Prior to 1973 and since 1985, Uruguay's Parliament Palace, or Palacio Legislativo, in Montevideo has served as the seat of the country's Chamber of Senators and General Assembly.
The Palacio Legislativo was inaugurated on Aug. 24, 1925, which coincided with the centennial of the country’s Declaration of Independence. In 1975, the Legislative Palace was declared a National Historic Monument. The impressive palace was designed in a neoclassical style, with noted Greek influence in its exterior facades. Despite Uruguay’s small physical presence in South America, no expense was spared in creating what is considered one of the most beautiful governmental palaces in the world. Parliament Palace includes a variety of luxury materials, including ornamental wood objects, Carrara marble and porphyry and bronze. Carvings, Venetian mosaics, stained glass and various sculptures complement the luxurious materials.
Inside the Palacio Legislativo, look for murals and laminated gold ornamental details. Many rooms of the palace showcase an important collection of paintings. One of the main points of the building is the Hall of Lost Steps, which includes a beautiful dome and skylight, highlighted by ornate stained glass work. The government complex also houses a public library of ornate decorative touches, carved hardwoods and one of Uruguay's most important collections of books.
In addition to those of the Senate, General Assembly and House of Representatives, legislator offices are also located in the palace and annex building nearby. Those in the annex can reach Parliament Palace via an underground tunnel.
Parliament Palace is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. Guided tours in Spanish and English are available at 10:30 a.m. and 3 p.m.