Plaza del Quinto Centenario San Juan, PR
this plaza commemorates the Quincentennial of the European Discovery of America and Puerto Rico
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Located next to El Cuartel de Ballajá, this plaza commemorates the Quincentennial of the European Discovery of America and Puerto Rico. Each of its elements represents a particular period of the Island’s history. Its lowest level includes a fountain that symbolizes the first one hundred years after the discovery. Two needle-like structures stand on this end, pointing towards the North Star, which was historically used by explorers to determine their latitude. Two sculpted staircases, representing another centennial, lead up to the plaza’s upper and most important level. This is the highest point in the city, on which stands el Totem Telúrico. Rising 40 feet from this level, the monument is a tribute to the discovery of the New World. Commissioned to local architect and ceramicist Jaime Suarez as part of the celebrations in 1992, el Totem was shaped out of black granite and ceramic replicas of archeological artifacts.
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