Located just off the main Plaza de Armas of Iquitos is the Iron House of Iquitos. Widely considered the finest samples of Civil Architecture in Peru, the Iron House is one of the top visited sites in Iquitos.
The building is square. A combination of arches and pillars, it is famous for being covered in sheets of iron, which mixes well with its bright red roof. A plaque is prominently posted on the side of the building for tourists to observe, and it now features a restaurant on the second floor, overlooking the plaza and main side-street of the Iquitos square.
With such a famous building, you would think the history would be clear. Yet, instead of history, we have mystery. One famous myth states that the origin of the Iron House began in France from a certain architect surnamed Eiffel (yes, that Eiffel). In fact, if you stroll over to Gustave Eiffel’s Wikipedia page, the Iron House is attributed to this collection of works during the year 1892. On the other hand, you have the New York Times which published an article on Peruvian Architecture in 2014 and quipped “Despite Rumors, Not Everything That Towers is Eiffel” and shot down the idea.
So, we’re left with a mysterious iron building in the middle of the Amazon. Like so many things in Peru, the mystery adds to its appeal.
Since Iquitos is so small, chances are that you will see the Iron House on your way somewhere. If you don’t see it, have a moto-taxi take you to the corner of Prospero and Putumayu. Take a glance, snap a photo if you so wish, and admire the famous Iron House, featuring a crisscrossed balcony design and a crisscrossed history.