Government Palace (Palacio de Gobierno) faces the e. side of Plaza de Armas. This Spanish baroque building dates from 1643 and was completed in 1774. Note the stone gargoyles, used to divert water from the roof, and the pillared front entrance. An enormous mural by José Clemente Orozco depicts Father Miguel Hidalgo, bearing a flaming torch, symbolically leading Mexico's struggle against such 20th-century forces of oppression as communism and fascism.
Two important historical events took place here: Hidalgo's decree abolishing slavery in 1810 and Guillermo Prieto's plea saving president Benito Juárez from assassination in 1858. The cannon and armor carved on the building's facade are a symbol of colonial authority.