National Pantheon of the Heroes
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The National Pantheon of Heroes and oratory of the Virgin Our Lady Saint Mary of the Asuncion which is located between Palma and Chile streets in the downtown of the capital of Paraguay, is a must for all tourists and foreign delegations arriving visit to Paraguay and Asuncion. It is, at the same time, an architectural jewel of great artistic, cultural and heritage.
In October 1863, the then president Francisco Solano López ordered the construction of the chapel of the Virgin of the Asuncion, which was designed by Italian architect Alejandro Ravizza, in collaboration with the builder Giacomo Colombino. But as a result of the War of the Triple Alliance, the building remained unfinished and scaffolding for over 70 years. Only after the Chaco War in 1936 was able to finish and was inaugurated on October 12 of that year, to become by presidential decree in National Pantheon of Heroes.
The National Pantheon is the mausoleum of the country, where lie the remains of the great heroes of Paraguayan history such as Don Carlos Antonio López (1st president Constitutional), Mariscal Francisco Solano López, Mariscal José Félix Estigarribia (hero and winner of the Chaco War against Bolivia) and his wife. In addition, the Children Martyrs Acosta Ñu, two Unknown Soldiers, among others.
Within the enclosure of the pantheon have set countless illustrious honorary plaques sent by foreign rulers, kings and princes. Congratulations and verses of appreciation to the Paraguayan Navy, Air Force among others. Many wonder what the significance of the inscription in Latin, which is in the front of the pantheon, "Fides et Patria" means, "My faith and my country."
It is customary in Asuncion that when something historic happens (such as the victory of President Lugo in the 2008 elections) people flock with their flags to the street in front of it and celebrate the event.
The ceremonial changing of the guard is held several times a day.