Palace of the Argentine National Congress

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Palace of the Argentine National Congress
Palacio del Congreso Nacional Argentino
Congreso Nacional Buenos Aires.jpg
View of main facade
Palace of the Argentine National Congress is located in Argentina
Palace of the Argentine National Congress
Location in Buenos Aires
Alternative names Palacio del Congreso
General information
Architectural style Neoclassical
Town or city Buenos Aires
Country Argentina
Coordinates 34°36′34.75″S 58°23′33.29″W / 34.6096528°S 58.3925806°W / -34.6096528; -58.3925806Coordinates: 34°36′34.75″S 58°23′33.29″W / 34.6096528°S 58.3925806°W / -34.6096528; -58.3925806
Current tenants Government of Argentina
Construction started 1898 (1898)
Completed 1946 (final details)
Inaugurated 1906
Cost US$6 million
Client Government of Argentina
Owner Government of Argentina
Height 80 m (260 ft)
Technical details
Floor count 6
Floor area 39,210 m2 (422,100 sq ft)
Design and construction
Other designers
Main contractor Pablo Besana y Cía.

The Palace of the Argentine National Congress (Spanish: Palacio del Congreso Nacional Argentino, often referred locally as Palacio del Congreso) is a monumental building, seat of the Argentine National Congress, located in Buenos Aires at the western end of Avenida de Mayo (at the other end of which is the Casa Rosada). Constructed between 1898 and 1906, the palace is a National Historic Landmark.

The Kilometre Zero for all Argentine National Highways is marked on a milestone at the Congressional Plaza, next to the building.


The idea of a congressional palace was first proposed and decreed in 1895.[1]

Designed by the Italian architect Vittorio Meano and completed by Argentine architect Julio Dormal, the building was under construction between 1898 and 1906. Inaugurated that year, its aesthetic details were not completed until 1946. The quadriga atop the entrance is the work of sculptor Victor de Pol; Argentine sculptor Lola Mora graced the interior halls and exterior alike with numerous allegorical bronzes and marble statues, including those in the facade.

The edifice was built at a cost of US$6 million allocated by the federal government.[2]

The building was officially accepted by Congress on 12 May 1906.[3] As time went by, the building proved too small for its purpose, and in 1974 the construction of the Annex, which now holds the Deputies' offices, was started.

From 1976 to 1983 the palace housed the Legislative Advisory Commission (CAL), which was a group of officers from the three Armed Forces.

Congressional Plaza, built by French Argentine urbanist Charles Thays, faces the palace. Popular among tourists since its inauguration in 1910, the plaza is also a preferred location for protesters and those who want to voice their opinion about congressional activities.


Quadriga above the Honor Entrance. Symbol of the Republic of Argentina, it depicts a chariot drawn by four horses driven by Liberty

The palace is in Neoclassical style, largely made of white marble with elaborately furnished interiors, especially in the Lost Steps Hall and the Blue Room.[3] It is crowned by a bronze-plated dome 80 metres (260 ft) in height, weighing 3,000 tonnes (3,000 long tons; 3,300 short tons), weathered to green color. This cupola is supported over a 10 metres (33 ft) deep inverted dome foundation.[4] The dome is lit during Argentina’s national holidays and other special occasions.[4]

The main entrance, called the Entrada de Honor ("Honor Entrance"), is exclusively used for ceremonial purposes. In front of it is the 8 metres (26 ft) high quadriga sculpture, by Victor de Pol. It is made of bronze and weighs 20 tonnes (20 long tons; 22 short tons). A symbol of the Argentine Republic, it follows the typical depiction of Roman Empire generals making a declaration of Victory but in this case it is driven by the symbolic Liberty holding the reins of the horses.[5]

The palace used to have a barber shop in the basement but it was demolished.[3]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Historia del Congreso de la Nación" (in Spanish). Retrieved 17 May 2013. 
  2. ^ IBAM 1903, p. 76ff.
  3. ^ a b c "Silence Ends at Argentina's Congressional Palace". The Spartanburg Herald. 24 May 1973. 
  4. ^ a b de Dios 2010, pp. 38ff.
  5. ^ "AfterLife: Documenting Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires since 2007". Recoleta Cemetery Guides. Retrieved 17 May 2013. 

External links[edit]