Cultura

Los Sitios Square

Crossing Mefisto Street we arrive at Los Sitios Square, named Castelar and later on José Antonio Square. Occupied by Santa Engracia Garden before being urbanized due to the celebration of the Spanish-French Exposition, it became an exceptional stage for that event. On the right side, we can see the facade of the Museum of Zaragoza, built for the above mentioned Exposition. The most interesting works are the effigies of characters linked to culture as well as national, regional and even international arts, who appear on the medallions placed on the high body which surrounds the building. The medallions do not mean that there are works of those celebrities in the museum, but only serve as a modest homage to influential art figures, a trend in that age. Next to the gate, we also find the bust of Segismundo Moret, put previously at the courtyard of the museum, as well as that of Goya, made by Félix Burriel. Both follow the above mentioned usual typology consisting of a bronze bust put on a prismatic stone pedestal. Moret bust was moved to the square in 1935.

Another example of sculptures used as homage to Aragonese celebrities can be found at the facade of the School Gascón y Marín, placed at the corner of the square, and formed by Balmes, and Sancho y Gil streets. Following the model used years before in the Faculty of Medicine and Sciences and the own Museum, the visitor can see a gallery with different celebrities, some of them related to the pedagogical function of the building.

It is important to pay attention to the Monument to the Sieges, that stand majestically at the centre of the square. Second work of Agustín Querol in Zaragoza, this monument is a magnificent example of Modernism applied to commemorative sculpture. We must go round it to discover every detail and expression of the characters represented. Despite the fact that the sculpture commemorates terribly bloody events which carried on devastating consequences, the goal was not to emphasize the high number of victims or the destruction suffered by the city, but the heroism and bravery showed by the people of Zaragoza. Querol chose also to "globalized" the event, so all the citizens of Zaragoza could identify with it. Therefore, we find important protagonists of the Sieges such as Palafox or Agustina de Aragón, but the attention not only focuses on them but also on anonymous men and women who also fought to defend their city. With that idea, Querol included the narration of several important episodes that took place, divided in three different battlefronts.