said to be the idea of the late 19th-century President Domingo Sarmiento. He ordered the palace to be painted in this hue as a symbol of unification between two feuding political parties whose colours were red and white respectively. The rosy tone has a not-so-rosy origin – in the late 19th century, whitewash was added to oxblood to achieve that distinctive hue. Inside the Casa Rosada, the ornate rooms include the Hall of Busts, the Salón Blanco (White Room), Stained Glass Gallery and Hall of Honor.
Some of these presidential rooms and offices are available for the public to view during free tours of Casa Rosada. The one-hour guided tours of Casa Rosada are available on weekends and take in some of the presidential offices, courtyards, the Bicentennial Gallery of Patriots and galleries showcasing the country's national heroes and heroines. Visitors are also able to look out from a balcony at Plaza de Mayo – a stunning sight during sunset. To get to the Casa Rosada, take the metro line A to Plaza de Mayo.