Admire the grandeur and opulence of a downtown architectural landmark, a large palace that once served as the seat of El Salvador’s government.
The Palacio Nacional is a grand building that once housed the president’s office. Today, it still serves as a venue for official functions, but the president no longer works here. Wander through the stately rooms and admire the fine architecture.
The building you see today dates from 1911, as the original palace was destroyed by fire in 1889. Admire the statues of Christopher Columbus and Queen Isabella I of Spain just in front of the main portico. These statues were donated by Spain’s King Alfonso XIII in 1924.
Tour some of the palace’s 100 rooms, including four principal rooms that are notable for their distinctive colors. Go to the Red Room where cocktail and dinner parties were held and view portraits of some of El Salvador’s former presidents. The Yellow Room used to be the office of the President of the Republic. See the original desks and chairs that belonged to members of the Legislative Assembly who worked out of the Blue Room. Admire the grand décor of the Pink Room.
From some of the rooms, you can enjoy views of the downtown area’s major sites, including the Plaza Geraldo Barrios and the Catedral Metropolitano. Many of the rooms are sparsely furnished, but you can appreciate their architectural and design features such as carved wooden ceilings and ornate stucco workmanship. The palace also houses a small collection of period furniture and old office equipment, such as typewriters.
Walk through the interior courtyard with its neatly manicured flowerbeds and five araucaria trees, which represent the five nations of Central America. Occasionally, the courtyard and palace host cultural events such as dance performances.
The palace is open every weekday and a small admission charge applies. Located in the heart of San Salvador’s historic center, the Palacio Nacional is easy to reach by numerous bus services. Park for free in the surrounding streets.