Palacio San Martín

Sumptuous family mansion built at the start of the 20th century.

This sumptuous mansion was designed by the architect Alejandro Christophersen, who was also responsible for the facade of Café Tortoni and for the Russian Orthodox Church in San Telmo. He was commissioned by Mercedes Castellanos de Anchorena, whose family would live in the house until the 1930s.

The complex combines elements of French academic and Bourbon style and comprises three independent buildings that converge in a central hall. The Argentine government acquired the building in 1936 to house the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In 1998, the ministry's administrative functions were moved to the modern building with mirrored facade that stands opposite on the corner of Arenales and Esmeralda, but the mansion is still used for its ceremonial activities. The new building was designed by Natán Aizanstat, Carlos Rajlin, Carlos Dodero and Cristina Levinton, and its mirrored facade creates a dialogue with the traditional mansion. 

See other highlights of the Retiro neighbourhood.