Monumento a la abolición de la esclavitud
Image of the monument with the statue at its base
|Coordinates||18° 0' 20.6274" & -66° 36' 45.9354"|
|Location||Barrio Tercero, Ponce, Puerto Rico|
|Designer||Statue: Victor Colt
Obelisk: City of Ponce
|Type||Obelisk on Pedestal
Statue on Pedestal
|Dedicated to||The Abolition of Slavery in Puerto Rico|
The Monumento a la abolición de la esclavitud (Monument to the abolition of slavery) is a monument in Barrio Tercero in Ponce, Puerto Rico, dedicated to the abolition of slavery in Puerto Rico in 1873. It is the only such monument in the Caribbean.
The monument is located on Avenida Hostos at the fork of Salud Street and Marina Street. It is the centerpiece of Parque de la Abolicion and it is located on its grounds, at the park's southern edge. The monument consists of two main pieces, an obelisk and a statue. The statue is that of a black male slave with broken chains depicting he is now a free man. It coordinates are 18.00573, -66.61276.
Properties and features
The 100-foot high obelisk raises just behind the black iron sculpture of the freed slave that accentuates and gives instance to the occasion. The monument and obelisk are surrounded by graceful gardens. Immediately north of the obelisk is the outdoors acoustic amphitheater known as La Concha Acustica (English: The Acoustic Shell) which completes the park as a complete triangular city block. La Concha Acustica is an open-air auditorium oftentimes used as a music venue, including presentations by the Ponce Municipal Band.
Slaves were brought to Puerto Rico from Africa from 1513 to the 18th century to replace the local Indian slaves who had been decimated. The new slaves worked the coffee, sugar cane, and gold mining industries in Puerto Rico. During the 18th century, as gold mining ceased to be one of the major industries in Puerto Rico, slaves worked mostly in coffee plantations and sugar cane fields. By royal proclamation slavery was abolished on March 22, 1873.
In 1874, a year after the abolition of slavery in Puerto Rico, a group of citizens built a small park in memory of the historic event. In 1880 Olimpio Otero, Juan Mayoral Barnés, and Román Baldorioty de Castro were instrumental in creating the concept for a park dedicated to the commemorating the abolition of slavery, the only such memorial in the Caribbean. Juan Mayoral Barnés brought the idea for the creation of the park to the Ponce Municipal Assembly on March 14, 1880. It was unanimously approved by the Assembly, ratified by the Central Government, and confirmed by Royal Decree on March 1, 1881. The park was built in the 1890s and, in 1956, under the administration of Ponce mayor Andrés Grillasca Salas, the statue piece of the monument was placed at the base of the obelisk. The sculpture of the freed slave is a work of Victor Colt. The obelisk is built in marble and has a metal tip.
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