El Palacio de Aguas Corrientes

Towards the end of the 19th Century, after a series of increasingly serious disease outbreaks (in 1871 Yellow Fever wiped out nearly 10% of the city’s inhabitants), it was decided to do something about the quality of the drinking water. Work began in 1887 on a central pumping station which when finished in 1894 turned out to be one of the most flamboyant architectural works in a city not known for its understated buildings. Officially named El Gran Depósito Ingeniero Guillermo Villanueva it soon became known by a much more fitting and stately name, El Palacio de Aguas Corrientes (The Palace of Running Water).

Palacio de Aguas Corrientes, Buenos Aires

Palacio de Aguas Corrientes, Buenos Aires


Main Entrance Detail on Av Córdoba, Palacio de Aguas Corrientes

Main Entrance Detail on Av Córdoba, Palacio de Aguas Corrientes


And frankly, Palace is not an overstatement. It may well have contained 12 enormous tanks with a total capacity of 72 million litres of water, but it’s the exterior that truly grabs the attention. Decorated with 400,000 ceramic and glazed terracotta tiles made by Royal Doulton in England and sporting the coats of arms of the 14 (at the time) Argentinian provinces, it’s hard not to be impressed by the sheer effort put into a public utility building.
Buenos Aires Coat of Arms, Palacio de Aguas Corrientes

Buenos Aires Coat of Arms, Palacio de Aguas Corrientes


Side entrance on Riobamba, Palacio de Aguas Corrientes

Side entrance on Riobamba, Palacio de Aguas Corrientes


Whilst its water-pumping days may be over, it still houses the Buenos Aires Water Company’s offices as well as a small water works museum. It can be found on Avenida Córdoba, a couple of blocks from the Callao subte station on Line D.
Window Detail, Palacio de Aguas Corrientes

Window Detail, Palacio de Aguas Corrientes


Side view from Riobamba, Palacio de Aguas Corrientes

Side view from Riobamba, Palacio de Aguas Corrientes


Main Entrance Detail on Av Córdoba, Palacio de Aguas Corrientes

Main Entrance Detail on Av Córdoba, Palacio de Aguas Corrientes


Main Entrance on Av Córdoba, Palacio de Aguas Corrientes

Main Entrance on Av Córdoba, Palacio de Aguas Corrientes

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1 Comment

  1. Lois Knudson says:

    We will be in buenos Aires on Dec 25th only. Is anything open, museums, etc? Will you be giving a tour that day?

    Thank you.