If you spend much time in Buenos Aires, you will find out about all sorts of tours. Of course, everyone knows about the tour of Teatro Colon. But a lesser-known but still pretty incredible building with an interesting history is Palacio de las Aguas.
And the best part…
The building looks pretty sweet from the outside. It is located on Avenida Cordoba, a frequent bus route of mine, so I passed it a million times. It is huge, taking up an entire city block.
The style of this building is quite eclectic and is yet another example of the upper classes of Argentina fancying everything European. Almost everything was pre-fabricated in Europe. There are over 300,000 tiles making up the exterior of the building, each individually numbered to enable easy placement.
In the mid-19th century, Buenos Aires was experiencing massive population growth and several epidemics, including cholera and yellow fever. So the city decided to fix the water supply.
It took 7 years to build this massive palace. I think everything was built as a “palace” back then. The site was chosen because it was the highest point in the city at the time.
The building is 3 levels. It contains 12 water tanks (provided by a Belgian firm) with a total capacity of 72 million liters of water.
The tour is in Spanish, so I have to admit that I learned most of this by reading the large signs throughout the museum, making a little visit to Wikipedia, and asking an English-speaking tour guide.
This is where I got the most amusement.
In addition to getting to see some of the ornate terracotta decorations that adorn the outside of the building….
… and some interesting plumbing contraptions…
… you also get to see a plethora of toilets and bidets throughout history.
I have no idea what our guide was talking about, but we spent a solid 5 minutes staring at these toilets and bidets while she talked about them.
Yes, that is a window looking into a giant room filled with bidets.
Take the tour!
The tour is at 11am on Mondays and Wednesdays. The address is Avenida Cordoba 1950.