Medellin´s National Palace may give the image of an ancient palace, full of antiques and relics of a by-gone royal family. However the beautiful palace has been converted into a shopping center, full to the brim of clothes, food stands and sportswear.
Designed in 1925 by Belgian Agustin Goovaerts, the same architect who built the Palacio Cultural, the National Palace (Palacio Nacional) has a romantic and modern style which has made it one of Medellin’s architectural jewels for decades.
Now one of the most important shopping centers in downtown Medellin, the National Palace boasts more than 400 stores, cafes, bars, an art gallery and a museum.
As you walk among the arches there is a wide variety of shops to choose from – ranging from sports wear to women’s fashion. This trend continues on every floor culminating in a stunning ironwork glass roof bathing the shopping center in natural light.
Located in Carabobo pedestrian walkway, the National Palace started life as offices and headquarters of some major government institutions in Antioquia but was later converted into the shopping center it is today.
The National Palace was refurbished by architect Pedro Nel Gomez between 1940-45 while maintaining the “modernized romanesque” feel which Goovaerts had created. However some of the grandeur became lost as the Palacio became known as a choice location for suicide attempts.
From outside of the vast building, the stunning arches and cornices tower over the central shopping district of Medellin’s downtown but it is only upon entry that the architectural beauty shines. Built over five floors each level of this building has intricate archways, with glass elevators and elaborate floor tiling, giving the building an impression of grandeur.
Address: Carrera 52 # 48-45
How to get there: The closest metro is San Antonio. The National Palace is close to the metro station but it recommended that visitors check a map before leaving, or ask for directions upon arriving at the metro station.