This floating castle appears to be from an enchanted fable, but in actuality it is Europe's best preserved Renaissance water castle.
Sandwiched between two larger buildings, it’s easy to saunter past this charmingly petite tiny home. Known as La Casa Minima, it measures in at barely 2.5 meters wide and is said to be the narrowest dwelling in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Located in San Temlo, the oldest neighborhood in the capital city, legend tells that it was once owned by a freed enslaved person.
Situated on a corner of Defensa, the charms of this tiny abode are endless though easily missed. Partially exposed brickwork contrasts a white adobe façade giving it a unique appearance from its neighboring buildings. These features along with the green-painted front door, lace-curtained windows and a wrought-iron balcony adorned are the only hints at the historical significance of what lies within.
Legend has it that the house was given to an enslaved person after his former owner had freed him in 1813. This year did coincide with one of the first laws enacted to free enslaved persons in Argentine, however, historians confer due to a lack of hard evidence. There are documents at the archaeological museum El Zanjon, that the house was actually part of a larger, grander residence on the corner of Defensa and San Lorenzo.
The original house was built in 1807 as a typical Spanish-style residence with a center courtyard and side entrance for horse carriages. The section of the house that is now called Casa Minima most likely served as a sort of watchtower.
The last person to live in the house was a craftsman in the 1970s. It sat vacant before being bought, along with the rest of the original house, in 1994. The entire structure was opened in 2007 to the general public and the restored section is now an elegant space that is available to rent for special events.
Historical evidence officially lays out a story that the original house was divided and sold off into sections over the year, leaving an extraneous piece out of the mix. Instead of tearing it down or adding it to another building, they city decided to keep it as a unique tiny abode.
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