Simply look skyward in the historic centre of the city and you'll discover a wealth of magnificent architectural details and a skyline dotted with domes of all sizes, all with their own stories to tell.
The golden age of Buenos Aires' be-domed skyline reached its splendour in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The dome was the architectural element used to mark the corners of buildings as a sign of the progress and wealth of Argentina's developing bourgeoisie and an ornamental decoration that added value and status to the buildings. Soon, the buildings and hotels located mid-block didn't want to be any less impressive than those on the corners, and so the domes spread.
The domes built during this period don't fit into any one style but show a range of architectural influences, from Arabic architecture through Spanish, Russian to the Art Nouveau style that was becoming popular in Europe.
The greatest density of impressive domes centres on Avenida de Mayo, and the areas around the National Congress, although impressive architecture can be found throughout the city's neighbourhoods. The most famous domes include the striking green dome of the National Congress himself, which is the largest in the city, stretching 80 metres, the twin red domes of the "Inmobiliaria" building at Av. de Mayo 1400, and, on the next block, the incredible Palacio Barolo, whose dome with its searchlight offers an outstanding panoramic view. In 2010, the city government restored the building's dome to mark Argentina's bicentenary celebrations.
Other highlights of this area include the dome crowned by the goddess Pallas Athena on the building that belonged to La Prensa newspaper, now home to Casa de la Cultura and the emblematic Gath & Chaves building (at the corner of Juan Domingo Perón and Florida), which dressed society ladies and gentlemen in the early 20th century and has recovered its splendour thanks to the city government.
The glass dome at the corner of Rivadavia and Ayacucho, restored in 1999, is a homage to Catalan architect Antonio Gaudi. It has three levels with a smaller dome and an onion-shaped construction topped with an iron weather vane. A telescope was placed on the top level.
In San Telmo, opposite Parque Lezama five turquoise domes adorn the Russian Orthodox Iglesia de la Santísima Trinidad. Nearby in Plaza Dorrego is the Parroquia San Pedro González Telmo, one of the oldest churches in the city. The domes watch over the city with a magical presence.
Learn more about the city's neighbourhoods.