On the seafront two blocks north of the Plaza Catedral along Calle 6, the Palacio Presidencial, built in 1673, was home to several successive colonial and Colombian governors. In 1922 it was rebuilt in grandiose neo-Moorish style under the orders of President Belisario Porras, who also introduced white Darién herons to the grounds, giving the palace the nickname of “Palacio de las Garzas”. The birds and their descendants have lived freely around the patio fountain ever since and have now been joined by a couple of cranes, donated by the South African government. The streets around the palace are closed to traffic and pedestrians, but the presidential guards allow visitors to view the exterior of the palace between 8am and 5pm daily (except Tues) via a checkpoint on Calle 4.

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