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Quezon Memorial Circle: A Famous Historical

Park in Quezon City



The Quezon Memorial Circle is a national park and shrine located in Quezon City, the former capital of the
Philippines (19481976). The park is bounded by the Elliptical Road. Its main feature is a mausoleum containing the
remains of Manuel L. Quezon, the second President of the Philippines, and his wife, First Lady Aurora Quezon.


History
The site was originally intended as the grounds of the National Capitol to be built in Quezon City to
house the Congress of the Philippines. The location was also part of a larger National Government Center
located around Elliptical Road and the Quezon City Quadrangle (made up of the North, South, East, and
West Triangles). The NGC was meant to house the three branches of the Philippine government
(legislative, executive, and judicial). While the cornerstone for the structure was laid on November 15,
1940, only the foundations were in place when construction was interrupted by the beginning of the
Second World War in the Philippines. After World War II, President Sergio Osmea issued an executive
order stipulating the creation of a Quezon Memorial Committee to raise funds by public subscription to
erect a memorial to his predecessor, President Manuel L. Quezon. After a national contest was held for
the purpose of designing the Quezon Memorial Project, a winning entry by Filipino architect Federico S.
Ilustre was selected. Aside from the monument itself, a complex of three buildings, including a presidential
library, a museum, and a theater, were also planned to be erected.
The monument would consist of three vertical pylons (representing the three main geographic divisions of the
country: Luzon, the Visayas, and Mindanao), 66 meters (217 ft) tall (Quezon's age when he died), surmounted by
three mourning angels holding sampaguita (the national flower) wreaths sculpted by the Italian sculptor Monti. The
three pylons would in turn circumscribe a drum-like two-story structure containing a gallery from which visitors could
look down at Quezon's catafalque, modeled after Napoleon Bonaparte's in the Invalides. The gallery and the
catafalque below are lit by an oculus, in turn reminiscent of Grant's Tomb.