Casa de Nariño - History and Facts | History Hit

Casa de Nariño

Bogota, Colombia

Image Credit: Alejo Bernal / Shutterstock

About Casa de Nariño

The Casa de Nariño or Palacio de Nariño is the home and workplace of the Colombian president, located in the historic La Candelaria district of Bogota, Colombia.

History of Casa de Nariño

In a house on this spot in 1764, Antonio Amador José de Nariño y Álvarez del Casal – later the champion of the independence movement in the then state of New Granada and translator of human rights laws – was born. The original building was partially destroyed in the 1827 earthquake that shook Bogota: Simon Bolivar decided to authorise the purchase of the remains. In 1885, the then President Rafael Núñez purchased the house with the aim of creating a presidential palace: the site was well located and politically and historically important.

The property was used on and off by politicians until the start of the 20th century, when General Rafael Reyes decided to commission the French architect Gaston Lelarge and Colombian architect Julián Lombana to work on the house, and they transformed it into a neoclassical building and it officially became the seat of government once more. Various other extensions and changes were made throughout the 20th century: the building was attacked in the El Bogotazo riots in 1948, but has largely  stayed the same since the late 1970s.

Casa de Nariño today

The interior of the palace covers a wide variety of styles and tastes: particular highlights of the collection include the Pasillo de las Banderas (Hall of Flags), paintings of all of Colombia’s presidents, Simon Bolivar’s trunks (used to carry key war documents), works of art by prominent Colombian artists such as Fernando Botero, Andres de Santa Maria and Alejandro Obregon and various Louis XV furnishings.

It is possible to visit to Casa de Nariño: admission must be pre-booked and is by guided tour only is by pre-booked tour only (free, English and Spanish tours available), and visitors are thoroughly searched by security guards before entrance. It is best not to loiter around the grounds of the palace as security is tight.

Getting to Casa de Nariño

Casa de Nariño is located in the central La Candelaria district in Bogota. It is easily accessible on foot from other major sites in Bogota, and is adjacent to the Plaza de Bolivar.