An obelisk is a tall narrow structure that has four sides that taper as the structure goes higher. At the very top of every obelisk built is a pyramid structure. Obelisks started out as Egyptian structures, representing a ray of sun and believed to be a symbolization of the Egyptian sun god named Ra. Many other cultures like the Romans and the Assyrians had obelisks built too, gaining them prominence. In the modern times, an obelisk is considered as an icon of a city that built it. Buenos Aires is one of these modern-day cities to have built an obelisk.
The obelisk of Buenos Aires is otherwise known as El Obelisco. It was built in 1934 in commemoration of the city’s 400th anniversary since it was founded. Designed by architect Alberto Prebisch, it took only four weeks to build – a total of 31 days to be exact. It can be found in the middle of Plaza de la República, a huge city square where the flag of Argentina was first flown in the city. With a remarkable height of 220 feet, it stands tall as one of the many Argentina attractions in Buenos Aires.
For North Americans, El Obelisco is quite reminiscent of their home. That’s because the Buenos Aires’ obelisk looks like the iconic Washington Monument. But for local Argentineans, the obelisk is their nation’s very own icon, representative of Argentina and its capital city of Buenos Aires.
It is believed that the pencil-like structure of El Obelisco was intended because it also commemorated the 10 Argentinean students that were kidnapped and tortured at a time when Argentina was under dictatorship and the obelisk was still nonexistent. Since its establishment in the 1930s, the government of Argentina underwent significant transformation which is why El Obelisco is highly regarded as a symbol if the beginning of this transition.
It’s not hard to spot the obelisk of Buenos Aires since it is a distinct structure in the middle of Argentina’s busiest streets. Passing by at this structure, you will immediately feel the Argentina’s pride for what it has become. The obelisk is one of the popular Argentina attractions that sit in the middle of widest street in the world. It also sits in the middle of the intersection in between 9 de Julio and the street home to some of Buenos Aires’ most famous architecture.