top of page

Must See Royal Palaces: South America

Good Morning!!

Today we are continuing our new series by looking to South America. I have compiled lists from 5 continents, however some of them are not necessarily "Royal Palaces" but rather they are government buildings or they are places where royalty stays when they are in town. For today we are going to cover South America, I have made a list of 4 different palaces. These are not considered royal palaces but rather government buildings.


Archbishop's Palace - Lima, Peru

The Archbishop Palace is situated directly at Plaza de Armas, Lima's main square, next to the Cathedral. This important place in the middle of town reflects the immense power the church had in Colonial Lima. Constructions for the Cathedral of Lima and the original "Palacio Arzobispal" started shortly after the foundation of Lima in 1535. The palace was built using only the finest materials shipped in from the old world, like cedar wood and mahogany, tiles from Seville, bronze and marble. In 1924 the Archbishops Palace was completely reconstructed and renovated. Since 2009 the palace is open to the public. The first floor is used for temporal exhibitions displaying religious art and cultural pieces. On the second floor the antique decoration and flair are still preserved. Fitted out with old furniture, paintings and other objects from different time periods, the Archbishop of Lima fulfills here his official obligations. The third floor houses a part of the Cathedral's archives, an investigation and restoration area.


Guanabara Palace - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

The palace was built around 1853 for a merchant named Machado Coelho in neoclassical style. It was acquired by the imperial government in 1865 in favor of the recently married Princess Isabella and the Count of Eu; On this occasion, the architect José Maria Jacinto Rebelo underwent some transformations to the building. He also planted a hundred palm trees to give more solemnity to the access road. In 1889, the building was confiscated by the Republican government and subjected to a new restoration in 1908 under the direction of Francisco Marcellino de Souza Aguiar and landscape architect Paul Villon, in an eclectic style. After various uses, the palace belongs since 1960 to the government of the state of Rio.


Palacio de Aguas Corrientes - Buenos Aires, Argentina

The Palace of Running Water (Palacio de Aguas Corrientes) is an architecturally significant water pumping station in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The building was designed as a water pumping station in 1877 by Swedish Argentine architect Carlos Nyströmer, and completed in 1894. It was commissioned, in part, to replace the unsightly water tower on Lorea Plaza in what today is Congressional Plaza. Occupying a city block at the northern end of the city's Balvanera section, the Córdoba Avenue landmark still functions as a pumping station.[1] The French renaissance palace was covered in over 300,000 glazed, multi-color terra cotta tiles imported from the British ceramics maker, Royal Doulton. It features a tin mansard roof, and is emblazoned with escutcheons representing the 14 Argentine provinces of the time.

The building's entrance is graced by two caryatids, and the property, by landscaped gardens that includes a bust created by Norwegian sculptor Olaf Boye in honor of engineer Guillermo Villanueva, the first Director of the Buenos Aires Water Supply and Drainage Company Limited, the then British-owned municipal water works inaugurated in 1869. The building was transferred to the City of Buenos Aires following the 1892 nationalization of the British-owned company. The company, eventually known as Obras Sanitarias de la Nación (OSN), was reprivatized in 1993 with a 30-year contract. The contract's rescission in 2006 transferred the property to AySA, a State enterprise, however. The palace still houses a number of water company offices, Historic Archives and a small water works museum.


La Moneda - Santiago, Chile

La Moneda, originally a colonial mint house, was designed by Italian architect Joaquín Toesca. Construction began in 1784 and was opened in 1805, while still under construction. The production of coins in Chile took place at La Moneda from 1814 to 1929.

In June, 1845 during president Manuel Bulnes's administration, the palace became the seat of government and presidential residence. In 1930, a public square—named Plaza de la Constitución ("Constitution Square")—was built in front of the palace. After the presidency of Gabriel González Videla it ceased to serve as a presidential residence. During the military coup d'état on September 11, 1973, the Chilean Air Force bombed the palace at the request of the army. The president Salvador Allende committed suicide in the palace at this time. Reconstruction and restoration projects of the damage caused were completed in March 1981, although some bullet marks have been preserved and can still be seen today. During the 1973–1980 restorations, an underground office complex (the so-called "bunker") was built under the front square to provide a safe escape for General Augusto Pinochet in case of an attack.

During President Ricardo Lagos's administration, the palace's inner courtyards were opened to the public during certain hours of the day. Lagos also re-opened Morandé 80—a gate used by Chilean presidents to enter the palace since the early 20th century. It was eliminated during the restoration of the palace as not being in the original plans, but was restored because of the heavy symbolism attached to it as being the gate through which Chilean Presidents entered La Moneda skipping the main's gate guard protocol or, in other words, as ordinary citizens of the country. It was also the gate through which the body of President Allende was taken out after the 1973 coup. A traditional changing of the guard ceremony takes place every two days on odd-numbered days in odd-numbered months, even-numbered days in even-numbered months, including Sundays, at 10 a.m. weekdays and 11 a.m. on weekends (as of June 2015). A formal ceremony dating back to the 1850s, it lasts about 30 minutes and includes a band playing, troops with horses parading into the square, and much pomp and circumstance. The Carabineros de Chile provides the guard unit and band for the ceremony, the guard unit being composed of a Foot Guards battalion and a Horse Guards squadron.

It is now the seat of the President of the Republic of Chile. It also houses the offices of three cabinet ministers: Interior, General Secretariat of the Presidency and General Secretariat of the Government.


There we have it 4 more "palaces", like I said earlier palaces are not always royal but rather they are used as government buildings or are private residences.


8 views0 comments
bottom of page