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09.04.2009

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Angel of Independence

Reforma Avenue/ Images of Reforma Avenue / Other attractions

Neighborhood: Reforma Avenue
Address: Reforma Avenue corner Florencia
Metro: Sevilla
 

One of the most representative symbols of México City and the whole country, the Angel of Independence stands majestically in Paseo de la Reforma.

The first stone of this renowned monument was placed on January 2nd 1902 by Porfirio Díaz. The project was directed by the architect Antonio Rivas Mercado, who was also responsible for the Juarez Theatre in the City of Guanajuato.

This monument was inspired by a project that arose during the government of Antonio López de Santa Anna, meant to pay tribute to the heroes of Mexico’s Independence; it consisted in a stone zócalo, built in the middle of the Plaza of the Constitution, from which a Corinthian column would rise, crowned by an angel. However, this project didn’t come through, and by the end of the 19th Century, the architect Antonio Rivas Mercado retook it getting inspiration from famous columns in the world like the Tarajano in Rome, the one in Vendome Plaza in Paris and the one with Alexander in Saint Petersburg. All these columns were erected to commemorate the triumph of ideals in their respective countries.

It was in this way that this architect designed a circular zócalo upon which a cubic base would stand, supporting on each of its corners four statues, crafted by Enrique Alciati, representing Peace, Law, Justice and War. The remains of some of the most outstanding leaders of the Mexican Independence movement like Miguel Hidalgo, Vicente Guerrero and Ignacio Allende rest inside this base, which also includes the sculptures of said insurgents and a beautiful sculpture of a lion guided by a boy which represents the dominance of truth and intelligence over strength. Upon this base, a 35 meter high Corinthian column made of Chiluca stone, was erected, and placed on top was the famous “Winged Victory” (or Nike) a symbol of triumph among the ancient Greeks.

This monument was inaugurated on September 16th 1910 as a culminating event of the festivities commemorating the 100th anniversary of Mexico’s Independence, which were attended by important diplomats, ambassadors, civil servants and the general population to enjoy the fireworks, parades and concerts that took place in Paseo de la Reforma on that occasion.

Years later, in 1957, the monument to Independencce, popularly known as “The Angel” lived its hardest moment when the golden sculpture fell off the column as a consequence of a strong earthquake. Nevertheless, to the delight of the people, the sculpture was replaced a short time after and has stayed where it belongs ever since.

Today, due to its importance, the Angel of Independence is, along with the Zócalo, one of the two places in which Mexican people gather to celebrate or to protest in special occasions like political meetings and manifestations, or victorious performances of the Mexican football team in world championships.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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