Montevideo’s City Hall, or Palacio Municipal, is the seat for the local government of agency of the Municipality of Montevideo. If you’re taking a city tour of Montevideo, be sure to include a stop here, especially if you are into art.
Uruguayan architect Mauricio Cravotto designed the building, with construction starting in 1935. Although Cravotto originally proposed a 374-foot (114-meter) spire that would have made the building the tallest in the city, financial concerns prevailed and the tower rises only 256 feet (78 meters). Despite falling into second place among Montevideo's tallest buildings behind the Palacio Salvo, Palacio Municipal’s location on the crest of a long hill gives it an impressive appearance.
Outside Palacio Municipal’s main entrance sits a bronze replica of Michelangelo’s David sculpture, as well as an equestrian sculpture on the east side of the Esplanade Municipal. It is a replica of Donatello’s equestrian statue of Gattamelata, located in Padua, Italy.
Inside the atrium of the building, you will find hosted exhibits from various arts and craft fields. On the right side of the building, look for a replica of the Nike of Samothrace sculpture. The west wing hosts the Museum of Art History, which houses a variety of historical pieces from Egypt, Iran, Greece and Rome. Represented cultures include pre-Columbian American, Western from the Middle Ages to the 19th century, Eastern and Islamic, African and Native American.
Palacio Municipal is located in barrio Centro at Avenida 18 de Julio. The Museum of Art History is open Tuesday through Sunday from noon to 5:30pm. From Dec. 13 through March 12, it is open 1:30 to 7pm.