Square de l'Amérique Latine

Waiting for a bus the other day, I discovered this little square, "Square de l’Amérique Latine”. We are in the extreme north-west of the 17th arrondissement, close to the Paris border. Actually, we are on a space close to where the last Paris defense wall, the “Thiers wall”, could be found. (Most of it was demolished in the 1920's, but I showed some remaining parts of the wall in a recent post, see here.)  If you are interested in visiting the square, it’s easy to go there, the close by Place de Champerret can be reached by metro (line 3) and some six bus lines.

The “Square de l’Amérique Latine” was created in 1931. It’s a small, very modest square, but it has room for nine sculptures honouring different Latin American personalities. Actually there are eight busts, spread in a half-circle with flowers in between… and with in the middle a more full size statue – see top picture.

This is the opportunity to learn something about the different personalities that are represented. I just wrote a few words.. 

Maybe a special remark about José Marti, who wrote the text to the famous Cuban patriotic song “Guantanamera”… “Yo soy un hombre sincero…”, interpreted by Pete Seeger, The Sandpipers, Joan Baez, Julio Iglesias, Nana Mouskouri, Trini Lopez, Gipsy Kings… and of course by the Bueana Vista Social Club. You can listen to a recent Cuban version here.... or just below.

In the square you could originally find the statue of Simón Bolívar, “El Libertador” of Venezuela, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Panama. In 1980, 150 years after his death, the statue was transferred to its present place on the “Cours de la Reine” (The Queen’s Promenade), see previous post. Two years later Bolívar was replaced in this square by Francisco de Miranda, who also was a revolutionary military and somehow a predecessor to Bolívar.

You can also find here the entrance to the – underground - discotheque “La Main Jaune”, very popular during the 1980’s and 90’s, now forgotten.  


1 comment:

Maria Russell said...

A thousand thanks, Peter for this great post!
Listening to the new version of Guantanamera: Fabulous! I also loved seeing that little girl dancing...
Place de l'Amérique Latine:
Nice tribute to those great men! I loved seeing Ruben Dario among them...

Here's a cute, brilliant little poem by Ruben Dario dedicated to the great Spanish poet Ramón de Campoamor

A Campoamor
Éste del cabello cano,
como la piel del armiño,
juntó su candor de niño
con su experiencia de anciano;
cuando se tiene en la mano
un libro de tal varón,
abeja es cada expresión
que, volando del papel,
deja en los labios la miel
y pica en el corazón.

Rubén Darío, 1896