Tours and Activities:
San José PalaceMarcelo SolaMarcelo Sola
We present one of the most important mansions in Entre Ríos. Discover the most intimate corners of General Justo José de Urquiza’s home when you visit the Palacio San José.
At scarce kilometers from the city of Concepción del Uruguay, the province of Entre Ríos is proud to present the San José Palace. This mansion belonged to one of the most important caudillos of Argentinian history, for hoisting the flag of the federal cause, contributing significantly to the national and institutional organization of the country: General Don Justo José de Urquiza.
This important building, turned into a National Monument, was originally conceived as the main house of a prosperous rural establishment property of the legendary Entre Ríos caudillo.
When standing in front of it, you can appreciate the main façade of the building, which is composed of a gallery with a front of arches lying on Toscan-styled columns. Framed by two symmetric towers in the corners, it is ornamented with a classical pattern frieze, crowned by a handrail containing the provincial coat of arms in cast iron.
Once inside, you can learn about the most important details of this architectural work with the help of the guided tours organized jointly by the Provincial Tourism Secretariat and the National Administration.
The Inside of the Palace
Its large patios make two well differentiated environments. The vine arbor patio has a five hundred-square-meter surface. It is surrounded by seventeen rooms that used to lodge some officers, employees or unimportant visitors. The magnificent blacksmith’s work in the shape of a lyre, cast in 1861 to support the vines planted during that year is outstanding.
On the other hand, the honor patio is the most important in the house.
Urquiza’s family life took place there. The chambers for important guests are on the west wing. Some of these rooms were occupied by General Bartolomé Mitre and by Domingo F. Sarmiento, which evidences the standard of the house and its owner in the late XIX century.
Another very significant site in the palace is the mirror chamber. The stunning ceiling was made with more than one hundred French mirrors and a coffered ceiling in imported white pine wood.
The family gathered in the dining-room of the mansion, with its nine-meter long mahogany table and the fine centerpiece that solemnly ornaments the rest of the room.
In the studio and the games room, there is furniture of the period and also objects Urquiza used in his work as a statesman and businessman.
The San José chapel is another site that catches the visitors’ attention. It has an altar made in cedar wood with gold overlays. The central figure shows Saint Joseph with Child Jesus.
Behind the oratory are the baptism chamber and the priest’s chambers. In the former, the baptismal stoup made in Carrara marble constitutes one of the most fascinating relics, as it is an exact replica of the one in the Vatican city in Rome. The frescos in the chapel were painted by Juan Manuel Blanes, Uruguayan painter who performed such task in 1858.
Parks and Gardens
Undoubtedly, green spaces in the palace cause admiration and serenity in the visitor. They are in the main and back access to the mansion, and some species planted in the days of the General still remain.
Various Carrara marble sculptures are part of the landscape in the gardens. Lastly, the back of the house treasures an exclusive site to enjoy life in the open air: the artificial lake, measuring one hundred and eighty meters per one hundred and twenty, with a depth of five meters. Urquiza’s eccentricity made him build a steam boat, baptized with the name San Cipriano, to be used in the lake.