Monument to Che Guevarra

Santa Clara is the city liberated by Che and his group during the revolutionary struggle, an event that penetrates the entire city. A memorial park was built as a tribute to this hero in little over a year with the support of the entire population.  It includes a large sculpture of Ernesto  “Che” Guevarra looking out over the horizon. The Plaza, Tribune, Museum and the Monument to Che were inaugurated on December 28, 1988 in a ceremony commemorating the XXX Anniversary of the Battle of Santa Clara.

Eternal tribute to the Guerrillero of America
Santa Clara is the city of Che and its inhabitants feel that they are entrusted with one of the most universal symbols and paradigms of international and human solidarity. In the Memorial Complex Comandante Ernesto Che Guevara, a short distance from the center of the historic town, rest the remains of the Guerrillero of América, who was born in Argentina and fell in Bolivia, a nationalized Cuban and fully Latin American in his thoughts and actions.

This complex, a tribute from the people of Santa Clara to Ernesto Che Guevara, was built in little over a year with the support of the entire population. The Plaza, Tribune, Museum and the Monument to Che were inaugurated on December 28, 1988 in a ceremony commemorating the XXX Anniversary of the Battle of Santa Clara.

Since October 17, 1997 it has been the resting place of his remains and those of his guerrilla companions. On two occasions the Memorial has received the remains of companions of the Bolivian guerrilla. The Memorial was designed by architects Blanca Hernández Guivernau and Jorge Cao Campos, who worked during the days of October 1997, coinciding with the period in which a team that searched the Bolivian Jungle encountered the remains, and the 30th anniversary of the physical disappearance of the heroic fighter.

The Memorial Complex situated in the Avenida de los Desfiles, has various components:

  • Plaza del Che. It measures 17.556 m2 and can absorb 80,000 people. At the end two fountains symbolize the star of the official rank of Comandante Che. The plaza is designed for political and cultural events, as for the people of Santa Clara it is a favored place to walk about and linger. The tribune, with an extension of 2 000 m2, has capacity for 900 persons.
  • Sculpture. The work of José de Lázaro Bencomo (Delarra), it is composed of a bronze stature of the guerrilla commander, set upon a 16 m pedestal, clothed in stone. The statue measures 6,80 m and weighs 20 tons. It is oriented toward the South, looking toward the mountains of Escambray as well as toward South America. The figure of Che is in movement, with his guerrilla uniform, an M-2 gun, and his arm in a cast, just as when he entered Santa Clara.
  • Mural. Of 108 m2, built in concrete, silica sand y white cement. Reliefs depict the different stages of the struggle in the Sierra Maestra, of Fidel, Camilo, Che, the invasión of the west of the country, Che in the Escambray and, finally, the Battle of Santa Clara, with the capture of the 31st barracks, the derailing of the armoured train and the figure of Che as symbol of the liberated city. The Planter boxes, 6 x 2 m high, are a permanent floral offering to Che, the principal one carrying an inscription of the text of the Letter of Farwell from Che to Fidel.
  • Museo. In the underground part f the complex, and with an area of 391 m2, the different stages of Che´s life through images, photos, objects and documents. It covers his life from birth through childhood, and into adulthood where he became the person that with time became a symbol.

In the Memorial, small but at the same time grand, in a modest and solemn atmosphere one encounters niches about Che and guerrilla companions. An eternal flame glows as a permanent tribute to the guerrilleros, and a replica of a Latin American forest recalls the settings where the Guerrillero of America fought. Since its opening, more than two million people, the majority of which have been foreign visitors from all continents, have visited the Memorial and paid homage to Comandante Ernesto Che Guevara.

You are here: Home Past editions Edition #16, October 2005 Monument to Che Guevarra


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