Palácio dos Leões is the headquarters building of the government of the Brazilian state of Maranhão. It is located in the historical center of the city of São Luís, in the area designated as World Heritage by UNESCO. With a history that begins in the early seventeenth century, the Palace of Lions is one of the greatest symbols of Maranhão culture. From the beginning of its first construction in 1626 like residence of governor, and after undergoing successive adjunctions and modifications, the building became decharacterized and deteriorated over the years, which caused the residential wing to be banned. After the restoration and restoration project, completed in 2003, the building came to have the current characteristics. Its privileged location, high on the promontory where the city of São Luís was born, coupled with its historical trajectory, its architecture and its artistic assets, make of the Palace a fundamental group for the understanding of the formation of the cultural identity of the people of Maranhão . Beside the entrance to the palace there are two heraldic bronze sculptures. During the Magalhaes de Almeida government (1926-1929), the local newspaper "O Combate" used the irony of a comparison between the lion's voracity and the government's voracity to collect taxes, referring to the palace as "the Lions" . The name was popularized between the base of opposition and also among the population. However, after a few years, the designation lost its anecdotal meaning and the name of the Palace of Lions was institutionally adopted. The building dates back to September 8, 1612, when the French, commanded by Daniel de La Touche, Lord of La Ravardiere, under the protection of the regent queen of France, Marie de Medici, established between the estuaries of the rivers Anil and Bacanga, in the island of Upaon-Açu, the colony that baptized of Equinocial France. They began the construction of a fort, to which they gave the name of Saint Louis, in honor of King Louis IX of France. After the expulsion of the French in 1615, the fort of São Luís is renamed São Felipe by the Portuguese. Inside the enclosure of the fort, Captain Jerônimo de Albuquerque begins the construction of the Governors' residence, erected with the technique of pest control by indigenous labor. The new building, as well as the Portuguese settlement, was designed by military engineer Francisco Frias de Mesquita.