Plaza Pedro del Castillo

Pedro del Castillo funda la ciudad de Mendoza, en el denominado Valle de Güentota, lugar de asentamiento de los primitivos habitantes de la región, los indios Huarpes, y le dio el nombre de «Mendoza del Nuevo Valle de La Rioja», en homenaje al gobernador y capitán general de Chile, García Hurtado de Mendoza.

Sin embargo, el 28 de marzo de 1562, Don Juan Jufré ordena que la ciudad sea trasladada -muy cerca del lugar de su fundación original- por motivos políticos encubiertos como razones de salubridad y le cambia el nombre a «Ciudad de la Resurrección».

Un dato no tan conocido es que nuestro territorio recibió diferentes nombres. En el acta de fundación de 1561 decía que la ciudad se llamaría «San Pedro Apóstol». Luego se propusieron: La Resurrección, Palmira y Santiago. Finalmente quedó el nombre que se le adjudicó en un principio y por eso hoy somos mendocinos. En homenaje a Don García Hurtado de Mendoza, Gobernador y Capitán General de las provincias de Chile, se le dió el nombre de Mendoza a la nueva Ciudad fundada.
Los conquistadores españoles llamaron a éstas tierras «Cuyo», nombre hispanizado del «Cuyum» aborigen, que significaría «tierra de arenales».

Su concepción fue geométrica con parcelas de 100 varas cuadradas, las que fueron repartidas entre los primeros colonizadores, dejándose frente al cabildo un predio libre denominado «Plaza de Armas», donde todos los domingos se hacían ejercicios militares con toda la población masculina.

La Plaza

Despues de la Iglesia de San Francisco continuamos hacia la Plaza Pedro del Castillo,(llamada así en honor al fundador de la ciudad de Mendoza en 1561) llena de arboles, palmeras (traidas desde Misiones, Brasil y España) y flores, glorietas y bancos escondidos bajo las sombras de enredaderas que invitan a sentarse. Sin olvidarme del aire fresco que regalan las fuentes. Aqui fue fundada la vieja Mendoza, zona Colonial Antigua o Vieja – Área Fundacional, Corazón de la ciudad colonial fundada en 1561 por Don Pedro, fue centro cívico, religioso y social de Cuyo. En 1861 el terremoto destruyó totalmente la zona, siendo recién forestada en 1885, y teniendo remodelaciones en las décadas de 1930 y 1970.

En 1993 se inauguraba el conjunto de la actual Área Fundacional que incluye Plaza, Museo, Patio de Módulos Escultóricos, realizado por artistas mendocinos, y la Cámara

Subterránea con restos arqueológicos muy interesantes.

En la actual calle Ituzaingo, en 1816, desfiló el Ejército de los Andes al abandonar los cuarteles de la ciudad y dirigirse al Campo Histórico del Plumerillo; y en 1817 pasaron las tropas para la ceremonia de Bendición de la Bandera del Ejército de los Andes y el Bastón de Mando, conjuntamente con la proclamación de la Virgen del Carmen de Cuyo como Patrona y Generala del Ejército Sanmartiniano.

En la actual «Plaza Castillo», frente al solar recién mencionado, el Gral. San Martín proclamó Patrona y Generala del Ejército de los Andes a la Virgen del Carmen de Cuyo y se bendijo la Bandera del Ejército de los Andes y el Bastón de Mando; haciendo el prócer flamear a la primera bandera independiente de Sudamérica. En este acto, uno de los más significativos de las tropas Sanmartinianas, la insignia fue saludada con salvas de fusilería.

Otro importante cartel esta en Beltrán 14 Norte (altura 600al 700) y Gdor. R. Videla 8ª (altura 1900 al 2000). En estesolar estuvo emplazado el antiguo «Cabildo» de la ciudad, también destruido en el terremoto de 1861. Es lugar Histórico Nacional y se encuentra el actual «Museo del Area Fundacional».

En su centro esta pintoresca plaza posee una Cámara subterránea donde se conservan los restos de una fuente de 1810, a la que llegaba agua mineral desde El Challao.

Esta plaza recibió varias denominaciones: Plaza de Armas (1562), Plaza Independencia (1810), Plaza de la Constitución, Plaza Vieja y Plaza del Matadero. Finalmente, en el siglo XX, la plaza recibe el nombre


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