The Cuauhtémoc Monument occupies the fifth of the Paseo de la Reforma ten glorietas. It’s probably the most thoroughly described simply because it’s been moved, twice. It was originally dedicated in 1887. Having been designed and elaborated only shortly before, it remains a prime example of Porfirian-era architecture and design.
The statue base is ringed with the names of Cuitlahuac, Cacama, Tetlepanquetzal, and Coanacoch. These were allies of Cuauhtémoc fighting against the Spanish invaders. Cuitlahuac, often credited with having celebrated the most significant victory over the Spanish and thus his name is the most prominent.
The sculpture is the work of the Mexico City artist, Miguel Noreña, (1839-1894). The larger monument was the work of an engineer, Francisco M. Jiménez. Construction began in 1877. The bronze statue was cast in August of 1883 to commemorate the anniversary of the 1521 fall of Tenochtitlan. The two (Noreña and Jiménez) were simultaneously collaborating on the Hypsographic Monument at the south of the Plaza del Marqués.
In 2004, the considerable expense was undertaken again to move the Cuauhtémoc Monument once more. This time, it returned almost to original position. After three months of restoration in the Luis Pasteur Garden just to the north, it was placed again, though without the surrounding benches and lanterns. It would take the 2010 completion of the new Mexican Senate building, directly north of the monument for the street to return to something like normal.
Today, it’s clearly not anything like a roundabout. But it’s among the most popular and continually well-respected of the many monuments on the avenue.
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