On the site of what is now the Biblioteca Nacional, or the national library, in the Recoleta neighborhood of Buenos Aires used to sit the former presidential palace of President Juan Peron and the first lady, Eva Peron. The palace, known as Unzué Palace, became something of lore following the military coup that ousted Peron from power in 1955, after which they ordered the complete demolition of the house, which, together with its grounds, took up more than three city blocks. This was where Evita lived out her last days in a battle with cancer, and where she eventually died in 1952. The house would have fronted onto Libertador Avenue, where there is now a large monument dedicated to Evita.
Biblioteca Nacional, Agüero 2502, 1425 Buenos Aires, Argentina, +54 11 4808 6000
The Casa Rosada, or the Pink House, is Argentina’s current presidential palace and is famous, among other things, for its iconic balcony which overlooks Buenos Aires’ main square, the Plaza de Mayo, where people congregate to march, protest, or, in Eva Peron’s time, hear the first lady and national hero give speeches to her loyal devotees, or descamisados, meaning “the shirtless ones” because of their poverty. It was from this balcony that Evita gave her final speech in October 17, 1951, a day which is now marked as Loyalty to Peron day. This was also the where the scene from the movie Evita was filmed, where Eva Peron, played by Madonna, sang the famous song Don’t Cry For Me Argentina from this balcony.
Casa Rosada, Balcarce 50, 1064 Buenos Aires, Argentina, +54 11 4344 3600
This white tower block in the middle of 9 de Julio Avenue, one of the main thoroughfares in the city and the widest street in South America, bears two steel portraits of Evita on the north and south faces. One depicts her giving an impassioned speech into a microphone and the other is of her official portrait. They were installed on the 59th anniversary of Evita’s death in 2011, and are by sculptor Alejandro Marmo.
This upscale building in Recoleta was where Eva and Juan Peron lived for a time before Peron was elected president in 1946. They lived together in an apartment on the fourth floor when this neighborhood was the most glitzy and glamorous in the city. Now a luxury hotel, the reception and halls are decked out with Evita memorabilia. It is well worth a visit just to see the opulence of the building itself.