Asmara President's Office

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The President's Office in Asmara, built in 1897

The Asmara President's Office is the building, in Italian neoclassical style, where the President of Eritrea lives and rules the country.


The former Italian government's palace was built in 1897 by Ferdinando Martini, the first Italian governor of Eritrea. The Italian government wanted to create in Asmara an impressive building, from where the Italian Governors could show the dedication of the Kingdom of Italy to the "colonia primogenita" (first daughter-colony) as was called Eritrea.[1]

During the Italian Empire the building was improved as the center of the "Governatorato dell'Eritrea" and was used as a temporary residence by the King of Italy / Emperor of Ethiopia Victor Emmanuel III.

It was heavily damaged during World War II and converted into a National Museum by the Ethiopian authorities in the 1950s.

Today, it is the office of the President of Eritrea, Isaias Afewerki.


Governor Ferdinando Martini wanted a structure with colonnade in the entrance in neoclassical style, surrounded by a Park with lush vegetation. In his opinion the Building was going to be the biggest and most beautiful of Asmara, the newly declared Capital of the Italian colony in 1897.

The interior was decorated with Italian marble and furniture brought from Italy and France. The main hall was decorated with typical Renaissance stairs toward the projected second floor. The main doors were in special wood from Brazil.


  1. ^ Ferdinando Martini.RELAZIONE SULLA COLONIA ERITREA - Atti Parlamentari - Legislatura XXI - Seconda Sessione 1902 - Documento N. XVI -Tipografia della Camera dei Deputati. Roma, 1902

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Coordinates: 15°20′10″N 38°55′53″E / 15.3362°N 38.9314°E / 15.3362; 38.9314