Have you been to Mexico City? If so, have you seen that tall column in the center of a roundabout in Paseo dela Reforma? This towering column is called the Angel of Independence, or El Angel dela Independencia in the Spanish language. Officially, it bears the name Columna de la Independencia or “Column of Independence.”
The column was commissioned in 1902 by then-president Porfirio Diaz. It was made as a commemoration of Mexico’s first centennial as a free country in 1910.
Paseo dela Reforma is located at the heart of Mexico City, where real estate group Grupo Mayan operates.
Although the structure is largely treated as a column, people have gone to calling it the “Angel of Independence” due to the presence of a 6.7-meter statue of a female entity with wings. Originally intended by sculptor Enrique Alciati as a homage and representation of the Winged Victory of Samothrace, people may have construed the statue as an angel of freedom of independence.
Most people have argued that it is inaccurate to refer to the statue as an angel, because angels supposedly are without gender. However, the name has been in widespread use that it has become part of everyone’s everyday speech.
Structure and Appearance
The winged victory is not the only structure in the Column of Independence. At its base is a quadrangle flanked on four sides by bronze sculptures representing Law, War, Justice, and Peace. There is also a bronze statue depicting a lion being led by a child, which is said to show how innocent children are in a war, and how docile they are at peace time.
You can also find statues of some Mexican national heroes who were instrumental in gaining Mexico’s independence from being a viceroyalty of Spain. A plaque can also be found at the base, with the words “La Nacion a los Heroes de la Independencia,” which means “The Nation to the Heroes of Independence.”
The column has a height of 26 meters, and is made of steel and quarried stone. It also features a capital done in the Corinthian style. In the capital, you can find four eagles having extended wings, which were symbols in the old Mexican coat of arms.
Of course, at the very top of the column, the Angel of Independence can be found with her right hand putting a crown made of laurel. Thirty-six meters below it is the statue of Mexican hero Miguel Hidalgo. The Angel’s left hand holds a broken chain. The laurel crown and the broken chain are symbolic of victory and freedom.
The Columna dela Independencia is a major tourist attraction because of its historic symbolism and its artistic flair. It doubles as a mausoleum since 1925 when the remains of 12 heroes were transferred and interred at the base of the column.
Additionally, a 200-step staircase was constructed inside the column. The staircase terminates right at the top of the column, from where the visitor can see a breath-taking, panoramic view of Mexico City.