#13 Calles Benigno Malo y Sucre
Construction commenced immediately after the Spanish foundation of Cuenca on April 12 1557, when Captain-Governor Gil Ramirez Davalos designated a block of land on the east side of the Main Square (present day Plaza Calderon) for the construction of a shrine. The walls were of adobe with Inca stone foundations extracted from the ruins at Pumapungo.
The square serves as the setting for many of the city’s major events, including traditional festivals, and parades. It is also a great spot for people-watching! In 2001 the square was again remodeled including the flower beds, a bandstand, and redesigned lamp posts. The new square reopened in March 2002.
Around 1920 the city commissioned Octavio Cordero Palacios to remodel the square. He was the architect of the present-day geometric patterns.
In 1920, to commemorate the centenary of the country’s independence, the square was renamed Abdón Calderón as a tribute to the young hero who fought in the Battle of Pichincha in 1822. Abdón Calderón was born in Cuenca in 1804. Only 18 years old during the Battle of Pichincha, despite having received four bullet wounds, he continued in battle, encouraging his entire battalion, and continuing to carry the flag. He died soon after the battle from his wounds, and is always remembered for his bravery. The statue was erected in 1931, designed and cast by the sculptor Carlos Mayer in Rome.
In 1875 Luis Cordero Crespo who became president of the republic, imported the Chilean pines planted at the center of the park around the monument to Abdón Calderón. These trees adapted so well to the climate that they became the giant specimens they are today.