What is the meaning of the Monument to the Heroes of 1856?

First, it must be said that the five women in the sculpture represent the five Central American Republics that fought together to confront and drive the invading filibusters out of their territory.

Costa Rica is the figure that stands out and appears in the center of the group, raising the National Pavilion; She is also supporting the figure that represents Nicaragua and pointing the way to the others who represent the other Central American Republics. It symbolizes the leadership that Costa Rica had in the fight against the filibusters.

Nicaragua appears embracing Costa Rica with a veil covering her face and a broken sword, which symbolizes the pain and military occupation that country had by filibusters. The other three female figures represent El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, which are presented in a combat attitude holding weapons: El Salvador holds the sword, Honduras has spears and a shield and Guatemala carries an ax. The figure of a uniformed man fleeing with a rifle in his hands represents William Walker, while another man fallen to the defeat of the filibusters.

The great base or pedestal where this sculptural group is mounted has four bronze reliefs that illustrate four important moments of the war: the Battle of Santa Rosa, on March 20, 1856; the Battle of Rivas, on April 11, 1856; the taking of steamers in San Juan del Norte and finally, the Central American chiefs and the defeat of Walker.

“It is 125 years since the inauguration of the National Monument, a masterpiece from the hands of the Frenchman Louis-Robert Carriére Belleuse, which shows the five Central American Republics expelling the invader. Although its artistic merits are of the highest level, its importance and significance transcend them, since it also represents the moment in which the national identity acquires maturity. An identity inspired by the old continent, which transcended the philosophical and materialized in the urban and building model, bringing with it the construction of important architectural works that shaped our incipient capital city, ”said Diego Meléndez, director of the Heritage Center Cultural.

“From the Cultural Heritage Center, in the month of the Fatherland, we celebrate this important anniversary, looking at that past with admiration and respect for having been the vision that consolidated the city that we enjoy today, through architectural works of European inspiration such as: the National Theater, the Metallic Building, the Colegio Superior de Señoritas and the Estación al Atlántico, among other emblematic buildings of that time ”, added the director.

Source: Carlos Ml. Zamora H., historian and former official of the Cultural Heritage Center.

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