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architectural landmarks

Home › Relaxation › Architectural Landmarks

National Flag Memorial

Photo: Silvio Moriconi

It is Rosario’s most distinctive sight. Next to the Paraná River, it is linked to the historic center of the city by the “Pasaje Juramento” (“Juramento” Walk) and stands on the site in which, in 1812, national hero Manuel Belgrano hoisted the Argentine Flag for the first time.

The National Flag Memorial was built on the grounds in which General Manuel Belgrano hoisted the Argentine Flag for the first time on 27 February 1812. In the 19th century, the idea arose to build a monument to celebrate the event. However, it was not until 1940 that a national public tender was held to choose a design. The project was awarded to architects Ángel Guido and Alejandro Bustillo, and to sculptors Alfredo Bigatti and José Fioravanti. This building constituted the first Latin American attempt to bring back monumental architecture. The construction began in 1943 and the Memorial was inaugurated on 20 June 1957 (on Argentine Flag Day).

Historical Background
During the Argentine Independence War, General Belgrano led the “Patricios” Regiment to Rosario, which at that time was a small village known as “Villa del Rosario,” with the purpose of watching the banks of the Paraná River to prevent the incursion of the Spanish royalists. To that effect, he had a military settlement built on each side of the River, one on “Espinillo” Island, which he called the Independence Settlement, and another one at the current site of the National Flag Memorial, which he called Freedom. The event was recorded in a letter that Belgrano sent to the national government in Buenos Aires: “The gun salute was fired at the Independence Settlement and a competent crew has been left there in charge of the three cannons installed, the ammunition and the garrison.” He also reported that in the other settlement the Argentine Flag had been hoisted and that he had given a speech to “arouse the excitement of the troops and the population.” He also explained that: “It being necessary to raise a Flag and considering we did not have one, I had one made in white and blue, the colors of the national rosette.”

Symbols
This 10,000-m2 Memorial (12,000 square yards) is entirely made of travertine marble and represents the Argentine Nation in terms of a ship cutting through the waters of eternity towards a future of greatness. There are three sections particularly worth mentioning: the Bow, the Civic Courtyard and the Triumphal Propylaeum, which, together with various sculptures and reliefs, symbolize the Nation’s historical milestones from its birth to the drafting of the Constitution, while also alluding to economic, cultural, technical and geographic landmarks. The Bow: It commemorates the heroic deeds of May 1810, which eventually led to our independence from Spain. Facing the Paraná River, it includes a tower of almost 70 meters (about 230 feet) and boasts a statue of our Nation Bearing the Flag and guiding the ship across the Paraná River and the Atlantic Ocean, symbolized by two colossal statues. At the back of the Bow, there is the entrance to General Manuel Belgrano´s crypt and to the tower (there is a wonderful view from the top), as well as a striking statue called the Nation of Brotherhood and Love. Civic Courtyard: Its magnificent staircase represents our patriots´ efforts to organize the state through battles, agreements and treaties. It extends from an atrium to the Propylaeum. Triumphal Propylaeum of the Nation: The structure, flanked by columns, symbolizes the Nation, legally organized by the 1853 Constitution. It houses the votive flame, which holds the remains of the grenadiers who fought next to national hero General San Martín in the Battle of San Lorenzo in 1813. The flame never goes out in homage to those who gave their lives for their country. Under the Propylaeum, there is the Gallery of Honor for the Flags of the American Continent, displaying the flags of the Organization of American States member countries and illustrating the spirit of fraternity that exists among the nations of this Continent.

“Pasaje Juramento” (“Juramento” Walk)
The “Pasaje Juramento” is a walk that links the Flag Memorial to the historic center of Rosario and is flanked by statues by the acclaimed Argentine sculptress Lola Mora, which stand on a shallow fountain with different levels.

A Pledge of Allegiance
In June, Argentine Flag Month, 4th-grade students from primary schools across the country come to Rosario to pledge allegiance to the Flag. The festivity ends in the month of August, after the winter break, there being about 8000 participants each year. Schools whishing to take part in it must call the General Administration of the National Flag Memorial.

Argentine Flag Day
On 20 June every year, allegiance is pledged to the Flag and a civilian-military parade takes place to celebrate Argentine Flag Day. Both events put the Memorial at the center of this wonderful celebration, attended by locals and tourists. Around this period, many other events are held across the city to honor the Flag. Opening Hours Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 2 pm to 8 pm. Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays from 1 pm to 7 pm. Closed on Tuesdays.

Contact Info
Tel: +54 (341) 480 2238/ 39.

http://www.monumentoalabandera.gov.ar/

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