Château Paz, a French Palace in Buenos Aires

French Palace in Buenos Aires – Argentina: Château Paz

It is a French Style Palace in the City of Buenos Aires with 12,000 covered meters divided into 140 rooms. There are 17 stairways, five dining rooms and 10 elevators for the four floors and the mezzanine. In the original plans of the Architect Sortais there are 40 bathrooms. Château Paz, a French Palace in Buenos Aires also known as Palace of Paz

The original owner, José C. Paz, was the founder of the Buenos Aires newspaper La Prensa and the Argentine ambassador in Paris from 1885 to 1893.

Château Paz - Door Entrance
Château Paz – Door Entrance

In 1900, he traveled to Europe as an Argentine ambassador and lived in Paris for many years. He was in charge of the monumental Argentine pavilion next to the Eiffel Tower, at the Universal Exposition of Paris in 1889. This left a great admiration in Mr. Paz for the cultural refinement and technical progress of the time in France

Before his return, he commissioned the French architect Louis-Marie Henri Sortais to design a mansion of unusual dimensions for the time, with about 12,000 m². The Argentine aristocracy tried to turn Buenos Aires into another neighborhood in Paris. This Château was just one of his examples.

Paz Palace, My Dream

His dream was to turn that palace into the presidential residence. His house when he was president. But it could not be. He did not become president. He couldn’t even see his finished work. José C Paz died in 1912, two years before the inauguration of his palace. It was terminated by his descendants and his wife, Zelmira Díaz Gallardo, and his two sons, Ezequiel and Zelmira.

Paz Palace - small copy of the Versailles Gallery of Mirrors.
Paz Palace – small copy of the Versailles Gallery of Mirrors.

The facade of the building is inspired by the Palace of Chantilly. Another of the fronts is inspired by the façade of Napoleon III’s new Louvre Museum. These are just some of the examples of José C Paz’s obsession with France. The Great Ballroom, one of the first environments visitors are surprised to enter, is a small copy of the Versailles Gallery of Mirrors.

It is a huge baroque-style room illuminated by three windows and two striking bronze chandeliers with crystal caireles. It has a box in which different orchestras played during the festivities organized by the Paz family

Château Paz 1916 -1938

Between 1916 and 1938, the Palacio Paz had its heyday. In those years, sumptuous banquets were offered in the Great Hall of Honor, a room with a marked Renaissance style with Gothic touches that still today features walnut furniture carved by renowned French cabinetmakers.

In those meetings it was common to find men in the Smoking Room and women in the Ladies Room, a rococo-style environment with huge mirrors and paintings referring to motherhood. In this room is the most important lamp in the palace. It is a bronze chandelier with about 150 Bacaratt crystals and 70 lamps.

Great Hall of Honor

The highest ranking guests were received in the Great Hall of Honor, an environment located between the wings of the building and one of the most striking from the architectural and the visual. It is an immense space in the neo-baroque style with a height of 21 meters crowned by a huge dome. It has a huge marble staircase that leads to several rooms and also allows you to observe the room from above. The hall is crowned by an immense dome covered in stained glass windows that shape the Sun King.

Paz Palace - Great Hall of Honor - Vitreaux
Paz Palace – Great Hall of Honor – Vitreaux

Another impressive environment is what the José C Paz office was to be. It has a huge fireplace and its sliding doors with Art Nouveau style stained glass of 200 pounds each sheet.

The Palace of Paz belonged to the family until 1938 when, as a result of the debts of the rancher Aarón de Anchorena, the second marriage of Paz’s daughter, the palace had to be sold.

Since then, it has belonged to the Círculo Militar of Argentina, a civil association founded by and for Army officers, but which today, 80 years later, functions as a social club.

Guided tours

There are guided tours, which can be done on Tuesdays at 3pm. and on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. There is a restaurant open to the public and with reasonable prices. See Booking

 

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