Location: Av. De Mayo 1370 & H. Yrigoyen 1371. Montserrat.
It was built by the Italian architect Mario Palanti (1885-1979) for his compatriot a powerful textile executive Luis Barolo (1869-1922), in the 1910´s decades, who used to think, as all Europeans settled in Argentina, that Europe would suffer numerous wars that would destroy the entire continent. In desperation to preserve the ashes of the famous Dante Alighieri, he wanted to construct a sanctuary on 1300 May Avenue, inspired by the work of the poet, “The Divine Comedy”;
The Barolo Palace was the highest city building before the Kavanagh was built in 1935. It has a height of 100 metres ending on the large rotating beacon which used to have 300.000 light bulbs which makes it visible from Uruguay. On September 14, 1923 it transmitted with its lights the result of the boxing bout between Firpo and Dempsey.
Built in an architectural style combining references to Venetian gothic and religious Indian architecture, the Barolo Palace surprised people from the very beginning. The Argentine historian Carlos Hilger asserts that this is the major example of “esoteric” architecture from the beginning the 20th. Century.
The building has plenty of references to Dante. The bulbs in the cupola represent the nine angelical choirs and the mystical rose. In the cupola we find the Southern Cross which can be seen aligned with the axis of the Barolo Palace during the first days of June at 19.45 hs.
The general division of the building and the poem is done in three parts: Hell, Purgatory and Heaven. The ground floor is Hell, the first 14 floors are Purgatory, and following floors are Paradise and the cupola represents God.
The number of Hell hierarchies is nine, and nine are the arches of access to the building which represent initiation steps. Each arch has Latin phrases taken from nine different works from the Bible to Virgil. The cupola resembles that of the Budanishar Hindu temple dedicated to Tantra “representing the union between Dante and Beatrice.
The songs from Dante´s work are a hundred just as the height of the building is a 100 mts. The majority of songs in the poem have eleven or twenty two stanzas; the building has eleven modules per front, and twenty two modules per block. The height is twenty two floors. This set of numbers represents the circle which was, to Dante the perfect figure.
The Barolo Palace has been Historical National Monument since 1997.