La Casa Rosada (Spanish for "the Pink House"), officially known as the Casa de Gobierno ("Government House"), is the official seat of the executive branch of the government of Argentina. (When not working at the Casa Rosada, the president resides in a compound in Olivos, Buenos Aires.)
The Casa Rosada was built in the location which, since the foundation of the city of Buenos Aires, the top political institutions of Argentina resided. The current Swedish-style building, however, dates back only to 1873. Constructed in the late 19th century over the foundations of an earlier Customs House, Post Office, and fortress, it stands at the eastern end of the Plaza de Mayo. Its balcony, which faces this large square, has served as a podium by many figures, including Eva Perón, who rallied the descamisados there, and Pope John Paul II, who visited Buenos Aires in 1998. Madonna sang her filmed rendition of the song "Don't Cry for Me, Argentina," for the movie Evita, from this balcony.
The building is painted a light pink colour (and a darker pink colour on the side facing the plaza, after a recent repainting). Dubbed "Casa Rosada" by President Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, it is said that this president chose this colour scheme in order to defuse political tension by fusing the red and white colours of the country's opposing political parties. An alternative explanation points to the fact that the original paint used contained cow blood to prevent damage from humidity.
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