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Spain in Guam – Part 2

July 29, 2011
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There are other remnants of Spain’s influence on Guam – and they’re right in the center of the capital city.

The Spanish Plaza was the government seat for decades before and after the Spanish American War, ending only when the area was effectively destroyed during WWII.

Not all was eradicated, though.

There’s a little left – enough to provide a glimpse into a Spanish governor’s life on an outpost on the other side of the world.

But not much, and

what’s left is crumbling.

The Pheebs took some interesting shots – mostly of people admiring the ruins.

The cultural chasm of east and west makes it difficult for Japanese to comprehend what went on here.  Instead, this becomes an visually unique spot which furnishes photographic proof of a vacation…

and little else.  The historical placard a prop, the Chocolate House background.  If they’d spent a minute longer onsite instead of hurrying back to the bus, they might have learned something.

This is what they missed:

It turns out very little of the Plaza is original; it’s been rebuilt from the rubble of the last war – a testament to a time gone by.  Being a student of history and a seeker of genuine artifacts, I poked around looking for something which dated to the Spanish era….

and I found it.

Embedded in the masonry of the Chocolate House was this carved stone royal seal of Spain – a marker to say this is ours, this rock 12 months away from home (via sail).

the bottom of the seal tells the story:

Ano de 1879.

I stood in the Chocolate house for quite some time, thinking about all the history this little pagoda has seen – from Spanish to US to Japanese and back to US  – all in the space of a man’s lifetime.

There’s a saying – and I can’t recall its origins, but it goes like this:  May you live in interesting times.  A blessing and a curse, as evidenced by a round patio for sipping chocolate.

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