Palacio Barolo – Hell, Purgatory and Heaven

One of Buenos Aires’ most beautiful and unique buildings is the imposing and oh so over the top Palacio Barolo, a 22-storey office block completed in 1923. At the time it was BA’s tallest skyscraper and probably one of the most elaborately designed buildings in the world.

It’s Neo-Gothic meets Art-Nouveau with a Neo-Romantic-gone-nuts twist with the design heavily influenced by Dante’s Divine Comedy, so you have Hell at ground level (ever thus), Purgatory in the middle (where the office slaves would toil away) and Heaven or Paradise at the very top with tremendous views over the city from lavish Indian-accented cupolas and a domed glass-covered lighthouse. Unbelievably it has a twin in the Uruguayan capital, Montevideo, and it was conceived (or perhaps imagined) that the beacons could send signals between the two cities. Each beacon originally had the equivalent of 300,000 bulbs of light power so perhaps on a clear night this might have been possible, but even so, 203 kilometres or 126 miles!? It seems unlikely.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Claudia Sagripanti says:

    You’ve been busy since I left. Looks beautiful. Did you get any shots of the city?


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