Statue of Vasco Nuñez de Balboa


Situated along Balboa Avenue, is the Vasco Núñez de Balboa’s statue,  a historical monument paying tribute to the Spanish adventurer and first European to glimpse the Pacific Ocean  in 1513.   Holding the Spanish flag in his left hand and a sword with his right, the Vasco Núñez de Balboa bronze statue overlooks Panama Bay.  The statute is held by a sculpture of four nude men which represent the four human races.

The statue was sculpted by Miguel Blau and Mariano Benlliure and later donated by King Alfonso XIII of Spain to the Republic of Panama. With representatives of some 15 Latin American countries present, President Belisario Porras inaugurated the monument on September 29, 1924.

The park is popular with locals and foreigners alike. From the park you can shoot nice photos of Punta Paitilla’s high-rise buildings to the left, and Casco Viejo to the right.

Vasco Núñez de Balboa (1475-1519) was a Spanish explorer, governor, and conquistador.  He is best known for having crossed the Isthmus of Panama to the Pacific Ocean in 1513, becoming the first European to lead an expedition to have seen or reached the Pacific Ocean from the New World.

Balboa started his journey across the Isthmus of Panama on September 1, 1513, together with 190 Spaniards, a few native guides, and a pack of dogs.  After traveling more than 110 kilometers (68 miles), he arrived at the Pacific Ocean on September 29, the feast day of the archangel Michael. He named the new sea Mar del Sur, since they had traveled south to reach it.  Ferdinand Magellan later renamed the body of water the Pacific Ocean because of its calm waters.

In 1518, Pedro Arias de Ávila or Pedrarias the Cruel charged Balboa with treason, arrested him and had him beheaded.

Below are several pictures of the historic monument of Vasco Nuñez de Balboa for your enjoyment.  Here we go.

Phototograph of the statue of Vasco Nuñez de Balboa towards your left, almost drowned by the new modern buildings in Panama City, Panama.  (Credit:  Omar Upegui R.)
Phototograph of the statue of Vasco Nuñez de Balboa towards your left, almost drowned by the new modern buildings in Panama City, Panama. (Credit: Omar Upegui R.)
The statue of Vasco Nuñez de Balboa located at the Coastal Strip in Panama City, Panama.  (Credit:  Omar Upegui R.)
The statue of Vasco Nuñez de Balboa located at the Coastal Strip in Panama City, Panama. (Credit: Omar Upegui R.)
Photograph of the bronze statue of Vasco Nuñez de Balboa donated by the King of Spain to the Republic of Panama.  (Credit:  Omar Upegui R.)
Photograph of the bronze statue of Vasco Nuñez de Balboa donated by the King of Spain to the Republic of Panama. (Credit: Omar Upegui R.)
View of the statue of Vasco Nuñez de Balboa claiming the Pacific Ocean to the Kingdom of Spain in 1513.  (Credit:  Omar Upegui R.)
View of the statue of Vasco Nuñez de Balboa claiming the Pacific Ocean to the Kingdom of Spain in 1513. (Credit: Omar Upegui R.)
An artistic version of the statue of Vasco Nuñez de Balboa created by our collaborator, Michael Moore of Dallas, Texas.  (Credit:  Omar Upegui R./Michael Moore)
An artistic version of the statue of Vasco Nuñez de Balboa created by our collaborator, Michael Moore of Dallas, Texas. (Credit: Omar Upegui R./Michael Moore)
Another patriotic creation of the statue of Vasco Nuñez de Balboa by Michael Moore.  (Credit:  Omar Upegui R./Michael Moore)
Another patriotic creation of the statue of Vasco Nuñez de Balboa by Michael Moore. (Credit: Omar Upegui R./Michael Moore)

I am ancient land of legend.

In my veins run golden rivers.

Gods and heroes tell my story.

I am Panama.

I hope you have enjoyed these pictures of one of the most emblematic historic structures in Panama.  Good Day.

10 thoughts on “Statue of Vasco Nuñez de Balboa”

  1. Hello from Winnipeg, home of Marshall McLuhan!

    I find your set of pictures really interesting. I have stumbled on a 17-pages bio of the above, and I am going to add it to my translation of Columbus by Verne.

    Looking forward to meet you on-line soon.

    Buenos días,

    Charles

  2. The names of the Spanish sculptors of the Balboa monument in Panama are Mariano Benlliure and MIGUEL BLAY ; please note BLAY, not Blan or Blaun

    1. Indeed Miguel Blay (Olot 1866-Madrid 1936) whose monuments are also found in Argentina, Uruguay and of course Spain ; see also his works in various museums around the world such as El Prado (Madrid), MNAC (Barcelona), Musée d’Orsay (Paris), MCG (Olot), etc.

  3. Hi Micaela:

    Thank you for highlighting the error of Wikipedia Encyclopedia regarding the correct name of the Spanish sculptor. You must be very proud to be a direct descendant of Miguel Blay.

    Thanks again.

    Omar.-

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