The Carre Building: Medellin architecture

Posted on Mar 26 2014 - 6:28pm by Rico
(Photo: Alexandra Jolly)

The Carre Building, with its remarkable architecture and rich history is a key heritage site for the city of Medellin and gives a glimpse into the city’s colorful past. Located just a minute’s walk from Alpujarra metro station, the stunning square-shaped Carre building is located in the Plaza de Los Luces (Square of the Lights) and marks the important basis of Medellin’s market history. 

The surrounding area, situated close by the city’s train station, was  originally a hub for rural farmers to bring their wares into Medellin. Tradesmen and farmers from the region would unload fruits and vegetables from their lorries, and all kinds of goods were delivered to the area by train.

Built in 1895 over four floors, the Carre building is considered an architectural relic of both Medellin and Colombia. According to local media, the Carre building stood as the tallest structure in Medellin upon completion.

The French architect was Emile Charles Carre , who was initially hired by the Colombian Church to build the Metropolitan Cathedral and took it upon himself to create more architectural masterpieces. The style of the Carre building, in its uniform beauty of the tall green windows which surround the building on all four sides, does not match surrounding Medellin architecture, making it one of Medellin’s most memorable sites.

As a result of the mass transit brought in by the nearby, now defunct, Antioquian railway, the area around the square, now called “El Hueco” (The Hole), was full of cheap hotels and storage facilities and when the railways closed the are became home to a less friendly crowd.  

However there are also other heritage buildings in the area such as the Vasquez Building, the Alpujarra Administrative Center and the Old Railway Station of Antioquia.

The Cisnero building was restored by the Mayor of Medellin and is now the home of the Ministry of Education.

Opening Hours: Mon – Fri 8AM to 5PM, Saturday 1PM to 4PM

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