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230th Anniversary of the foundation of Guatemala City

Plazas and Monuments

La Exposición District, Zone 4
 


Reyna Barrios or March 11 Plaza

Old picture

In the early 20th Century, the Reyna Barrios Plaza, also known as March 11, was quite famous and received many visitors.  It was located in a large green area of La Exposición District, in what today is the traffic circle at 7th Avenue South, across Banco Industrial, Zone 4.



In that same place stood the Monument to Fame or The Angel, a stone elevation atop which an angel played a trumpet representing fame.  It was erected in honor of the inauguration of the Guatemalan Inter-Ocean Railroad in 1912. The plaza was destroyed by the 1917-18 earthquakes.

 

Some time later, when 7th Avenue expanded, the angel was rescued by the priests of Liceo Guatemala, where it stands today.  The name March 11 honors the heroic and civic actions that put an end to Manuel Estrada Cabrera’s dictatorship.



A plaque found besides a bus stop in 7th Avenue, Route 5 and Via 6, Zone 4, is the sole reminder of the March 11 Plaza:

 

“To the memory of the Union heroes of March 11, 1920, who brought together the Guatemalan people to put an end to the tyranny”.
Union Movement
Guatemala, March 11, 2000.

 

Army Monument to Traders

The so-called Army Monument to Traders, also known at “The Star”, is located in the crossroads between Zones 4, 5, 9 and 10, across the street from the Chamber of Industry, the Botanical Garden, Liceo Guatemala and the Church of Yurrita.  It was ordered by President Manuel Estrada Cabrera to honor the events that influenced the development of the nation.

 

The conclusion of the Inter-Ocean Railroad in January 1908 was the event that deserved such a high honor in the early 20th Century.

 

The Monument to the Railroad today

For such reason, Decree 678 of January 1 of the same year ordered that Giocondo Granai design a monument, according to the book of laws of El Guatemalteco newspaper.

 

Later, according to historian Miguel Álvarez, the monument was attributed to Italian sculptor Francos Durini, but it was actually the work of Luis Fontaine:

 

“The octagonal base is set atop a six-rung stairway.  The lower part is decorated with bronze plaques, the first of which depicts the facade of the Reforma Palace; the next represents the Central American United States, with flags and volcanoes that represent each of the 5 countries, the rays of the sun that represent truth, a scroll that reads “union begets strength” and a laurel wreath that symbolizes victory.



”The next plaque shows a winged female holding a torch on her right hand, which represents the military doctrine.  It is set on a tropical landscape which might represent the country, and solar rays that represent truth and time. There is also an inscription, “peace, instruction and progress”, which alludes to the Liberal era.  Another plaque shows the ports of Barrios and San José, the Temple to Minerva and the Reforma Palace.

 

"The sculptures are mythological muses, one of which holds a torch –representing the era’s military doctrine as well as devotion, battle or the fight of the military to defend its ideals.  Another one holds a banner and seems to be the leader.  There is also a bust of Manuel Estrada Cabrera and an individual that kneels before the muses, holding a rifle that represents the strength of the army of the time.  It resembles an Egyptian obelisk with a star on top”.

 

Beloved Neighborhood Program
Frieda Liliana Morales Barco, Ph.D.
Lecturas: 5523