This immense plaza was inaugurated in 1994 as a recreational and cultural center in Medellin. The plaza has a landscaped park, is home to the beautiful San Antonio Church (located at the southwest corner of the plaza) and offers free concerts in a crescent-shaped amphitheater.
This plaza’s claim to fame is one of Fernando Botero’s bronze sculptures. Botero, a Colombian artist born in Medellin, is the creator of oversized sculptures that have become world famous.
Botero’s Bird of Peace (Pajaro de Paz) statue located in the San Antonio Plaza was destroyed by a bomb in 1995, allegedly due to FARC activity. The bomb not only destroyed the statue but also killed innocent people nearby. Several years later, Botero placed an identical sculpture beside the original one, which has become a symbol of peace as well as a memorial to those who died in the bombing.
The plaza’s park comes to life on the weekends; an entertaining activity is to sit on a bench in the shade and people-watch. There are also outdoor restaurants and vendors selling food on the streets.
The plaza is located between Calle Maturín and Calle San Juan and Carrera Oriental, only a few short blocks from El Centro metro station. As in other large cities around the world, keep an eye on your belongings when you visit the area.