The Gard is believed to be on the site of the original small settlement that became Alicante, with the original structures long gone.
While the Gard is fortified, it is not invulnerable. In 2007, Valentine was able to destroy it and burn it down, with what Hodge Starkweather believed was demon fire, leaving it in ruins during the attack of his horde of demons on Alicante. However, the fire did not destroy the stone walls or towers. A wall still ran around it, and the new gates were made of the hard, clear adamas that formed the demon towers. They seemed to have been hand-wrought, their lines curving in to circle around the symbol of the Council. Thus, the Gard was rebuilt and restored in a matter of months.
The Gard is made of dark stone and is basic in its architecture—a simple fortress, built for safety and supported on all sides by pillars Marked with protective runes. Four demon towers, smaller than the ones that guard the city, rise from the four cardinal points of the building.
The gates of the Gard are tall and wrought from a combination of silver and cold iron covered in calligraphic interpretations of Marks. On either side are stone statues known colloquially as the Guardians—warrior-angels holding a carved sword and standing above dying creatures meant to represent the demonic enemies of the Nephilim.
Inside, runes of angelic power which glow with a deep light and illuminate the area are cut into the walls of its windowless corridors at intervals.
The only permanent Portal open in Alicante, for the use of the Clave in times of emergency, is in the Gard. Because of the demonic Marks on every Portal's frame, the Portal and the whole room containing the Portal is "reverse-warded", where it is blocked off as a place outside the protection of the wards, much like an Institute's Sanctuary. Because of the risk, the exact location of the Portal is a closely guarded secret.
Also found inside the office of the Consul in the Gard is the only functioning telephone in Alicante. It was enchanted to work by Ragnor Fell before the development of fire-messages. As it never showed signs of disrupting the wards, it was simply never removed.
Also in the Gard is the Council Hall, where all the Council meetings are held and where the Law is made and debated. Before the creation of the Portal, there used to be other entrances throughout the world, some of which were found in Westminster Abbey, reached through a secret passageway in the Pyx Chamber, the Sagrada Família, and Saint Basil the Blessed. The chamber itself is big enough to accommodate all Clave members. When the Clave is officially in session, only adult Shadowhunters are allowed on its grounds.
The Gard also has a balcony that looked down over the city of Alicante. Though it was used by Consuls in the past to address the populace, Consul Fairchild deemed the act too similar to the behavior of a pope or a king, and the balcony has rarely been used since.