Asuncion Introduction Walking Tour, Asuncion

Asuncion Introduction Walking Tour (Self Guided), Asuncion

Sitting on the bank of the Paraguay river, the capital of Paraguay Asunción is a beautiful city, well worth being explored. Local attractions are plentiful and include, among others, numerous sites of colonial and modern architecture, such as the López Palace - seat of the local government, theaters, plazas, museums and more. To see them all, follow this orientation walk and enjoy!
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Asuncion Introduction Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Asuncion Introduction Walking Tour
Guide Location: Paraguay » Asuncion (See other walking tours in Asuncion)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 16
Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.4 Km or 2.7 Miles
Author: karenl
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Puerto de Asuncion (Port of Asuncion)
  • Palacio de los Lopez (Palace of the Lopez)
  • Manzana de la Rivera Cultural Center
  • Casa Viola (Viola House)
  • Casa Castelvi (Castelvi House)
  • Casa de la Independencia (Independence House)
  • Palacio Legislativo (Legislative Palace)
  • Cultural Center of the Republic - The Cabildo
  • Ignacio Pane Municipal Theater
  • Hotel Guarani
  • Catedral Metropolitana (Asuncion Cathedral)
  • Edificio Aurora (Aurora Building)
  • Estacion del Ferrocarril (Train Station)
  • Plaza Uruguaya (Uruguayan Square)
  • Edificio Wilson (Wilson Tower)
  • National Museum of Fine Arts of Asuncion
Puerto de Asuncion (Port of Asuncion)

1) Puerto de Asuncion (Port of Asuncion)

Located along the river, Puerto de Asuncion is river terminal that serves as a transportation center for most of the freight entering or leaving the country. Although the port was originally privately owned, the government has possessed it since 1940. While port areas in cities around the world have the reputation of being dangerous places to visit, Asuncion's port is relatively quiet and safe. Here you can admire the magnificent La Bahia de Asuncion and many other colonial houses.
Palacio de los Lopez (Palace of the Lopez)

2) Palacio de los Lopez (Palace of the Lopez) (must see)

Situated in the town plaza overlooking Asuncion Bay, Palace of the Lopez is one of the most beautiful and imposing buildings in the city. Built in 1772 and completed in 1892, it was designed in the Neo-classical style. It has wide staircases, verandas, and continuous arches that loop all the way around the top floor balcony. The main body of the palace is flanked by two wings that form a squared “U” shape. At the center of the palace, a lookout tower soars two stories above the roof.
Manzana de la Rivera Cultural Center

3) Manzana de la Rivera Cultural Center

In a model for urban planners everywhere, the city of Asunción combined this manzana (block) of nine historic houses near the river into a pleasing cultural center. The oldest of these, the 1764 Viola House, the name by which many Asunceños refer to the complex, serves as a small city museum called the City Memory Museum. The Emasa House, once a customs office, now houses La Galería, the center's art gallery. The 1914 art nouveau Clari House, the newest house, is the complex's café.
Casa Viola (Viola House)

4) Casa Viola (Viola House) (must see)

The Viola House is a typical colonial construction dated from 1750-1758. Its location relates to the layout of the streets before Doctor Gaspar Rodríguez de Francia squared the city.

The house has a tile roof. There is a gallery in front; behind the gallery there is a blacksmith’s shop built over wooden beams and columns. Previously, the house had three big rooms, now there’s only one, located in front. In the back part there is a passing gallery, as a sample of the culata yovai, a type of antique Paraguayan house. The roof of the gallery is made of palm and tacuara; the tiles are set with a mud kind of cement.

Nowadays it houses the Museum of the Memory of the City, a museum in commemoration of the city, and exhibits texts, maps, objects, paints, graphics, as well as other elements that tell the history of Asunción, since its foundation until modern times.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Casa Castelvi (Castelvi House)

5) Casa Castelvi (Castelvi House)

Previously known as the “Casa Serra”, the Castelvi House is a building from the year 1804, and was still built within the colonial system. The house was built by the Catalonian José Castelvi, who was Asuncion’s vice mayor. It has the original doors, windows, window bars, and one of the floors. It’s a pre-Franciscan house, located 15 mts from the street; it has an external garden that forms part of the urban zone.

Nowadays there are two exhibition rooms: Juan A. Samudio and Domingo Martínez de Irala. There is also a playroom for the kids. In the garden of the house is named Patio Arecayá in commemoration of the Arecayá Indian rebellion, and is used for various outside activities.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Casa de la Independencia (Independence House)

6) Casa de la Independencia (Independence House) (must see)

Situated on the corner of Presidente Franco and 14 de Mayo Avenues, Independence House is the town's oldest edifice. It is a national landmark, which has great historical significance. Built in 1772, it was designed in the Colonial style, with a thatched roof, bamboo framework, and walls made of adobe brick. Since 1965, it has housed a small museum, which displays furniture, old coins, and documents that provide a glimpse into Asuncion's past.
Palacio Legislativo (Legislative Palace)

7) Palacio Legislativo (Legislative Palace) (must see)

Located in the historic center of Asuncion, the Legislative Palace is the only post-modern building in the city. Opened in 2003, architect Gaetano Moretti designed the building. The structural form of the building is often compared to a truncated cone. The palace houses the boardrooms of Congress, the House of Representatives and VIP rooms.

The Main Hall is one of the most significant areas of the building and serves as a venue for cultural events and activities, including permanent exhibitions of art. The downtown area of Asuncion can be seen from the terrace of Legislative Palace. In addition to the view, the palace provides a great opportunity to learn more about the traditions and culture of Asuncion.
Cultural Center of the Republic - The Cabildo

8) Cultural Center of the Republic - The Cabildo (must see)

Situated along Asuncion's Independence Square, The Cabildo was used to house Parliament until 2004. Today it serves as a cultural center and features impressive collections that are centered around Paraguayan musicians and famous national figures in the field of literature, theater and dance. It also has a large library and art gallery and is a great place to learn about the history of the city.
Ignacio Pane Municipal Theater

9) Ignacio Pane Municipal Theater (must see)

Located in the center of the city, Ignacio Pane Municipal Theater is a modern-style theater with beautiful architecture. Built in 1843 under the consulate of Don Carlos Lopez, it can accommodate 700 people. It is a popular venue for opera, ballet, and other performing arts. From 1997 to 2006, the theater underwent an extensive renovation project. It has since re-opened and is once again at the center of Asuncion's cultural scene.
Hotel Guarani

10) Hotel Guarani (must see)

Built in 1961, Hotel Guarani occupies an entire city block. It is located in the heart of the administrative, legal and commercial part of town. The hotel is considered a symbol of Asuncion and South America. It was the first five-star hotel in Asuncion and for many years was the main point of reference when navigating the city. The hotel was renovated in 2008 and today has a crisp modern look that still pays tribute to its original 1960s design.
Catedral Metropolitana (Asuncion Cathedral)

11) Catedral Metropolitana (Asuncion Cathedral) (must see)

Originally built in 1687, the Asunción Cathedral was reconstructed in the middle of 19th century. Designed by architect Carlos Zucchi, the cathedral is noted for its huge golden altar and religious art. The cathedral's altar is decorated with Jesuit and Franciscan silver and is enchanting to the eye.
Edificio Aurora (Aurora Building)

12) Edificio Aurora (Aurora Building)

Located in the center of the city at the intersection of Caballero and Eligio Ayala Streets, Aurora Building stands 95.8 meters tall and has 27 floors. Opened in 1978, the Aurora was the tallest building in Paraguay during the 1980s. It is a residential apartment building, although the Headquarters of Migration is located on the ground floor. The building boasts a magnificent entrance and stunning foyer, as well as brightly-colored balconies.
Estacion del Ferrocarril (Train Station)

13) Estacion del Ferrocarril (Train Station) (must see)

Built in 1861 by English architect Alonzo Taylor, Train Station is Asuncion's stunning railway station. Construction occurred under the rule of President Don Carlos Antonio López. The station's Neo-Gothic towers blend in well with the surrounding architecture. The balustrade above the cornice is a recent addition.
Plaza Uruguaya (Uruguayan Square)

14) Plaza Uruguaya (Uruguayan Square) (must see)

Uruguayan Square is an interesting city park that provides a pleasant respite from the city's heat. A covered market that offers a great collection of Latin American literature is located within the park, as well as an old railway station, shuttered since the interruption of rail service years ago. In the terminal you can see a remarkable old steam locomotive, the Sapucaí, which is no longer in use. Visit the park to get a better sense of the true Asuncion.
Edificio Wilson (Wilson Tower)

15) Edificio Wilson (Wilson Tower)

Located on Ayala Street between Constitution and Brazil Streets, Wilson Tower was, for nearly two decades, the country's tallest skyscraper, standing almost 100 meters tall. Currently, the tallest building in Paraguay is Icono Tower. Built in 1993, Wilson Tower serves as residential apartment building. The tower's facade, which resembles classic LEGO pieces, is quite unique.
National Museum of Fine Arts of Asuncion

16) National Museum of Fine Arts of Asuncion (must see)

The National Museum of Fine Arts of Asuncion, located on Mcal. Estigarribia, displays over 650 works of art, paintings, sculptures, ceramics, prints, photographs, Paraguayan and international artists. As well as antique coins, furniture and various objects that belonged to its creator.

It was founded in 1909 by the collector Silvano Godoy, first director general of Museums and archives Paraguay. In 1939, the institution was formalized by the State as National Museum of Fine Arts of Asuncion.

The works acquired by Juan Silvano Godoi come from artists of the 17th century, Italian and French half of 19th century, creators of Argentines who acquired some significance in subsequent decades and, of course, a whole generation of painters Paraguayans: Andres Campos Cervera, Carlos Colombino , Juan Samudio, Jaime Bestard, Holden Roberto Jara, Pablo Alborno, Modesto Delgado Rodas and Ignacio Núñez Soler, representatives of a school still in its infancy, but vibrant forces and energies.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.