Cartagena’s Palacio de la Gobernacion
One of the things that entice so many people to vacation in Cartagena is the gorgeous Spanish Colonial architecture—bright colors, intricate arches, open-air plazas. One of the best examples is the Palacio de la Gobernacion —or Governor’s Palace. The building houses the current government in Bolivar, Colombia but historically it was the residence of the governor of Cartagena. However, vacationers know that the Palacio de la Gobernacion is one of the best places to find a deal on authentic South American handicrafts, artwork, and quality souvenirs.
The History of the Palacio de la Gobernacion
Originally constructed in 1779, the palace was the first official home of the Governor in Cartagena. It also housed other government agencies including the bureau of taxation. Strangely enough, during that time the reigning governor would live upstairs while prisoners (political or common criminals) were housed in the jail underneath.
The building has undergone multiple reconstructions. The latest began in 1922 under the supervision of German Architect Augusto Ridder. Ridder’s design incorporated architectural elements common to buildings found in Seville, Spain and includes an open central courtyard, shaded balconies, and arched galleries.
The Palacio de la Gobernacion Today
You’ll still find government offices inside the Palacio de la Gobernacion today. However, if you’re on the prowl from quality souvenirs, artwork, and handmade crafts from true South American artists and artisans, the Palacio de la Gobernacion is the place to be.
All around the palace you’ll find galleries, shops, stalls, and more full of real gems. Many of the street vendors in the area travel all around South America and bring some truly unique products with them. Among them is a group of talented Peruvian designers and craft experts who provide some of the best quality items you’ll find in Cartagena.
One of the biggest draws is, of course, jewelry. Cartagena (and Colombia in general) is world famous for its emeralds. At the Palacio de la Gobernacion you’ll find artisans selling rings, necklaces, and bracelets set with an amazing variety of quality stones—at significant discounts over what you’d pay in a chain jewelry stores.
Sanpshots and Souvenirs
If you’re staying at one of our luxury vacation rental homes in Cartagena the Palacio de la Gobernacion should be on your list of top destinations while exploring the city. Whether you come to photograph the amazing architecture and beautiful people or find an exceptional bargain to take home with you won’t be disappointed. Plus it just steps away from the Catedral de Santa Catalina, the Museo Historico, and the shops and restaurants along Carrera 4 and Calle 35.