"Juan Ponce de Leon" by C. Bupert

Photo by Dan Lundberg

The statue of Juan Ponce de Leon stands high among the palm trees in the center of Ponce de Leon Circle. A 14-foot white granite pedestal carved with wreaths and garland supports the bronze sculpture. The Spanish explorer extends his right arm, pointing northward. He rests his left hand on the hilt of his sword. Dressed in 16th Century armor and a feather-plumed hat, the weathered figure commands the skyline of St. Augustine’s harbor. This sculpture is a replica of the original bronze in San Juan, Puerto Rico created by C. Bupert. It was cast by the Gorham Manufacturing Company. St. Augustine sculptor Adrian Pillars carved the elaborate pedestal. The monument was a gift to the City from Dr. Andrew Anderson in 1923.

 

HISTORY

Ponce de Leon was among the first wave of Conquistadors who charted and colonized the New World. After centuries of territorial battles, power grabs, and religious conflict, the Spanish monarchy shifted force across the Atlantic to claim land and riches. The risks were considerable. Treacherous oceans. Enemy combatants. Limited provisions. These threats were exceeded only by the prospect of personal wealth, for the explorers would share in the spoils of war.

There are no official records of Ponce de Leon’s birth. Historians believe he was born in 1460. The young noble sailed as a “gentleman voyager” on Christopher Columbus’ second trans-Atlantic expedition in 1493. They landed in the Caribbean, where Ponce de Leon rose to military commander of H

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Collection: Touch STA

Medium type: Cast Bronze; Granite

Date created: November 11, 1923

Dimensions: 21' tall

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