Monument to Elcano – A Monument Marking the 4th Centenary of Elcano’s Circumnavigation:
One of the most important historical figures in Getaria is Juan Sebastián Elcano, the first man to circumnavigate the globe in 1522. In Getaria there are two statues commemorating Elcano, one in Plaza Elcano dating back to 1861 and built by Antonio Palao and the other in Plaza de los Gudaris built in 1888 by Ricardo Bellver. However a more recent and impressive addition is the Monument to Elcano, a huge structure in the upper area of the Getaria harbour.
Monument to Elcano
The Monument to Elcano was a commemorative project to mark the 400th anniversary of the circumnavigation of the globe by Elcano. A competition was held in 1922 and Agustín Aguirre and José Azpiroz were chosen to build this commemorative project. However, the monument was not completed and it was later restored by architects Cristina Fontán and J.M. Bravo.
Made of carved stone, the monument looks like a pyramid that supports a terrace. The entrance staircases have a wall displaying a bas-relief with Elcano’s image by Vitorio Macho. Beside this are two legends carved on stone.
The large figure at the top of the monument was also sculptured by Vitorio Macho. Sitting a rectangular base, this is a replica of “Nike of Samothrace” but with his head. The balcony contains a headstone which pays homage to the crew that sailed with Elcano. They reached Sanlucar de Barrameda on September 6, 1522 following their historical voyage around the world. Their names are engraved in the headstone.