Built as the home of the brothers Félix, José and Hermenegildo Ortiz de Taranco, who came to Uruguay at the end of the 19th century and began to build the palace in 1907.
Museo de las Artes Decorativas
The Palacio Taranco is a historic building located in front of the Plaza Zavala in the Ciudad Vieja district. Since 1972, it has been home to the Museo de Artes Decorativas (museum of decorative arts) and it stands on the site of the colonial Casa de Comedias, which was the first theatre in Montevideo and was later renamed the Teatro San Felipe. The Ortiz de Taranco brothers, Félix, José and Hermenegildo, arrived in Uruguay at the end of the 19th century and bought the plot of land with the ruins of the Teatro San Felipe. In 1907, they commissioned the architects Charles Louis Girault and Jules León Chifflot with the task of building their personal residence on this site. The floors are made from oak worked in the Versailles style and the mouths of the stoves, colonnades and plant pots are all made from Genoese marble. All the interior design was commissioned to the Parisian firm Maison Krieger and approved by the architects. The triangular-shaped building has a number of facades in an eclectic style, reminiscent of Louis XVI. The interior design is also highly eclectic and is based on decorative elements in the Louis XV, Louis XVI and Regency styles. Spanning a total of three floors, the ground floor was for receiving guests and the top floor was for private use, there is also a terrace, a view point and an underground service level, which also has exercise rooms and saunas. The entrance was designed as an elegant roundabout for carriages at the corner of the streets 1 de Mayo and 25 de Mayo. Inside, a marble spiral staircase links the lobby with the halls, including the grand main hall, the dining hall, the smoking lounge, the billiards room and the library. The top floor, reserved for private bedrooms, was designed as three separate apartments: the master apartment, adjacent to the staircase with a large antechamber, and two others in direct connection. The service area, covering four floors linked by a staircase, includes a kitchen, two dining rooms, a laundry room, ironing room, baths and six bedrooms. In 1946, the Ministry of Public Education was installed in the building and in 1972 it became home to the Museo de Artes Decorativas. Restoration work was carried out in 1997.