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Monumento aos Heróis da Guerra Peninsular

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The Monument to the Heroes of the Peninsular War is located in Rotunda da Boavista, Porto, Portugal. The Peninsular War, thus designated, was the one that united the Portuguese and the English against the armies of France, of Napoleon Bonaparte, in the Iberian Peninsula, from 1808 to 1814. Right in the center of the garden of Praça de Mouzinho de Albuquerque, stands this monument commemorating the brave of these struggles.

Designed by the architect Marques da Silva and the sculptor Alves de Sousa, a project chosen among the three best, this work took a few years to complete. The Pedreiros Cooperative was responsible for erecting it, starting in 1909 and only inaugurated in 1952. Given the slow construction time and the death of the sculptor Alves de Sousa, still young (38 years old), the work was completed under the direction of the sculptors Henrique Moreira and José Sousa Caldas.

It consists of a pedestal, 45 m high, surrounded by sculptural groups, two of them even biting the base. These represent scenes of artillery in motion, and you can also see English soldiers who came to support Portugal and the intervention of the people of the people in the struggle and the disaster of the «Ponte das Barcas».

Note the presence of the female element in all groups: in the front, a woman, Vitória leading the people, holds the national flag in her left hand and a sword in her right. The set is completed by a tall column surmounted by a lion (symbol of the flag of England, which sent soldiers to support the Portuguese in their victory) over an eagle that knocks down (this is the symbol of Napoleon’s empire).

At the base of the figure there are figures of soldiers and scenes of facts linked to the Napoleonic wars, in reliefs carved in granite. Two dates, in bronze, like all the sculpture, can be seen on two fronts of the base of the column: MDCCCVIII and MDCCCIX. Still on the pedestal, the city’s weapons are placed.

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