Mansion inside a mall, Centro Comercial Galerias, El Salvador
Centro Comercial Galerias is a shopping center in San Salvador, El Salvador. The mall’s main attraction is a mansion known as La Casona dating from the late 50’s and kept in perfect condition, which was home to a family of Palestinian origin, the Guirola family, one of the most powerful families in El Salvador.
This is the only mall that has been built to home an entire mansion.
Between the 60s and 70s the mansion became the seat of the Organization of Central American States OCAS, being the first in Central America in which all the leaders were meeting to arrange plans for the Central American Union.
Due to the onset of a bloody civil war in the early 80’s the house was sold to a commercial group named SIMAN, with the aim of expanding the nearby mall, however due to prolonged conflict this didn’t happen until a decade later.
In the early 90’s building of Centro Comercial Galerias began, the most prestigious in Central America with modern architecture and style. Marble floors and water features were added – this was to be the luxury destination in El Salvador.
From the onset of development Centro Comercial Galerias, it was decided to retain the original structure of La Casona, instead of destroying the building, it was decided it’s elegance should be integrated into the architectural style of the rest of the mall, creating a work of art, a Salvadoran pride.
The integration La Casona in Centro Comercial Galerias is a unique concept worldwide. The restoration of the old mansion and decorative fountains creates a magnificent scene and a space for all kinds of cultural and commercial events.
The mansion has important historical significance to El Salvador, however the Guirola family, who built the mansion are the subject of urban legend and superstition.
This testimony comes from an anonymous source;
“The head of this family was Mr Guirola whose actual first name escapes me. A friend of mine who worked for the family told me several stories about his employer and what happened inside the walls of the Guirola home.
They say that at that time Mr. Guirola had an agreement with the devil and that was why they were so successful in business. The Los Guirola family living in La Casona were slowly dying and nobody knows why, there are rumors that they were possessed.
I believe that their last child was born a monster. Shortly after his birth, he died and people say that the devil came and took the child away as payment for the families success.
Someone I know (I will not say the name) went to investigate this house as a journalist about 10-15 years ago. There he met an old woman who opened the door and welcomed him to the house and told him about all the events including frequent visits from the devil.
The following day the journalist visited the house to find the old lady was not there and in fact had been dead for 20 years.
Legand has it that at La Casona (inside the mall) in the middle night you can hear noises and screams of an animal who is the son of Mr. Guirola.”