The well-ordered streets of the colonial city centre still preserve the neat grid pattern laid out by the city founders in accordance with Spanish laws governing the foundation of settlements in the Indies. At its centre stands the Plaza Murillo, home to both the Palacio Presidential and the parliament building, the Palacio Legislativo. A fair number of colonial buildings still survive, though most are in a poor state of repair, their crumbling facades and dilapidated balconies obscured by tangled phone lines and electricity cables. The exceptions to this are concentrated on and around the Plaza Murillo and nearby calle Jaén, both of which are also home to several museums.

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