Casa de Castagnino


Casa de Castagnino

Casa de Castagnino is the fortress from where we operate the most personalized and immersive cultural experiences in Buenos Aires.


Our house gives a sense of being lost in time, and it’s the first highlight of our tours. Sometimes we joke around, referring to Casa Castagnino as another one of our partners; the house has a soul and a message, and we rely on it to leave the first mark on those who visit us.


A bit of history

This is one of the oldest buildings in town; it’s origins date back to the late 1700´s. It was originally used as a lookout point – during Buenos Aires´ upbringing, smugglers and pirates were commonly around, trying to avoid paying taxes. The patio used to look out to the river, because in those days the river used to reach the pink house, and from there, a watchman used to scan the Rio de la Plata.  An interesting fact about this time in Buenos Aires is that several tunnels were dug by smugglers, for example El Zanjón de Granados, and one of those was actually found beneath a broken tree in Casa Castagnino´s patio.

In the 1840´s, it became the first post office of the city, and we can still see the remnants of the welder´s shop and the wheels they used to work on. During these times, Juan Manuel de Rosas was the governor of Buenos Aires, and the city was the epicenter of Argentine politics, and the country´s main economic motor.

After the yellow fever epidemic in 1870´s, the upper classes abandoned this neighborhood and Casa de Castagnino became, like most buildings at the time, a conventillo. Conventillos were communal spaces where many families (usually poor immigrant families who fled famine and persecution in Europe) could rent a room and share the amenities with others. This was very common back in those days, because Argentina represented a land of opportunity and prosperity, and was the adopted home of 6 million European immigrants during the first immigration wave. Mostly, immigrants got ignored and abandoned by the Argentine government, and had a hard time making ends meet. So conventillos offered a cheap solution.


Juan Carlos Castagnino


By the 1960´s, a famous painter purchased the property to set up his atelier. His name was Juan Carlos Castagnino, and he was responsible for illustrating the bible of Gaucho lifestyle: El Martín Fierro. Castagnino´s assistant, Nano, is still the care-taker of the house and keeps Castagnino´s memory alive. This artist was one of the most important in Argentina, and has left behind a huge number of artworks, and has schools named after him. You can check out the immersive work by Siqueiros and Castagnino, showcased at the Museo del Bicentenario, right behind the pink house.

Casa de Castagnino is still a hidden gem in the city, a bright mystery standing alone on a cobblestone street. Locals and travelers alike stare at it´s walls, and wonder what’s it like inside? Something about it´s color and the materials that were used to build it give this place a timeless feel, like if you were somewhere else. Visitors have described this feel as a colonial vibe mixed with country side siesta. I would say this is spot on!

The architectural style of this manor was called ¨casa chorizo¨, and was very typical back in the day because taxes were charged according to the width of a property. So most owners chose to have a short distance narrow-wise, but a long distance from front to back: so like a chorizo sausage. The walls were built with bricks, and covered with mud and pig´s fat in order to protect the bricks. This is what gave the pink color, originally, to the walls of this old house.


Casa Castagnino

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