Palacio Barolo, The Divine Comedy

Palacio Barolo, The Divine Comedy (Places of Interest)

Opened in 1923, the building located on Avenida de Mayo 1370 commemorates Dante Alighieri’s famous work. Its interior combines architecture, literature, and mysticism that elevate the soul beyond the city’s rooftops. 

   Among the honks and smog of Buenos Aires most traditional avenue, a secular temple hides in plain sight—a place where time stops and space melts despite its perfect geometry. At Palacio Barolo, past interferes with present, while crass reality fades into a poetic and sacred parallel universe. 

   Textile businessman Luis Barolo ordered its construction to Italian architect Mario Palanti, who filled it with analogies and references to Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy. Palanti used a comprehensive architectural concept, which dazzles everyone who visits the building due to its elegant style and the mixture of Gothic, romantic and Indian styles. However, the real charm lies in its history. After passing through the glass entrance, Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy comes to life in concrete, marble, and bronze pieces. In one hour you can go through Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise accompanied by a guide.

   Created with the dream to house the remains of the Florentine artist, today the building only houses offices. However, each detail and relief has a symbolic connection to the poem. Its architect, a member of the Masonic Order of Dante and Barolo, obsessively copied the numerical pattern of the book—not only the floor division matches the three kingdoms, but also, among the “coincidences,” its height equals the number of chants of the text, and even its location (Av. de Mayo 1370) recalls the approximate date of its writing. Today, Palacio Barolo is still one of the highest buildings made of reinforced concrete in Buenos Aires and worldwide. This great Porteño icon, which became a National Historic Monument in 1996, offers its visitors outstanding views of the city, where the Government House (Casa Rosada) and the Congress stand out.

   Apart from the tours through its history and architecture, Palacio Barolo offers one-hour tango lessons in its elegant rooms. To take the best pictures of the building, you can choose the photo tour that allows you to capture every moment of the visit. The night tour is also recommended. It offers more details than the day tour and includes the history and allegories of the Divine Comedy, culminating in the lighthouse, from where you can see how it revolves while lighting up the city. After enjoying the fabulous views, the tour takes the visitors to an office of the 1920s, where they can taste a glass of an award-winning wine with regional products. The tour lasts about two hours. To know more about Buenos Aires we recommend the Walking and City Tour of Tangol.

Experience Palacio Barolo Tours with Tangol. For information and tickets, visit For more information, call (05411) 4363-6000 or email There are visits in Spanish and in English. Advance booking required.

Source: Revista Buenos Aires Day&Night

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