It is a bronze monument of fourteen tons that pays tribute to the Army of the Andes for its successful campaign of liberation. It is a monument worth visiting.
This sightseeing tour is probably one of the most traditional in the capital City of Mendoza
. In order to reach Cerro de la Gloria
(The Hill of Glory), where the national monument of the Army of the Andes is located, there is an entry through San Martín Park – the most important and beautiful green area in the city – and there are also signs pointing to the place where this construction is erected.
Several water fountains of delicate construction can be seen as tourists pass through the park. These fountains come in different sizes and shapes and they are framed by lush vegetation. The route goes up in height and then takes a crooked path to the hill.
This road goes by the Greek theater that seats approximately 23,000 people. This is where the Wine Festival
takes place every year and many also enjoy first-rate musical shows. A bit further back, there is the football stadium where Argentina played one of its matches in the 1978 World Cup.
There is a car park at the top. The great 14-ton-bronze monument can be seen from a distance. Juan Manual Ferrari from Uruguay was the sculptor who built this famous monument to pay tribute to those people who liberated Argentina, Chile and Peru.
Ferrari began by building an incomplete tower, then the side friezes were put in place and eventually the magnificent and impressive top of the monument was placed with the help of a pulley and rope system. All the stones were brought from the high mountains of Mendoza, more specifically, from the Uspallata area.
It is worth mentioning that the Uruguayan sculptor did not leave any loose ends when creating the magnificent images that make up the monument of Cerro de la Gloria. The opening ceremony took place on February 12th at 4 pm. The time is crucial because it commemorates the Chacabuco Battle, one of the most important battles the Army of Andes had to go through. Four pm is the time when the army set off in its liberating campaign from El Plumerillo.
The main stone reads: “La Patria al Ejército de los Andes” (“From our fatherland to the Army of the Andes”). Higher up is the General José Francisco de San Martín, arms crossed, looking at estancia Canota. He is watching how his troops are moving along the high mountains of Mendoza. San Martín has a thoughtful and calm look on his face. The criollo horse the General is seated upon has its four hooves on the ground which means that the national hero died of old age.
Six granaderos can be seen on the left. They represent the time when the Army of the Andes set off and the six steps San Martin made to cross to Chile: paso de los Patos, de Uspallata, de Portillo, del Planchón, de la Iguana, del Norte and el paso del Mata Caballo.
For a better understanding of the monument, it is highly recommended to turn from left to right. Images of criollo and black people can be seen with Friar Luis Beltrán, who used to explain how to make the gun carriages to transport the cannons.
The man with crossed arms denotes that everything was done by manpower. That is the reason why his muscles are shown. On the other hand, the man wiping his sweat from his forehead shows that everything has been done with effort.
There are images of the patricias -high society women- from Mendoza begrudgingly donating their jewels to the Army of the Andes.
On the upper frieze, the most important leaders of the campaign are named. On the other side, some crying women can be seen bidding farewell to their sons or husbands and others donating food to the army.
On the upper part, there is an image of Liberty which, thanks to the Fatherland and the Army of the Andes, could fly higher than the condor.
These are some of the aspects that the artist tried to highlight in his masterpiece. There certainly is much more to discover or interpret. We suggest visiting Cerro de la Gloria (The Hill of Glory) and finding other hidden meanings. Moreover, there is a breathtaking view of the city from that point.