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Justice Palace is the most modern construction that surrounds the Bolivar Square. The Supreme Court of Justice has its offices here.
The first Justice Palace was built on the property which had been occupide by the old church and convent of la Enseñanza, on Calle 11 between Carreras 5 and 6. The work of the architects Escipión Rodriguez and Pablo de la Cruz. That building was constructed between 1919 and 1933, but it was burnt down in the riots of April 9, 1948. All that remains of it are the caryatids that framed its entrance, sculpted by Felix Maria Otálora, which are now found at the entrance to the newspaper “Vanguardia Liberal” in Bucaramanga the second Justice Palace was designed by Roberto Londoño at the beginning of the 1970´s, it was severely damaged in the fighting that arose from a guerrilla attempt to seize it in 1985 and replaced by the present building.
The building is organized around an axis of symmetry that extends from the statue of Bolivar, and a central patio, flanked by two five-storey volumes. The first, on Carrera 8, serves as the seat of the council of State, and the second, on Carrera 7, is the Supreme Court of Justice. Parallel to Calle 12, on the northern side of the property, there is a third volume, which has a ten-storey tower, set back from the face, that holds the magistrates offices. The main front, facing the Plaza de Bolivar, is made up of three great pórticos. The two lateral ones have a curved balcony flanked by columns. The central one is open except for a bridge of reinforced concrete and provides access to the interior plaza. While the building respects the height and materials of the neighboring ones, the formal result is disturbing and its physical link with its setting is lamentable – the result, in part, of the extreme measures of security that were adopted to prevent future terrorist attacks.
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