Sight included on our Buenos Aires Free City Tour
The Argentine conservative oligarchy is composed of the family groups that were made with large areas of field by means of purchases to the State or to individuals, starting many times with familiar or political relations, within the framework of a strong process of concentration of the land that took place between the years 1836 and 1928. Some of these families lost their heritage over the years, and new family groups joined this estate. A group of these families belonged to the historical Creole bourgeoisie. Others managed to make large tracts of land from the controversial Conquest of the Desert initiated in 1880.
These elites met historically – and still today – around entities such as Sociedad Rural Argentina, Club del Progreso and Jockey Club, among others.
To demonstrate their economic power in the face of society, these elitist groups built authentic French-style palaces. Among these palaces settled in the city of Buenos Aires stand out for example the Palacio Pereda Girado: this mansion was made in 1917 by physician Celedonio Pereda, of the aristocracy of Buenos Aires. It was initiated by the architect Louis Martin and finished by Belgian Julio Dormal. Its is located in Arroyo 1130 and currently houses the Brazilian embassy.
Another notable mansion is the Palacio Álzaga Unzué, which lies in Cerrito 1455 and today houses the Four Seasons Hotel.It was inaugurated in 1920 as a gift from Félix de ÁlzagaUnzué for his wife Elena Peña.
Another outstanding residence is the Palacio Anchorena Castellanos (in front of Plaza San Martín), current headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Argentine Republic.
For its part, the Palacio Fernández Anchorena (located on Avenida Alvear 1605) was commissioned in 1907 by the marriage of Juan Antonio Fernández and Rosa de Anchorena to the French architect Eduardo Le Monnier. And it is currently the seat of the Apostolic Nunciature in Buenos Aires.
The Palacio Ortiz Basualdo, meanwhile, is based in Cerrito 1399 and is the work of the French architect Paul Pater, who designed it in 1912 for the couple Daniel Ortiz Basualdo and Mercedes Zapiola. In our days it houses the French embassy.