The Independence Monument, better known as the Angel of Independence or Victoria Alada [winged victory], is one of the most representative symbols of Mexico City. It was inaugurated in 1910 by the then president of Mexico, Porfirio Díaz, to commemorate the Centennial of Mexico's Independence. It is located in a roundabout on Paseo de la Reforma avenue.
While the sculptures and bas-reliefs were designed by Enrique Alciati, the project was under the responsibility of the famous Mexican architect Antonio Rivas Mercado. It had a cost of 2 million 150 thousand pesos at the time.
On September 16, 1910, it was finally inaugurated by Díaz to commemorate the centenary of the Mexican Independence.
It is a gold-plated bronze sculpture that measures 6.7 meters and weighs 7 tons. The angel holds with her right hand a laurel wreath which she’ll be placing on the heads of the heroes, and in her left hand she holds a broken chain of three links that symbolize the end of the three centuries of Spanish rule over Mexico.
Inside the monument are the ashes of the Independence heroes. These were transferred from the Metropolitan Cathedral of Mexico City and other remains were brought from their burial places to be deposited in urns inside the monument.
During the 1957 earthquake that affected the Mexican capital, the sculpture of the winged victory fell from its pedestal, the sculpture was destroyed and had to be replaced by a new one. Currently, the face of the original sculpture can be seen at the entrance of the Historical Archive of Mexico City.