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History of Plaza Grau(former Plaza Constitución, then Plaza de la Victoria)


Eduardo Polack postcard

The current Plaza Grau is a relatively modern development of an older square that was originally called Plaza de la Constitución, then Plaza de la Victoria and now forms two adjacent squares with different names. The first, oldest, is called Plaza Emilio San Martín, patron saint of the Peruvian coast guard, who immolated himself in Callao Bay on May 25, 1880, during the Pacific War, and which is currently called Plaza Grau. The original center of Plaza Grau, today Plaza Emilio San Martín, begins on Manco Cápac Street and is surrounded by Constitución, Adolfo King and Daniel Nieto streets, traditional Chalca streets.


The original Plaza Grau, current Plaza Emilio San Martín, was born from an agreement of the Provincial Council of Callao on January 13, 1891, chaired at that time by Dr. Hermógenes Maúrtua. The Council decided to build a plaza intended to commemorate the figure of the Angamos hero Miguel Grau Seminario, whose remains had returned to the homeland on July 15, 1890 and disembarked at the historic War Dock in the smell of crowds for transfer to Lime.


The layout of the original Plaza Grau corresponded to the notable State engineer Santiago Basurco and was developed on the old “Plazuela de la Victoria”, as it was called around 1885, which in turn had replaced a previous one called “Plaza de la Constitución", built in 1857 in the place known around 1800 as the "Oval of the fishermen) for having been the scene of the bloody events that confronted the so-called "constitutionalists", who defended the government of Ramón Castilla against the insurrection of the General Manuel Ignacio de Vivanco. In that same year, 1857, Callao became a Constitutional Province.


Historian of the Directorate of Real Estate Historical Heritage

Ministry of Culture of Peru

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