Sunday, September 19, 2010

Magellan’s Monument (1847)

To perpetuate the memory of the famous sailor Ferdinand Magellan, who in 1520 discovered the Philippine Archipelago, a project to erect the monument depicted in this page was conceived. It serves as a reminder of the glory of this illustrious mariner and the era in which, with the power of the cross rather than arms, Spain conquered these domains, bringing to its inhabitants the welfare and happiness that they have enjoyed since.

The necessary funds were collected from voluntary donations. In the beginning, it was thought that the monument should be built in Cebu, which was where Magellan first landed and where he also died, unfortunately. However, due to overriding reasons, it was decided that the monument should be built in the capital of the islands. It has been proposed to be placed in front of the Puerta de Isabel II, in an area near the river between Santo Domingo and the Fortin, where there is spacious land. Here, it would not be difficult to make a walkway with trees and seats, which could serve as decoration for the monument. It will also be useful to those who wants to take a paseo, a recreation that Manila lacks.

Until now only the foundations and some steps are finished, which will server as the base of the monument. At present, they are constructing the pedestal and the fluted column. The portions that will be brought from Europe – where they have been commissioned – are the spherical globe that crowns it and the dolphins that will adorn it. Like the circular balustrade, these will have to be made of bronze.

The drawing depicts only a proposed project. However, it would not be surprising if some changes or alterations get made before it is finished.

José Honrato Lozano 1847
Album Vistas de las Yslas Filipinas

English translation from the book Filipinas 1847 by José María A. Cariño.

Link to Spanish Version

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