Buenos Aires’ most iconic landmark, the Obelisk, or El Obelisco, towers over the intersection of the city’s two main thoroughfares, Corrientes Avenue and the ‘widest avenue in the world’ -9 de Julio. Erected in 1936 to commemorate the nation’s 400th anniversary, the pencil-like column marks the spot where the nation’s flag was first flown – a striking 220-foot tall monument that has become a memorable feature on the city skyline. Fashioned from 1,360 square meters of Cordoba white stone, the Obelisk was designed by Tucaman architect Alberto Prebisch and features poignant inscriptions on each of its 4 faces, referencing key moments in the city’s history.
Not only an important navigational landmark, the Obelisk also finds itself at the center of city celebrations and rallies, a common backdrop for sporting celebrations, political demonstrations, candlelit vigils and religious congregations. The ever-faithful landmark has even been known to make its own statement - famously donning a giant condom during World AIDS Awareness Day and draped in Argentine and German flags to mark the 150th anniversary of the countries’ bilateral relations.
Unfortunately, the only thing visitors can’t enjoy is the view from the top. The Obelisk features four windows at its pinnacle accessible by 206 interior steps, but sadly the stairwell has never been opened to the public.