Tag Archives: sculpture

Plaza María de Toledo And History

Plaza María de Toledo

The Plaza María de Toledo is a nice tranquil spot to sit and relax. The Plaza honors the first American Viceroy / Virreina, Doña María de Toledo. A cultural woman who helped make life for the new colony of Santo Domingo a little more proper.

The Plaza and Fountain in the Reflecting Pool with the statue of Maria de Toledo looking on.
The Plaza and Fountain in the Reflecting Pool with the statue of Maria de Toledo looking on.

The Plaza | Location | María de Toledo History

The Plaza and Fountain in the Reflecting Pool
The Plaza and Fountain in the Reflecting Pool

The Plaza

The brick tiled plaza sits between Calle Las Damas and Isabel la Católica. Benches line the courtyard, making it an ideal place for sitting and relaxing. The newly repaired fountain cascades water into a small reflecting pool. The sculpture of María de Toledo sits in the square in front of the fountain. Originally the statue was located on the side lawn of the Alcazar de Colón in Plaza Espana. They moved the statue to Plaza Maria de Toledo when the plaza was renovated in 2017.

The statue of María de Toledo now sits in the plaza named after the Virreina, Doña María de Toledo
The statue of María de Toledo now sits in the plaza named after the Virreina, Doña María de Toledo

There were 2 homes on the original piece of land. All that remains are the 3 stone arches at the entrance along Las Damas and the 2 arches above the pool. It was originally the residence of the group la Compañía de Jesús until they were expelled from the country.

The home next to the Convento de los Jesuitas (now the Panteón Nacional) that sat where the Plaza María de Toledo is now located. Picture from 1920’s
The home next to the Convento de los Jesuitas (now the Panteón Nacional) that sat where the Plaza María de Toledo is now located. Picture from 1920’s

Every Sunday there is a small Antique Market held in the plaza. Vendors sell their wares including antiques, Taino artifacts, brass pieces, jewelry and other interesting trinkets.

Sunday Antique Market in Plaza María de Toledo.
Sunday Antique Market in Plaza María de Toledo.

Location

Walking up (north) Isabel la Católica from the eastern side of the Conde about 1 block. It is the first open space on the right across from Calle Gregorio Luperon. Walking up Calle las Damas from the Conde, it is the first plaza on the left in front of Governor Nicolás Ovando’s Residence, now a hotel. It is next to the Panteón Nacional.

The red brick Plaza María de Toldeo is a nice place for sitting and relaxing
The red brick Plaza María de Toldeo is a nice place for sitting and relaxing

María de Toledo (born 1490 in Spain – Died May 11, 1549 (aged 58–59) in Santo Domingo

María de Toledo was the wife of the son of Christopher Columbus / Cristóbal Colón, Diego de Colón, II Admiral and II Viceroy of the Indies / II Almirante y II Virrey de Indias. She was the granddaughter of García Álvarez de Toledo, 1st Duke of Alba and the niece of King Ferdinand of Spain.

María was the first person of noble race to arrive on the Spanish island in 1509. She brought class to the colony. Clothes and other fancy items were forbidden in the colony until she arrived. She got special permission from the crown for herself and others to use and wear these items, becoming the central person of the aristocratic society. She also held the title of Viceroy / Virreina and was more powerful and influential than her husband Díego Colon.

María de Toledo was a strong defender of the original inhabitants of the island, the Taino Indians, against the mistreatment of the Spanish. She also fought for the rights of her children after the death of her husband. She was one of the most important female figures in the original colony of 16th century Hispaniola.

The unmarked statue of María de Toldeo used to be on the grassy slope on the side of the Alcázar de Colón. The Columbus Palace was built to be the home of Maria de Toledo and her husband Diego de Colón. She loved being a hostess, receiving guests and entertaining in her royal home.

The statue of María de Toledo sitting in its original location on the side of the Alcazar de Colón, her home in the original colony of Santo Domingo.
The statue of María de Toledo sitting in its original location on the side of the Alcazar de Colón, her home in the original colony of Santo Domingo.

NOTE – I have researched and found varying histories. Some report that María had 7 children and some say 8 children. I cannot find the cause of death or where she was buried when she died in Santo Domingo. If I find this information, I will add it.

More about the history of the Jesuits in Dominican Republic.

More about the history of María de Toledo

Homeless Jesus Sculpture

Sculpture Homeless Jesus / Escultura Jesús Desamparado

Located in the Plaza in front of the Monastery and Church of the Dominican Fathers / Convento e Iglesia de los Padres Dominicos is a replica of a very special and touching sculpture. The sculpture “Homeless Jesus” / La escultura “Jesús Desamparado” by Canadian artist Timothy P. Schmalz was installed in 2017.

The sculpture "Homeless Jesus" / La escultura "Jesús Desamparado" by Canadian Artist Timothy P. Schmalz at the Plaza Convento e Iglesia de los Padres Dominicos, Dominican Republic
The sculpture “Homeless Jesus” / La escultura “Jesús Desamparado” by Canadian Artist Timothy P. Schmalz at the Plaza Convento e Iglesia de los Padres Dominicos

The touching life-size very real looking sculpture is an image of Christ. It is represented by a homeless person lying on a bench. He is shrouded in a blanket with his face slightly visible. The only body parts exposed is the feet. Looking closer the feet have wounds. These wounds are caused by the crucifixion nails.

The sculpture "Homeless Jesus" / "Jesús Desamparado” close-up of the foot wounds caused by the crucifixion nails.
The sculpture “Homeless Jesus” / “Jesús Desamparado” close-up of the foot wounds caused by the crucifixion nails.

You can own your own mini Homeless Jesus Christian Sculpture (Minature) by Timothy Schmalz (Amazon link).

Inspiration for the Sculpture

A homeless man sleeping on a park bench was Canadian artist Timothy P. Schmalz inspiration for this touching sculpture. Schmalz says the sculpture is meant to challenge and inspire people to be charitable. He says he thought of the scripture in St. Matthew 25:35 and 36 (New International Version) – “Because I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink; I was a stranger and you stayed me, I was naked and you dressed me; sick and you visited me, in jail and you came to see me ”.

Mateo 25:35 y 36 (Nueva Versión Internacional) – “Porque tuve hambre, y ustedes me dieron de comer; tuve sed, y me dieron de beber; fui forastero, y me dieron alojamiento; necesité ropa, y me vistieron; estuve enfermo, y me atendieron; estuve en la cárcel, y me visitaron”.

"Homeless Jesus" / "Jesús Desamparado” close up of the face of the sculpture.
“Homeless Jesus” / “Jesús Desamparado” close up of the face of the sculpture.

First Sculpture & Locations:

The first sculpture of Homeless Jesus (2013) is located at the Jesuit School of Theology, Regis College in Toronto. The second sculpture is located at the Vatican where it was blessed by Pope Francis. After the Pope’s blessing, the sculpture went viral on social networks. Many requests were made for replicas to be placed in locations throughout the world.

The most prominent location or this touching sculpture is in Rome outside of the Papal Office of Charities. By early 2016, some 100 copies of Homeless Jesus were installed and blessed in many places around the world.

The sculpture "Homeless Jesus" / "Jesús Desamparado” located at the Monastery and Church of the Dominican Fathers, Ciudad Colonial, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
The sculpture “Homeless Jesus” / “Jesús Desamparado” located at the Monastery and Church of the Dominican Fathers, Ciudad Colonial, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

You can own your own mini Homeless Jesus Christian Sculpture (Minature) by Timothy Schmalz (Amazon link).

Some of the other locations of the copies of the original sculpture include:
*St. Alban’s Episcopal Church in Davidson, North Carolina, USA
*Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago’s headquarters in the River North neighborhood, Chicago, USA
*Central Presbyterian Church in Austin, Texas, USA
*Saints Peter and Paul Jesuit Catholic Church, Detroit Michigan
*Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Indiana, USA
*Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City’s main services building near downtown Oklahoma City, OK, USA
*Church of Saint Peter in ancient Capernaum on the Sea of Galilee, Israel
*First Congregational Church in Elyria, Ohio, USA
*The first sculpture outside of North America was installed on the grounds of Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin
*Father Woody’s Haven of Hope, a homeless day shelter near downtown Denver, CO, USA
*Holy Rosary Church, Vancouver City
*Church of Saint Peter in ancient Capernaum on the Sea of Galilee, Israel
*Sacred Heart Cathedral, Townsville, Australia
*Belfast, Northern Ireland
*Metropolitan Cathedral in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Location:

Walking on Calle el Conde turn south on Calles Hostos or Duarte. Go 2 blocks. The burnt orange colored building is across from Parque Duarte on Calle Padre Billini. The sculpture is located at the Convento e Iglesia de los Padres Dominicos/ Monastery (Convent) and Church of the Dominican Fathers in the Plaza in front of the university entrance, Ciudad Colonial, Santo Domingo, Republica Dominicana.

References:

https://www.alfayomega.es/70054/el-que-duerme-en-el-banco-podria-ser-jesus

https://www.sculpturebytps.com/about-the-artist/

Parque Pellerano Castro – Parque Rosado

Parque Alfredo Pellerano Castro – Parque Rosado

Located in a quiet part of Ciudad Colonial is the nice little Plaza Parque Pellerano Castro. It is also known by the locals as Parque Rosado / Pink Park and Parquecito De Los Poetas / Poets Park. Whatever you call it, this out of the way park is a nice place to rest relax.

The relaxing parque Pellerano Castro also known as Parque Rosado
The relaxing parque Pellerano Castro also known as Parque Rosado

Parque Alfredo Pellerano CastroArturo Bautista Pellerano CastroPoet Julia de Burgos

Nice private benches for relaxing at Parque Rosado
Nice private benches for relaxing at Parque Rosado

Parque Alfredo Pellerano Castro

The park had a make-over in the 1990s and was remodeled by the architect Manuel S. Gautier. Parque Rosdao /Pink Park, named such because it is painted a soft pink color, is a perfect place to rest in peace and quiet. There are many benches located under beautiful shade trees with hanging creepers giving this park a unique feeling. The other edges of the park have banana, avocado and mango trees. You can also see some chickens running around from time to time. If you’re lucky you may get to meet some of the local dogs who make this park their home.

The local dogs visiting the place where the bust of Pellerano Castro once stood in the park that is his namesake.
The local dogs visiting the place where the bust of Pellerano Castro once stood in the park that is his namesake.

Arturo Bautista Pellerano Castro

This quiet park is named after the poet Arturo Bautista Pellerano Castro, who was also known by the pseudonym of Byron, born in Curazao March 13, 1865 and died in Santo Domingo May 5, 1916. There once was a bust of the poet located in the park. There is a stand where the poets bust was once located with a plaque that commemorates the poet and has a few of his quotes.

The bust of Poet Julia de Burgos in Parque Rosado.
The bust of Poet Julia de Burgos in Parque Rosado.

Poet Julia de Burgos

(February 17, 1914 – July 6, 1953 (she died of pneumonia in Harlem at the age of 39))

The newest addition to the park is a bust of Julia de Burgos, created by sculpture René Alejandro Guzmán, and inaugurated February 6, 2014.

A close-up of the bust of Poet Julia de Burgos in Parque Rosado
A close-up of the bust of Poet Julia de Burgos in Parque Rosado

Burgos, a playwright, poet, journalist and activist, is considered to be the most outstanding Puerto Rican poet of the twentieth century. She hung in the circles of intellectuals like Juan Bosch and Dominican politician Juan Isidro Jiménez Grullón, who became an inspiration of many of her best poems. She was a fighter against political injustice. In 1944 she wrote two poems for the centenary of the country: “A la Ciudad Primada de Santo Domingo” and “Hymn to the Blood of Trujillo”.

More of the story of Julia de Burgos.

Plaza Pellerano Castro under the soft lights at 5AM.
Plaza Pellerano Castro under the soft lights at 5AM.

Location: Walking from the eastern end of the Conde turn right towards the sea (north) on Calle Isabel la Católica or Calle Las Damas. Walk to the end of either of these streets and you will run into the park. Located at the intersections of Calles José Gabriel García, Arzobispo Meriño, Isabel La Católica in the Colonial Zone.