Carondelet Palace - Ecuador's Seat of Government
Quito is a marvelous Ecuadorian city filled with historical treasures, cultural wonders and major architectural feats. From religious to secular structures, visitors to the city are frequently struck by the sheer magnificence of many of its buildings. One such historical building is the Palace Carondelet located on the streets of Chile and Garcia Moreno. Today it still stands proudly as the seat of Ecuador's presidency.
Carondelet Palace, also known as the Palace of the Government, is said to have been around for over 300 years. Baron Héctor de Carondelet, the President of the Royal Council (Presidente de la Real Audiencia de Quito) was responsible for the construction of the Carondelet Palace sometime in the 18th century and early 19th century. Back then it was created as the seat of the government and home of Ecuador's president, a role it still fulfills today. This impressive structure was built in the neoclassic style and boasts a stunning colonnade. Residents of Quito can certainly be proud of this important venue.
Not only is the Carondelet Palace an architectural masterpiece, but it is beautifully decorated inside. Within the stately building there are several fine works of art. The best known one is probably a mural by renowned local artist Oswaldo Guayasamin. This exquisite artwork depicts the 1542 discovery of the massive Amazon River. Carondelet Palace has a number of reception rooms for special meetings and events, as many important discussions are held here. The 3rd floor is dedicated for use by the President and his family to reside. Visitors may only enter the ground floor. Access is permitted from 09:00 am to 12:00 and 03:00pm to 05:00 pm.
Carondelet Palace is ideally located in the Plaza de la Independencia, Quito's lovely historical center. Surrounded by quaint cobblestone streets and typical Spanish-styled houses, the Carondelet Palace shares the square with the Cathedral and Archiepiscopal Palace. The Cathedral of Plaza de la Independencia was built back in 1565 and houses numerous beautiful paintings from the School of Quito. Although not too much exploring can take place in the Carondelet Palace, it is worth popping in if you are visiting the Plaza de la Independencia, particularly to see the mural by Guayasamin.