National Palace of Culture, Guatemala City

National Palace of Culture, Guatemala City (must see)

The National Palace of Culture is a museum built as the headquarters of the President of Guatemala.

In 1921, President Carlos Herrera ordered the construction of the Centenary Palace in only three months with a small budget and few resources. The first palace became known as the Cardboard Palace (Palacio de Carton). It was destroyed in a fire in 1925.

Construction of the current palace began in 1939 and was completed in 1943. The building, designed by architect Rafael Perez de Leon, features Spanish Baroque and Spanish Renaissance architectural styles. Engineers Enrique Reyes, Luis Angel Rodas, and Arturo Bickford assisted with the structural plans. Due to its structural integrity, it was one of the few buildings to survive the earthquake of 1976.

The brick and concrete building is sometimes referred to as The Big Guacamole due to the oxidized copper coating on the exterior. This coating was chosen because green was the favorite color of Marta Lainfiesta Dorion, wife of president Jorge Ubico.

The interior of the palace has 350 rooms with ornate decorations. Large chandeliers and images of quetzals, the national bird of Guatemala, are located throughout the building. Several traffic lights are located in the palace. These were used to signal when the president was in the building, when only government officials were allowed in hallways and when visitors could move freely.

The palace was fully renovated in 2010.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Guatemala City. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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National Palace of Culture on Map

Sight Name: National Palace of Culture
Sight Location: Guatemala City, Guatemala (See walking tours in Guatemala City)
Sight Type: Museum/Gallery
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Guatemala City, Guatemala

Create Your Own Walk in Guatemala City

Create Your Own Walk in Guatemala City

Creating your own self-guided walk in Guatemala City is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Guatemala City Culture Venues

Guatemala City Culture Venues

Guatemala attracts many tourists with its numerous prominent landmarks, statues and interesting museums. The museums provide the opportunity to discover some important historical artifacts. The following walking tour will take you to the most interesting cultural attractions in the city.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.7 Km or 1.1 Miles
Religious Buildings Walk

Religious Buildings Walk

Guatemala City features impressive religious edifice. The churches here are amazing and the architecture is impressive. Every religious building in this city is a part of local culture and life. Take this self-guided walking tour to discover some of the best preserved historical churches in Guatemala City.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.4 Km or 1.5 Miles
Guatemala City Introduction Walking Tour

Guatemala City Introduction Walking Tour

Guatemala City is the capital city of Guatemala and the largest city in Central America. The history of the city dates to 1500 BC when the land was part of the Mayan civilization. The city was known as Kaminaljuyu, which collapsed for unknown causes around 300 AD.

Guatemala City as it stands today was established in 1776 following the Spanish conquest as the capital of the Kingdom of Guatemala....  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.0 Km or 1.9 Miles