Güemes Monument and Paseo Güemes
Martín Miguel de Güemes (1785 – 1821) was a military leader and popular caudillo, who defended northwestern Argentina from the Spanish during the Argentine War of Independence. Güemes organized the resistance against the royalists (forces loyal to Spain) employing local gauchos trained in guerrilla tactics
He and his men were fighting in many battles and finally - after Güemes died on June 17th - his army retook Salta from the royalists on July 22th.
Being such a local hero it is obvious General Martín Miguel de Güemes was honored with a monument for his role in the War of Independence. Although it is situated quite far away from the city center and we discovered this monument accidentally after descending the San Bernardo Hill by foot.
The Güemes Monument is located at the foot of the San Bernardo Hill, dominating a small park. The impressive monument shows Güemes as an equestrian hero sitting on a horse casted in bronze; the base is made of rocks carved from the San Bernardo Hill. Güemes is ‘surrounded’ by bronze images of gauchos and in the front of the monument a plaque with the name of his officers. Güemes is overlooking and guarding Salta from this spot.
The monument was unveiled in 1931 by the President of Argentina Lieutenant General José Félix Uriburu.
We looked at some local woodcarvers trying to sell souvenirs in the shadow of the trees and followed Paseo Güemes into town. This is a broad road with lots of trees and flowers, lined with absolutely stunning buildings. On the left hand side - Paseo Güemes 54 - is the palace-like building of the ‘Club 20 de Febrero’; just opposite are some very beautiful houses.
If visiting the Güemes Monument I highly recommend walking down Paseo Güemes too.