Mexico City’s Ángel de la Independencia (Angel of Independence) and everything you should know.
If you ask Mexico City residents which symbol best represents the city, nine out of ten will name El Ángel. More officially known as the Monumento a la Independencia, the Independence Monument has guarded its own glorieta on Paseo de la Reforma since the centennial celebrations of Mexican Independence in 1910.
Immediately inside the door to the monument is a statue of William Lamport, an Irishman executed by the Spanish crown for sedition, in 1659.
The remains of the 14 heroes of the War for Independence are buried within the monument.
Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla: “Father of the Nation” and the original leader of the movement for independence.
Father José María Morelos y Pavón: A general and independence leader after Hidalgo’s execution.
Ignacio Allende: Lieutenant general of the insurgent army and later rebel leader.
Juan Aldama: A rebel captain and conspirator.
José Mariano Jiménez: Hidalgo’s lieutenant colonel.
Guadalupe Victoria: Commander of the insurgent army and first President of Mexico.
Vicente Guerrero: Insurgent general following the death of Morelos and second President of Mexico.
Nicolás Bravo: Commander of the rebel army and later President of Mexico on three occasions.
Mariano Matamoros: A priest who served as Morelos’s lieutenant general.
Andrés Quintana Roo: A prominent Constitutional supporter.
Leona Vicario: A journalist, and rebel supporter.
Francisco Javier Mina (Xavier Mina): A Spanish officer who joined the rebel cause against the absolute monarchy of Ferdinand VII.
Pedro Moreno: Insurgent
Víctor Rosales: Insurgent
An arduous climb to the top of the tower can be made on some weekends, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The Angel of Independence is nearly always the site of celebrations after football or similar international competitions. It’s also usually the starting point for major protests and marches, and for many annual parades.