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The Angel of Independence

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Download Referat - The Angel of Independence
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Trimis de NICOLAE MADALINA
din 04 August 2010

The Angel of Independence, most commonly known as "El Ángel" and officially known as "Columna de la Independencia", is a victory column located on a roundabout over Paseo de la Reforma in downtown of Mexico City.
It was built to commemorate the centennial of the beginning of Mexico's War of Independence, celebrated in 1910. After several years it was transformed into a mausoleum for the most important heroes of that war. It is one of the most recognizable landmarks in Mexico City. It is quite similar to the Victory Column from Berlin.
The base of the column is quadrangular, each vertex having a bronze sculpture symbolizing Law, War, Justice and Peace. Originally there were nine steps leading to the base, but due to the sinking of the ground fourteen more steps were added. On the main face of the base, which faces downtown Mexico City, there is the following inscription: "The Nation to the Heroes of Independence". In front of this inscription is a bronze statue of a giant lion led by a child, representing strength and the innocence of youth during War but docility during Peace.
Next to the column there is a group of marble statues representing some of the heroes from the War of Independence.
The column itself is 36 meters high. The structure is made of steel covered with quarried stone decorated with garlands, palms and rings with the names of Independence figures. Inside the column is a two-hundred step staircase which leads to a viewpoint above the capital. The Corinthian-style capital is adorned by four eagles with extended wings from the Mexican coat of arms used at the time.
Crowning the column there is a 6.7 meter statue by Enrique Alciati of Nike, the Greek goddess of victory (Winged Victory), like other similar victory columns around the world. It is made of bronze, covered with 24Kgold and weighs 7 tons. In her right hand the Angel holds a laurel crown above Miguel Hidalgo's head, symbolizing Victory, while in her left she holds a broken chain, symbolizing Freedom.
The construction of the monument was ordered in 1902 by President Porfirio Díaz. The architect Antonio Rivas Mercado was in charge with the design of the monument, while the actual construction was supervised by Mexican engineers Gonzalo Garita and Manuel Gorozpe. All the sculptures were made by the Italian artist Enrique Alciati.
An eternal flame honoring these heroes was installed in the base of the column at the order of President Emilio Portes Gil in 1929.
The monument suffered some damages during an earthquake on July 28th, 1957 when the sculpture of the Winged Victory fell to the ground and broke into several pieces. The sculptor José Fernández Urbina was in charge with the restoration, which lasted more than one year. The monument was reopened on September 16th, 1958. It survived, undamaged, the devastating earthquake of September 19th, 1985....

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