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Presidential Palace

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Attractions Details

📌 Address

XF38+H6F, Av. Eloy Alfaro, Panamá, Provincia de Panamá, Panama

Opening Hours

8:00 AM - 4:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

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expert
Joy
Local tour guide
"Make sure to visit the Presidential Palace, known as 'Palacio de las Garzas', on a weekday morning when the change of the presidential guard takes place for a unique cultural experience. Additionally, stroll down to the nearby plaza after your visit for some local street food that's as authentic as it gets, a treat often missed by tourists."

What is Presidential Palace?

The Presidential Palace, also known as Palacio de las Garzas (Heron's Palace), is the official residence of the President of Panama. Located in the old quarter of Panama City, known as Casco Viejo, this emblematic building is not merely a place of residence but also a symbol of Panama's political and historical trajectory. It's named after the herons that inhabit the courtyard, lending an air of serenity and grace to this governmental hub.

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History of Presidential Palace

The origins of the Presidential Palace trace back to the 17th century, when it started as a humble customs house. It was here that goods from the Americas would be counted and taxed before continuing their journey to Spain. The building has undergone several transformations, reflecting the various stages of Panama's history. It became the official residence of the President of Panama following the country's separation from Colombia in 1903.

In 1922, the palace was nearly rebuilt under the guidance of architect Leonardo Villanueva Meyer, who incorporated a neoclassical style, giving it the elegance it radiates today. One of the distinctive features added during this renovation were the Herons, a gift from France, which are responsible for the palace's affectionate nickname. These elegant birds roam freely in the courtyard and contribute to the palace's unique charm and identity.

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Why is Presidential Palace Important?

The Presidential Palace is important not only as the official residence of the nation's leader but also as a historic monument that represents Panama's development as an independent state. It's a symbol of national pride and governance. This place has been a silent witness to political agreements, the receiving of dignitaries from around the world, and the crafting of policies that have shaped the modern state of Panama.

The palace's relevance extends beyond its political role; it is also a cultural treasure. The architecture reflects both the colonial heritage and the republican era, preserving the essence of various periods in Panamanian history. Visually, it communicates the richness of the nation's past and the ever-evolving story of its people.

Things to Do & See at Presidential Palace

While the Presidential Palace primarily serves as a working government building and is not generally open for public tours, it still offers various experiences for visitors who appreciate history and architecture. Observing the Palace from the outside, one can marvel at its white facade, punctuated by classic columns and balconies, which stands out against the colorful backdrop of Casco Viejo's historic architecture.

The Plaza de la Independencia, located directly in front of the Palace, is open to the public and provides excellent photo opportunities of the building. Every now and then, there are special occasions when the palace gates open for public events or celebrations, allowing a rare glimpse inside. If you happen to visit during one of these times, you might see the majestic salons and possibly the famed Herons up close.

Lastly, the surrounding area of Casco Viejo is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, teeming with other historic landmarks, quaint shops, and gourmet restaurants. A walk around the neighborhood, with its cobblestone streets and colonial buildings, offers a deeper understanding and appreciation of Panama's rich and multifaceted cultural heritage.

Frequently asked questions

What is the Presidential Palace in Panama City?

The Presidential Palace, also known as Palacio de las Garzas, is the official residence of the President of Panama. It is a historical building located in the old quarter of Panama City, known for its distinctive architecture and the presence of herons roaming freely in the courtyard.

Can visitors tour the Presidential Palace in Panama City?

Public access to the Presidential Palace is restricted since it is the official residence of the head of state. However, visitors can often view the exterior of the building and the guard ceremony from the Plaza de la Independencia, in front of the Palace.

What is the history of the Presidential Palace in Panama City?

The Presidential Palace has a rich history, dating back to the colonial era when it served various administrative and residential functions. It has undergone several renovations and expansions over the years and has been the official residence of the President of Panama since the early 20th century.

Are there any special events or ceremonies at the Presidential Palace in Panama City?

Yes, the Presidential Palace is the site of official state ceremonies, including the change of government and the reception of foreign dignitaries. The Changing of the Guard ceremony is a traditional event that can be observed by the public.

What architectural style is the Presidential Palace in Panama City known for?

The Presidential Palace is known for its Spanish colonial architecture with French influences. It features ornate balconies, beautiful courtyards, and a unique blend of styles reflecting the history of Panama and its cultural influences.

Attractions Details

📌 Address

XF38+H6F, Av. Eloy Alfaro, Panamá, Provincia de Panamá, Panama

Opening Hours

8:00 AM - 4:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

Find it on google maps