Hispanic culture has survived and continues to thrive through the meshing of the Pueblo ways of life and the many other rich and beautiful cultures of New Mexico. This statue at Cathedral Park stands in testament to this long Hispanic legacy. Santa Fe is famous for its art, museums and other cultural activities. The Spanish statue provides an educational focus to the deep and rich history of the region.
Story Telling Statue
The bronze sculpture has an ojo de buey (bull’s eye) a popular feature used in Spanish art. The monument is three-dimensional with bronze figurines representing a woman, farmer, young girl and boy. Also featured are a Spanish conquistador and a Franciscan friar. Once Christopher Columbus reported to King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella that there wasn’t any livestock in the new world, Spain began transporting animals to North America. The bronze figurines represent livestock introduced to the region by the Spaniards: horses, sheep, cattle, a donkey and a pig.
The top of the statue features an image of La Conquistadora who arrived in Santa Fe in 1625. The revered image is the oldest Madonna in the United States. Her statue resides in a private chapel inside of the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi next to Cathedral Park. The annual procession of La Conquistadora to Rosario Chapel takes place following the Catholic feast day of Corpus Christi. For the next nine days a novena to the Madonna is prayed prior to her return to the Cathedral. The statue is a constant reminder of the early Spanish settler’s history and faith which endured during their long journey to New Spain. Santa Fe has the distinction of being the oldest capitol city in the nation.