Situated in the Plaza de la Independencia and diagonally across from the Palacio de Gobierno, this building boasts striking columns, long corridors and inner patios. Since the arrival of the Spanish in Quito, the Catholic religion has exerted its influence in no uncertain terms on the life of the city. On the 8th of January 1545, Pope Paul III ordered the establishment of the Diocese of San Francisco de Quito, headed by a bishop. This prelate and his assistants lived in different houses around the cathedral. El Palacio Arzobispal was the residence of the Bishop from 1700. In 1858 and between 1975 and 1978, the palace was rebuilt.