Cuenca鈥檚 beautifully tended central park, Parque Calder贸n, is an attractive, expansive area of flowers and trees. The park is dominated by a monument to Abd贸n Calder贸n, a young cuencano who fought valiantly at the battle of Pichincha in 1822, a pivotal confrontation in Ecuador鈥檚 struggle for independence. According to local legend, a critically injured Calder贸n crawled to the summit of Pichincha Volcano, where he planted the Ecuadorian flag in defiance of the Spanish. This legend is probably embellished somewhat, but according to historical documents, he received four wounds in the battle yet continued to fight. Although he died in Quito five days later, to this day, Ecuadorian soldiers who show tremendous courage are awarded the Abd贸n Calder贸n medal.
The park is flanked on two sides by churches that are popular with tourists. To the east is the colonial El Sagrario Church and on the west is Cuenca鈥檚 most famous building, the massive La Inmaculada Church, which is instantly recognizable by the blue domes that dominate Cuenca鈥檚 skyline.
Ca. Sim贸n Bol铆var and Mariscal Sucre and Ca. Benigno Malo and Luis Cordero
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