Today we did most of the Historical Walking Tour which is in the Central Part of Guam. It was very hot so may finish up at a later date. We did most of it starting with Santos Memorial Park/Latte Stone Park. Eight giant carved limestone formations, known as latte by Chamorros, were moved here. Chamorros built their houses on these stone pillars. The pillars are two-piece construction; the supporting column was topped with a capstone. The supporting column was made from coral limestone and The capstone was made from natural hemispheric-shaped coral heads laboriously collected from the reefs. The Japanese excavated caves are also located on the site, but visitors are warned to stay out of these World War II sites.
Next up was the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica dating to the 17th century. Built by Spanish missionaries sent to Guam to convert Chamorros to Catholicism. A church site since 1669, part of the land upon which the Basilica sits was donated by Chief Kepuha, whose remains are buried on church grounds.
The Santo Papa as Juan Pablo Dos Monument stands at the site where Pope John Paul II held a mass in 1981. He was the first
Pontiff to visit the island since Spanish missionaries began their campaign to convert Chamorros. The bronze papal statue is very unique, rotating at a rate of one full revolution every 12 hours.
The Plaza de Espana, the seat of government for the Spanish, American and Japanese administrations. Many of the original buildings were destroyed during the heavy bombardment by American forces in 1944 to recaputure the island from the Japanese.
The San Antonio Bridge, commonly referred to as Tolai Acho (Stone Bridge) was built in 1580 by Spanish Governor Manuel Muro. It once spanned the Hagatna River between pre-World War II districts of San Ignacio and Bilibik. The bridge remained intact and continued to be used after hagatna was destroyed during the Liberaton of Guam in July 1944. During the Rehabilitation of Hagatna new streets were laid out and the river was filled in and the water diverted to a new outlet into Hagatna Bay.
The Sirena Statue is just to the side of the bridge. The story goes: A careless young girl whose love of the water caused her to be cursed by her regretful mother. The young girls is said to have ignored her chores
and instead swam in the Saddok Minondo. Frustrated, her mother wished she stayed in the water. she never returned home, and is said to have been spotted by seafarers across the world.
The Chamorro Village is a market where vendors sell everything from clothing to handicrafts, bananas to betel nut. Local food is abundant here. The village is located at the front of Chief Kepuha Park. An imposing statue of Chief Kepuha stands at the center of a traffic turn-a-round at the front of the park. Also, on the Phillipine Sea side of the park is Guam's Statue of Liberty. It represents the same thing as it does for the US--Freedom and Liberty, with Justice for All. Donated in1950, the statue served as a nation-wide symbol to commerorate the 40th anniversary of the Boy Scouts.
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