Monumento al General San Martin in Buenos Aires, located as part of Plaza San Martin park, is a monument from 1862, commemorating General José de San Martín.
San Martín (1778–1850) was one of the most significant leaders in the South America’s southern part’s struggle for independence from Spain, and he is considered a national hero especially in Argentina.
PHOTO: An overview of General San Martin monument, which is a popular place to spend a moment eating an outdoors lunch (as is the adjacent park). Nearby, you can find, for example, one of Buenos Aires’ Starbucks cafes (at address Maipu 1270/Av. Libertador, Buenos Aires, www.starbucks.com.ar).
The monument’s square was one of the central locations for General José de San Martin’s soldier’s barracks, especially during the period after the 1810 revolution.
Neighborhood surrounding the square is historically significant in other ways as well, as the Spanish, colonial era rulers, had their official residential buildings here.
General San Martín had to flee the country due to political reasons in 1824, but his value in the way Argentina gained independence was fully acknowledged after his death, in 1850.
To build a monument to commemorate these achievements, a French sculptor Louis-Joseph Daumas was commissioned to create an artwork in 1862, with the monument’s area, was renamed after the general in 1878, on the 100 year anniversary of San Martín’s birth.
Monumento al General San Martin, officially called “Monument to General San Martin and to the Independence Army”, contains a polished red granite base, with a central artwork portraying General José de San Martín on horseback.
Bas relief artworks on the base of the monument portray four events central to Latin American independence from European powers – crossing of the Andies, declaration of independence by Peru, the battle of Salta, and creation of Montevideo – in addition to which the monument has bas reliefs of the most important battles fought by the general, at San Lorenzo, Chacabuco, and Maipú.
Surrounding the monument, there are five allegorical statues by German Gustav Eberlein, added to the artwork in 1910:
- “La Partida” or “Departure”: soldier and civilian, with a ripped flag and broken drum on the background.
- “La Batalla” or “Battle”: one wounded soldier and another, who holds a flag, with a weapon on his left hand.
- “La Victoria” or “Victory”: a winged female figure, crowning a soldier, with a basket of fruits on their feet.
- “El Regreso” or “Return”: soldier, with a crown of laurels, hugging a woman.
In addition to these, in front of the equestrian statue, there is an artwork of ancient Roman god of war, Mars, holding an eagle, as a symbol of victory.
Other tourist attractions nearby include Torre Monumental, Plaza San Martin park’s massive ombú trees, and Monumento a los Caídos en Malvinas, build in honor of those who fell at the 1982 Falklands war.