Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

The “truth” about the color of that pink Argentine palace June 26, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 8:15 AM
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IF YOU SEE A PINK building, you might think, “Oh, how beautiful” or “Oh, how ugly.” You also probably will wonder “why pink,” somewhat of an odd color choice (especially in Minnesota).

Argentina's presidential palace, La Casa Rosada, is painted pink. This is the back of the palace.

In Argentina, though, the presidential palace is pink. And there is, according to my daughter Miranda who is currently interning with a company that gives walking tours of Buenos Aires, a very good reason.

“La Casa Rosada is pink because they used to mix cows’ blood with the clay/rock to preserve the building against humidity,” she tells me after learning this trivia during her first day on the job.

“Yuck, gross, disgusting,” I inwardly react and then wonder whether this is fact or urban legend.

But brief online research confirms the cows’ blood angle. (Just a note here: The palace has been repainted, so when you view it today, this is not the original cows’ blood tint you see.)

Additionally, I learn that the pink symbolizes unity between the two main political parties—distinguished by red and white—at the time of palace construction in 1873.

Whatever the total truth, the cows’ blood angle has forever changed my perspective on pretty pink palaces.

© Copyright 2010 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Photo courtesy of Miranda Helbling