When one enters the Rue des Nations on the side of the Galerie du Travail, after having passed the magnificent façades of the Netherlands and Portugal, one meets successively those of three groups of unionised nations, most of which have annexes in the parks of the Trocadero and the Champ-de-Mars. Firstly, the group of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, the Republic of San Marino and the Principality of Monaco; then the group of Persia, Siam, Tunis and Morocco; and finally the group of Central and South American republics: Haiti, Guatemala, Nicaragua, San Salvador, Venezuela, Peru, Bolivia, Plata and Uruguay. Some of these republics are missing: Costa Rica, Ecuador, Chile, Paraguay and the Empire of Brazil, which were present at the 1867 Exhibition, abstained this time. In any case, the syndicate, whose president is Mr. Torrès Caïcedo, minister of San-Salvador, well known in France both as a publicist and as a diplomat, offers an interesting and complete exhibition of the products of these distant and little known countries, which makes them known and appreciated.
The facade of this collective exhibition, although clearly defined on the inside, is made of brick and stuccoed plaster, and presents a graceful specimen of the style that flourished in the Iberian Peninsula at the beginning of the Renaissance, and which is characterised by certain Moorish reminiscences. It consists of a pavilion, the main building, with a gable that is contoured at the top, connected to a square tower, which was in practice used for the outbuildings, by a gallery formed by three semi-circular arches supported by massive columns; above this, a Moorish terrace closed by glass windows, itself surmounted by an open terrace with a balustrade at the edge. This gallery gives access to a vestibule where the staircases leading to the upper floors originate.
This façade, with its elegant and very ornate lines, was built to the designs of Mr Alfred Vaudoyer. However remarkable it may be, it must be admitted that it is not very characteristic of the nations that house their exhibition behind it, and that there is only a very distant relationship between the interior and the exterior.
©Les Merveilles de l'Exposition de 1878