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Friday, April 14, 2006

humberto pittamiglio

i've seen the castillo pittamiglio before on previous trips but never tried to find out about the person who designed it. then last january, after doing some research on what do do in montevideo, i made sure that seeing this castle was on my itinerary. it's in pocitos across the street from the sea wall. there was a sign on the door that they have guided tours on thursday's at 4 and it seemed that i was always busy during that time so on the last thursday that i was in montevideo, i went but got consused about the time and got there too late. i was so angry at myself for missing this. you can't see it unless you go on that tour. so now i'm trying to find out more about humberto pittamiglio. he was born in montevideo in 1887 and became an architect and alchemist. francisco piria, the founder of piriapolis was his alchemy teacher. pittamiglio died in the 60's. he was single and had no kids. in his will he left this building to the municipality of montevideo to turn it into a cultural centre. there's no information about him in english which is too bad if you're trying to be a culture centre and attracting people that would like to see it and a lot of them are probably tourists. i did find this review from a traveller:

"Among dozens of new and modern buildings, at the seaside, you can find an odd construction: El castillo Pittamiglio (Pittamiglio Castle). It is not a real castle, but a strange house easily recognizable by the Victory of Samothraki it has at the frontage. The "castle" was built at early 20th century by Humberto Pittamiglio, an architect and alchemist. The house is full of mystery, hidden charms and strange rooms; it houses the Asociación de Promotores Privados de la Construcción (an association), a cultural center and museum. You can visit this building with a guided tour."

i found this wikipedia page about him and it has more links about him but it's in spanish.

and this is the cultural centre. it belongs to the appcu which is the asociacion de promotores privados de la construccion del uruguay (the association and promotion of uruguayan construction).

he applied a lot of what he learned in alchemy in the construction of this castle. he used a lot of octogonal shapes which represents the 4 dimensions of the power of the sky with the 4 dimensions of the power of the earth. i'm translating this from a site and i don't think it makes much sense in english or maybe i'm a horrible translator. he designed 2 other castles: one in las flores (maldonado, uruguay), and the other in la quinta de la villa colón (montevideo).


Anonymous Oscar said...

Hello ! My name is Oscar, and I am from Uruguay (escuse me for my poor english) There is a book of Mercedes Vigil titeled "El alquimista de la Rambla Wilson, la historia de Humberto Pittamiglio" I dont know if this book are translated but you can seek for it in the web...
I really like your blog,
Greatings, Oscar

2:05 PM  
Blogger a.k said...

hi oscar,

if you want to write to me in spanish, that's ok i can't understand it. i'll see if i can find that book. thanks!


5:56 PM  

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