During my time here in La Paz, I have been able to see many different culturally or historically important places across the city, from the Prado in the city center, to the dirt-paved roads of outer El Alto, to the Office of the Vice-president, where the congressional archives are located. Out of everything I’ve seen, la Plaza Murillo has been my favorite. Originally built as part of the old Spanish colonial city, this beautiful plaza has design elements from the both the Greeks and the Spanish. In the center of the plaza, there is a huge statue of Pedro Murillo, a hero in the Bolivian struggle for independence. Surrounding the central paved portion of the plaza are Grecian statues of the nine muses. I’m not sure of the significance of the statues of the muses, but for me, they seem to represent the rich mixing of cultures and traditions in Bolivia and an appreciation for the arts.
The plaza is surrounded by some of the most important buildings in the city. Some of these buildings include the Presidential Palace, the La Paz Cathedral, and the Plurinational Assembly, Bolivia’s congress. Within the plaza, in addition to the beautiful statues and plants, you will find grandparents and their grandchildren feeding the hundreds of pigeons that reside in the Plaza. This is a La Paz tradition that’s gone on for generations. The historical and cultural significance of this place makes it an ideal place for people-watching. I have found that the times I’ve appreciated Bolivian culture the most were when I was observing the sights around me in this plaza. I wish I had more time here to really immerse myself in the history of all the buildings here.