Before its inauguration, the Bicentennial Monument of the Battle of Carabobo, which officially saw light yesterday, already attracted every day Carabobeños and all Venezuelans who, as they passed through the Valencia-Campo de Carabobo highway, saw the great work with which the Government commemorates the 200 years of military feat that sealed the Independence of Venezuela.
People from all over come by day and night to see the gigantic monument, take family photos and make the work of art their own, a project of the Bicentennial Presidential Commission of the Battle and Victory of Carabobo prepared by the collective of arquitectos ¿Qué ciudad ?, which honors the participation of the people at the hands of the Liberator Simón Bolívar in the triumphant struggle that took place on the site on June 24, 1821 against the forces of the Spanish empire.
At first glance, or from afar, the monument is made up of a granite-clad block on which stand 10 abstract figures that represent the lancers, the main town of Carabobo and who are, for the collective memory of the Venezuelan, heroes of all the battle, personified in the plainsman Pedro Camejo Negro Primero, who died on the spot fighting for freedom.
The other element, which stands out imposingly from the monument 50 meters long by five meters high, is the figure that represents the Liberator's saber, the Victorious Sword of Carabobo, also known as the saber of the Marabino general Rafael Urdaneta, since Bolívar was He gave it away in September of that same year in Maracaibo, on the occasion of his promotion as general-in-chief, and which Urdaneta would use in future combats ever since.
The saber measures 40,15 meters, rises 28 meters and is flanked by two cauldrons with eternal flames.
All the pieces, saber and spearmen, each measuring 12 meters high, were made of steel by the Felirca smithy and together weigh 200 tons.
The mural. Once the visitor approaches the work, they will be able to have another vision of the whole. You can go up to the monument and walk among the spearmen, appreciate and observe the esplanade of the Field.
On one side of the monolith there is a wall sculpture called Heroica made of iron, the work of the plastic artist Morella Jurado, which on an almost human scale allows the visitor to recognize several of the protagonists of the battle. There are represented, in the foreground, Simón Bolívar, together with his dog Nevado, the Mucuchíes who died in the Carabobo site, pierced by a spear; the Indian Tinjacá, "The dog aide," who also died in battle; Lieutenant Pedro Camejo, and General Rafael Urdaneta, who although not present in the battle, played a key role in the independence campaign.
In the background the mural shows Colonel Pedro Briceño Méndez, General José Antonio Páez, Colonel Ambrosio Plaza, General Manuel Cedeño, Colonel José de la Cruz Carrillo, Colonel Juan José Rondón, Lieutenant Colonel José Rafael de las Heras, Colonel Bartolomé Salom, Lieutenant Colonel Diego Ibarra, Captain Daniel Florencio O'Leary and Colonel Thomas Ferriar.
Colony and Republic. Beyond its value as a work of art, its location in the so-called Campo Monumental de Carabobo, an area of 50 hectares, is privileged. The monument is now the entrance to the Field, in fact, the saber is located on the outside over a garden that symbolizes the time of the Republic, and the space that is located inside the field, a sloping garden, symbolizes the difficulties in colonial times.
Everything is located a kilometer away, at the opposite end of the esplanade, from where the Arc de Triomphe was erected, the monument with which the government of Juan Vicente Gómez commemorated the centenary of the battle and where the Altar is also located. de la Patria, built on the same axis in 1931. From each monument you can see the other.
Those who come to Campo de Carabobo from Valencia will first see the Bicentennial Monument on the left.
Inside the monument a museum gallery was installed in which the visitor will be able to appreciate portraits of the heroes with their stories, as well as infographics and videos related to the Carabobo campaign.
A creative collective
The monumental work is the result of the artistic proposal of the group of architects called ¿Qué ciudad ?, whose work was favored by the Bicentennial Presidential Commission.
The members of Which city? they are presented as a tank of thought “for reflection and action on architecture and the city, committed to social changes and revolutionary transformation from the country".
Founded in 2018, this collective brings together Venezuelan architects Abner J. Colmenares, Carlos Pou Ruan, Héctor Torres, Orlando Martínez, Gilberto Rodríguez, Ana Medina, Ricardo Fajardo and Dulce Medina.
To the work of Which City? The plastic artist Morella Jurado joined in, who drew up the metallic mural that adorns one side of the monument with figures from the battle.
In each state capital a replica
The Victorious Sword of Carabobo that adorns the monument in the Field has its counterpart in a smaller-scale version in each state capital.
It is an architectural project of the Venezuela Bella Mission ordered by President Nicolás Maduro and executed by the governments.
In each city they have chosen a privileged space and have enabled it to give it local expression, while the concept of a replica of the monument gives it a national meaning. Thus, in all cities they will be able to participate in Carabobo's sense of independence in 2021 and beyond.
It is an interactive work in which the public will be able to walk and ascend on a 15-meter ramp to finally be able to touch the sculpture itself, the saber used by the Liberator Simón Bolívar in the battle, 6 meters high pointing towards the sky, which was made of steel and weighs 672 kilos.
In Caracas, the work is located on Avenida Bolívar, in the square in front of the National Art Gallery that will now be called Plaza Bicentenario de Carabobo, soon to be inaugurated.