Palacio de Carondelet

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N10-43 Gabriel García Moreno, Quito, Ecuador

Palacio de Carondelet Quito Reviews

Toonsarah Toonsarah
517 reviews
The Presidential Palace Oct 25, 2012
The Palacio de Carondelet or Palacio del Gobierno (Presidential Palace) is an attractive arcaded building on the northwest side of the Plaza de la Independencia. It is Ecuador’s seat of government and the palace of the president – indeed our local friend, Marcello, referred to it always simply as the President’s Palace.

It is a working government building and I had assumed that tourists were not allowed inside – it was only on our return that I read that it’s possible to go in. You can see the Yellow Room or Hall of Presidents, and the Banqueting Hall, and an exhibition of gifts given to the president, as well as, in the entrance, a mural by Guyasamin which depicts Francisco de Orellana's descent of the Amazon.

The first government building of the Spanish rulers was located a little to the north of the plaza, near the church of La Merced, but was moved to this site when a larger building was needed – a move made possible by the fact that the houses here had been damaged by earthquake and had to be demolished. This was in the early 17th century, but the building has since (early 19th century) been remodelled in neoclassical style by Carondelet, president of the Crown Colony, after whom it now takes its name. After independence from Spain in 1822 the new republican government continued to use this as the seat of government. The President himself lives on the third floor, in a luxurious colonial-style apartment.

The palace is guarded by a special unit, the presidential grenadiers, in a uniform dating back to the 19th century. You can apparently see the changing of the presidential guard every Monday at 11.00 am, but we were never in town on a Monday.
Palacio de Carondelet
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