Casa de Fierro - Atlas Obscura

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Casa de Fierro

Iquitos, Peru

This iron building in the Amazon allegedly shares an architect with the Eiffel Tower. 

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Iquitos is a city in the heart of the Amazon. It’s unreachable by road, and can only be accessed by water or plane. Which makes it all the more impressive that an iron house arrived in the Peruvian city from France in the late 19th century.

This is the Casa de Fierro—literally, “Iron House”—purchased and imported by rubber magnate Julio H. Toots. The city was experiencing a “rubber boom” at the time, and transporting this building to Iquitos’ city center showed off not only its owner’s wealth, but also the cutting-edge technology used to build it.

Almost any guidebook or article you read on Iquitos and its famous home will tell you that its architect is Gustave Eiffel, the man who designed Paris’ most iconic structure (and inside it, a secret apartment for himself). But this has been contested, as certain architectural experts believe it shares very few traits with Eiffel’s other designs. Regardless, the building is a point of pride for the city. While it was long a private residence, it has more recently been turned into a general store on the ground floor, with a restaurant above it. Its exterior is covered in sheets of iron; steel panels form its roof, walls, and ample balconies, all of which are covered in plaster that conceals its metal soul.

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December 28, 2023

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