Monumental Tower/Tower of British People

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Buenos Aires, Argentina

I found this tower while strolling around in Plaza San Martin, which is located at Retiro neighbourhood in Buenos Aires, Argentina. It was constructed by British residents to commemorate the centenary of Argentina May Revolution, so originally it was named Torre de los Ingleses, or Tower of British people, but after the Guerra de las Malvinas, or Falklands war for the British, it was renamed Monumental Tower; although some citizens still referred to it as Torre de los ingleses.

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Buenos Aires, Argentina

The architect was British resident Ambrose Macdonald Poynter (1867–1923), who was grandson of the founder of  Royal Institute of British Architects. Almost all the materials for the edification, like cement, Portland stones, and Leicester type bricks, were brought from England, as well as the technical staff in charge of construction.

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Palladian style according to the prevailing trend in the late sixteenth century in Britain, is set on a platform with four access stairs. The height of the tower is 75.50 meters and has eight floors. At 35 meters there is a clock that was set in motion in 1910 by Argentine watchmakers Rodolfo Kopp and Nicanor Insua. The operation of machinery is by pendulum and weights. It has five bronze bells, whose tolling on the quarter hour imitates Westminster Abbey. The largest bell weighs about seven tons.

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Above the main entrance facing west, and on the other sides of the building, there is a frieze ornamented with suns and different emblems of the British Empire. Among others, can be recognized the thistle flower, the rose of the House of Tudor, the red dragon of Wales and shamrock of Ireland. The emblems of Argentina (2nd photo) and Great Britain (photo below) are located over the gateways as well.

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Although the project was chosen for construction between various projects in 1910, the inauguration of the tower was delayed until May 24, 1916, due to the First World War.

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6 thoughts on “Monumental Tower/Tower of British People

  1. Very beautiful and very British!
    I have been to many countries around the world and recognised the ‘Britness’ of some of the buildings. Ghana, India etc.

    Would love to go to Argentina one day, I have done since I was a child…obsessed with Evita! xxx

    • Thanks for the comment Lauren. You should go to Argentina if that’s your wish. In Buenos Aires, there are a lot of things to do and places to visit, so I didn’t have time to visit all the places I wanted, but that’s a good excuse for me to go back for a second time or maybe more.
      Kind greetings,
      Marianne

  2. Majestic tower with a rich history and culture. Wonderful post. All the best to you & family.

  3. Pingback: A words: ARGENTINA | Exploring the world

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