Points of Interest in the Building

The Museum of San Carlos University -MUSAC-, operates in the building that was built to be the first headquarters of the USAC in the New Guatemala de la Asunción, located in the Historic Center of the capital city. Among its main activities, it values the architecture of the building, as it is a national monument where the university heritage is protected, preserved and exhibited in a neoclassical colonial environment.

A series of elements of historical and cultural interest have been identified in this building that are worth highlighting for their heritage importance.

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At the main entrance you will find a plaster relief that recalls the ethics in the professional practice of the students and professionals who studied law in this building. Its elements:

  1. Pallas: Goddess of arts and wisdom in Greek mythology.
  2. Themis: Greek goddess of justice and divine law.
  3. National Coat of Arms: Crowned with a Phrygian cap or cap of freedom.
  4. Two Ionic pilasters: With mixed capitals, supported by two owls, a world, a compass and a square, symbols of wisdom and the arts.
Alto relieve en yeso con dos efigies mitológicas, las musas Temis con una balanza en su mano y Palas con una lanza, sobre columnas jónicas y el escudo nacional en medio coronado con un gorro frigio.
Alto relieve de yeso, ubicado en la entrada principal del Museo.


It is located in the center of the square. It has two octagonal platforms. The lower basket has eight sides, in each of them stands out a rosette in high relief. The upper basket simulates a mother-of-pearl shell.

Fuente octagonal, ubicada al centro del claustro del edificio del MUSAC. En cada lado de la canasta inferior posee unos rosetones en alto relieve.
Fuente del MUSAC
Fuente octagonal de piedra, ubicada al centro del claustro del edificio del MUSAC. De la parte superior brota agua hacia arriba y tiene salidas de agua hacia abajo. La canasta superior de la fuente, simula una concha nácar.
Fuente del MUSAC en funcionamiento

Bust of Dr. Mariano Gálvez

Marble sculpture. It is located in the east corridor of the cloister at the central entrance of the Salón General Mayor, it was placed on the occasion of the repatriation of the remains of this illustrious university student, since 1925, resting on the dais of the hall for having studied and taught in this building. It creates the Bases for public instruction, under the precepts of free, compulsory and secular education.

Busto del Dr. Mariano Gálvez esculpido en mármol blanco, su rostro evoca la época de su participación en la Independencia de Centro América.
Busto en mármol del Dr. Mariano Gálvez

Major General Hall “Adolfo Mijangos López”

Located in the east section of the building. It is the intersection between the MUSAC and history, where many historic socio-political events took place.

The University ceded it to the Patriotic Boards, where the current Central America managed to separate from Mexico. The abolition of slavery was also signed in this room, as well as the formulation of the Federal Constitution of the United Provinces of Central America. This was the place of the National Library from 1884 to 1957, until it was transfered to a new building. The room was later restored and elegant ceilings and wooden baseboards were installed. Opening for official use in December 1961.

Salón General Mayor “Adolfo Mijangos López”. Se observan las butacas en filas, revestimiento de madera y al fondo, el estrado con las banderas y el escudo de la USAC. Además el artesonado de madera restaurado en 1960.
Salón General Mayor “Adolfo Mijangos López”, visto desde la entrada del vestíbulo.

Royal and Papal Coat of Arms

It is located on the eastern pediment. It reads: Carolina Academia Coactemalen Inter Caeteras Orbis Conspicua, whose translation is: San Carlos University of Guatemala great among those in the world. It is made up of:

  1. Tiara and keys of the pontificate: Corresponding to the international category granted by Pope Innocent XI.
  2. The effigy of San Carlos de Borromeo: Patron Saint of the university given by the Catholic Church.
  3. Two towers and two lions: Which correspond to the coat of arms of the King of Spain and which represent the kingdoms of Castilla y León.
  4. Two columns: One on the left with the legend plus and another on the right with the legend ultra, which means the university’s high academic level.
  5. The Apostle James: In the lower part, patron of the city in colonial times.
  6. Three volcanoes: Agua, Fuego and Acatenango.
Escudo Real y Pontificio. Se aprecia la corona y elementos una tiara y llaves del pontificado, la efigie de San Carlos Borromeo, dos torres y dos leones, dos columnas, el Apóstol Santiago, tres volcanes: Agua, Fuego y Acatenango y leyenda: Carolina Academia Coactemalen Inter Caeteras Orbis Conspicua, cuya traducción es: Universidad de Guatemala grande entre las del mundo.
Escudo Real y Pontificio ubicado en el frontón del ala oriente del edificio del MUSAC.
Escudo Real y Pontificio ubicado en el frontón oriente del edificio del MUSAC.
Escudo Real y Pontificio ubicado en el frontón oriente del edificio.

“Fertile Land of Guatemala” mural

It is located in the lobby of the Main General Hall, donated by the Guatemalan artist Rina Lazo. Painted in fresco in 1954, at the Italian Club, it was recovered through a delicate restoration process that restored its aesthetic value.

It represents the richness of our land with great vegetation that goes from the north of Petén to the Pacific coast, its message is represented with a semi-buried Mayan stela, female figures that symbolize fertility, a family group teaching the work of planting and a vendor in indigenous clothing who plans the distribution of the fruits of the earth.

El Mural "Tierra Fértil de Guatemala", donado por la artista mesoamericana Rina Lazo, ubicado en el vestíbulo del Salón General Mayor, representa la riqueza de nuestra tierra con vasta vegetación, su mensaje está representado con una estela maya, figuras femeninas que simbolizan la fertilidad, un grupo familiar en la enseñanza de la labor de siembra y una vendedora con indumentaria maya, recolectora de los frutos de la tierra.
Mural "Tierra Fértil de Guatemala" de la artista Rina Lazo. 1954.

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Commemorative plaques

Placed on the façade, corridors and the Main General Hall, made of bronze, marble and brass, commemorating different events, which are quoted verbatim:


  1. “To the wise Luis Pasteur, benefactor of humanity …, 1922”
  2. “José Milla, Glorious prestige of letters …, 1922”


  1. “Dr. Mariano Gálvez (1794-1862)”. Remains of the first head of the State of Guatemala
  2. “Tribute to the National Constituent Assembly of Central America …, 1930”
  3. “To the University Generation of 44 …, 1956”.
  4. “… Aula Magna (Former Major General…, 1961.” Recovery of the hall
  5. “Creation of the university war song” La Chalana “, 1922 …, 1992”.


  1. “Fallen students César Armando Funes, Noel López Toledo and Jorge Gálvez Galindo…, 1962”.
  2. “To Dr. Adolfo Mijangos López …, 1971”