Buenos Aires, Latin American Capital of Art Nouveau

Palacio Barolo - Art Nouveau in Buenos Aires

Back at the end of the 19th century and during the first decades of the 20th century, Buenos Aires was one of the most important and wealthiest capital cities in the world. It is a common grandmother tale in porteña’s families that when children wouldn’t eat, they were told to “think about people starving in Europe” and finish their plate.

Born during the last decade of the 19th century, Art Nouveau style was very well received in wealthy Buenos Aires. Many curvy, plant-filled buildings appeared on the main avenues, filling the city with a playful, undulating style.

With the help of AANBA, the Buenos Aires Art Nouveau Association, the city is now focusing on bringing out the beauties of this architectural style.

What is Art Nouveau?

Art Nouveau Buenos Aires - Galeria Guemes

Art Nouveau, also called Modernismo in Spanish or Jugendstil in German, was born around 1890 in reaction to academic art. It was inspired by plants and nature. Architect tried to harmonize with the natural environment.

Art Nouveau style has then spread to interior design, graphic art and most decorative arts (jewelry, furniture, etc.).

Art Nouveau buildings incorporate many curves, with some brutal disruptions. Decorative moldings often grow into plant-derived forms. Iron is widely used, as in the well-known example of metro entrances in Paris.

At the beginning of the 20th century, Art Nouveau was replaced by Modernist style, with famous architects such as Le Corbusier and Franck Lloyd Wright.

Art Nouveau Tours in Buenos Aires

Art Nouveau Buenos Aires

Since 2013, an association of architects and academics set the goal of reviving Buenos Aires Art Nouveau heritage. They offer walking and bus tours to discover to most prominent Art Nouveau buildings on Avenida de Mayo, San Telmo and Recoleta.

Tours are limited to 12 participants. An expert provides tourists with valuable information about the buildings details and highlights. On Friday afternoons, a grand Art Nouveau and Tango tour is available, allowing the visitor to plunge right back into a Latin American Belle Époque.

Practical Information

Art Nouveau Building Buenos AIres

Reservation required by mail at ceciliasalzano@hotmail.com

Cost (at the time of this publication): US$60

San Telmo Tour: Saturday mornings

Recoleta Tour: Saturday morning

Congreso Tour: Saturday mornings

The Avenida de Mayo and Tango Grand Tour- Walking tour, Dinner and Show: Palacio Barolo, Fridays at 4:30 pm

Buenos Aires Art Nouveau Tour (by bus): With reservation





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This blog about Buenos Aires is written by Palo Santo Hotel team. We are passionate about culture, gastronomy, our Palermo neighborhood and Buenos Aires in general!
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