GAZEBO OF CALVARY: HISTORICAL HERITAGE CARAQUEÑIDAD
This pavilion, of 140 m2 of hexagonal symmetrical plant, we find it in 2009 in almost state of destruction, for which it was proposed and approved to initiate its intervention and restoration…
Caracas, the city of red roofs, chosen as a political and economic settlement of Venezuela, for its extraordinary climate and geographical location, was built around the idea of the Spanish Plaza.
Specifically, around the Plaza Mayor there were born public buildings and houses of the aristocrats; and, as this scheme was expanding, the same was repeated with other squares to form blocks that together constitute the urban planimetry of our capital.
From the eighteenth century, the corners that were gestating from such blocks of our city, were acquired name, responding to diverse reasons. Thus the corner of “Socorro”, which name is originated from a position of emergency medical care on site; the corner of “Las Ánimas”, under the legend that a funeral of chorus of voices was heard during the nightfall; the corner of “Earl”, having lived there two counts; the one of “Terraces”, because in that space, there were some steps down to the Plaza Mayor; and the corner of “San Jacinto” that hosted the Convent of San Jacinto.
This convent, built and ran by the Dominicans, gave rise to the birth in 1595 of the “Plaza de San Jacinto” (Patron of this religious congregation), one of the oldest in the city, surrounded by the “Casa Natal del Libertador” and the “Bolivarian Museum”; and, where Alexander Von Humboldt recommended in 1802 during a visit, the construction of a sundial. In 1812 the “Torreta” Square after the earthquake of Caracas, was the place where Simón Bolívar declared his famous slogan “If nature opposes, we will fight it and we will make it to obey us”.
The square was later reconstructed after the indicated earthquake, and in 1967 also for the same reason, this time under the direction of the renowned architect Tomás Sanabria, was always kept its shape and also did the “Torreta”, having been made in that year a replica of the valuable watch.
Were three stages of the square. The religious use (with Convent San Jacinto, deleted in response to the Act Extinction Convents 1828); the politics, monumental and recreational one, when it became the town hall; and finally the commercial. The latter, due to the growth in business from the adjacent Plaza Bolívar.
Over what was the Convent and Church, Mercado de San Jacinto was built. It became very important and with high movement in the early twentieth century and in which was stood an open structure on all sides: the very iconic Gazebo destiny to the selling of flowers .
A “Gazebo” is identified as a structure characterized by the absence of vertical enclosure and being generally used to give shade to the people, facilitating also the people resting or simply function as an ornament.
His name Gazebo seems to be originated as some of the French phrase “c’est beau” (Wonderful), but for others as the Arabic word “Kasabah” or “Qasaba”, which was referred to the fortresses that were built in urban environments, sometimes as terraces. Its design reminds the Hellenes and Roman temples as well as the Renaissance temples and Chinese pagodas.
Its shape goes back more directly to the English gardens of the eighteenth century, which included the aesthetics of the “picturesque”, created under the influence of Joseph Addison, who used it to identify the news, the irregular and the singular in the arts; and generates a movement that made prevail the excitement in the viewer’s perception rather that the beauty of the object. This is definitely a result of the contemporary trend to emphasize the subjectivity of artistic issues.
The Gazebo de San Jacinto, for the sale of flowers, was built in 1883 in Belgium with African woods, it responds to the “Frenchified” tendency of the age, which was imposed by president Antonio Guzman Blanco.
By the 30s of last century, it was transferred to the originally called Paseo Guzmán Blanco Park (cultural heritage as Official Gazette of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela number 39272, September 25, 2009) located in the urbanization “El Silencio de Caracas”, between the corners “Cathedral” and “San Juan”, today named “Ezequiel Zamora Park”.
This pavilion, is 140 m2 of symmetrical hexagonal plan, was found by us almost destroyed in the year of 2007, so it was proposed and approved to start its intervention and restoration as part of our action, on the axis of heritage restoration and rescue of public spaces within the framework of the policy of social and cultural development, that was part of our mandate and “raison d’etre” as an institution.
Immediately we proceeded to hold meetings with very active surrounding communities and professionals in the field to develop a Pre Diagnosis; and, after being identified as the best researchers and experts of it to the members of the National Forest Products Laboratory, located at the headquarters of the University of Los Andes (ULA), headed by its Director Pablo Ninin, we proceeded to run in great detail, disassembly and packaging, to submit to that authority, which would be subject to review and direct restoration by 12 researchers from different disciplines.
Thus, each of the parts of the gazebo samples were taken from their biological agents (fungi and termites), to determine the extent of their respective biological deterioration. Then, sawing and wood drying was performed and also was developed the study of their mechanical physical properties. This, to determine whether each piece had their structural properties and corresponding visual quality.
In succession, infrared and microscopic studies were conducted, at the same time that pesticides and electronic sweep tests.
Later, its damaged parts were removed and replaced and it was performed the assembly and encoding of each of the 372 pieces that form the structural groups of major and minor arcs of ornamental character, as well as the acrylic finish to the guardrail, cornices and watermarks.
The gazebo consists of 12 columns and a double-roof, one of which we take again to 16 fall roof, which in some remodeling had been reduced to four fall roof, affecting the structure, aesthetics and overall design of the work.
To prevent damage, the woods were dried and calibrated, also protected with glue and placed an asphalt products mantle structures in each of them.
The pavement was replaced and, as in all our projects, the Gazebo acquired the added value of its monumental “Led” lighting and surrounding landscaping, together with the incorporation of a high quality design signposting with the narration of the steps taken to restore the Gazebo and also its history. This whole process lasted for 3 years, due to its depth in detail and seriousness.
The most important of our work was yet to have generated the empowerment of the work by the communities in the area; and, the space management by the same directly to the holding of meetings, events; and, at the same time, its inclusion as a constituent part of the lives, everyday life and stories of local urbanites. The Gazebo has thus been an accomplice of lovers who rely on him to ask his girlfriend’s hand; has served for judges and officials marriageable; it has accompanied the dancers swaying and served as an acoustic stage for band concerts and concerts on Sundays.
The Gazebo has led colorful flowers from “San Jacinto” to the “Calvario”, to wrap with its aromas the everyday life of Caracas, which through their history found those gentlemen from “Conde” to “San Francisco”, while inviting the ladies to enjoy all together a lowering of hot chocolate under the cold coming from the Ávila mountain in December.