Manuel Atanasio Girardot Díaz was a Colombian revolutionary war hero. He was born to a French businessman and miner in San Jeronimo, Antioquia on May 2, 1791. He died on September 30, 1813 at the young age of 22. Though his life was cut short he did more than most of us could do in many lifetimes.
On October 30, 1810 he graduated with a law degree in Bogota. At this time he was lieutenant in the army under Captain Antonio Baraya.
He fought under Antonio Baraya’s leadership, leading troops to the Colombian revolutions first victory over Spanish troops in Popayán in The Battle of Bajo Palacé on March 28, 1811.
In one of his greatest feats, Girardot led 70 men to victory over 700 Spanish troops. The Spanish suffered around 200 casualties. This instilled fear in the Spanish, which ultimately lost and Colombia established their independence.
After defeating the Spanish army in what is now Colombia Girardot joined the great liberator, Simon Bolivar, in Venezuela’s fight for independence in what is knows as la Campaña Admirable de Bolivar (Bolivar’s Admirable Campaign).
He fought alongside Bolivar in various battles coming out victorious; consequently earning Bolivar’s respect and trust.
On September 30, 1813 Bolivar sent Girardot together with Venezuelan army troops to the outskirts of the Venezuelan city of Naguanagua.
The liberation troops fought the Spanish Royal army and managed to make them retreat.
Our hero, Atanasio Girardot, climbed a hill to erect a Colombian flag to proclaim victory. As he reached the top and was about to post the flag a bullet caught him. He died with the Colombian flag draped over him.
Monuments and Tributes
- Stadium Atanasio Girardot, the main soccer stadium in Medellín, Colombia. You can find his bust on display here.
- The city of Girardot in Cundinamarca, Colombia.
- The municipality Atanasio Girardot, the administrative sector of Maracay, Aragua, Venezuela.
- Plaza Girardot in the city of Maracay, where a monument stands.
- The municipality of Girardot in Cojedes, Venezuela.
- Girardot Avenue in Bejuma, Venezuela.
- Atanasio Girardot Street: 4o Cj 8 NO in Guayaquil, Ecuador.
- Colinas de Girardot, Bárbula Municipio Naguanagua, Venezuela.
- Atanasio Girardot street in the Villa Ortúzar neighborhood, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
- The municipality of Girardota in Antioquia, Colombia.
What inspired me to write about Girardot?
Colombian independence day is right around the corner, July 20th got me thinking about how little I know about Colombia’s revolutionary history.
In my research I found that I actually live on Girardot street! I didn’t know who he was, so I started reading about him. Most information is in Spanish, so it took me a while to understand some of the more dificult vocabulary, regardless I was enthralled with his life.
I hope that you continue to study Colombia’s history, I know I will.
About the writer – Andrew Macia
Hello, my name is Andrew Macia and I am the founder of the Medellin Buzz. I am an advanced level English teacher here in Medellin, and I also have a website development, and marketing company which I run from home.
My idea with the Medellin Buzz is to push those who are learning English and to motivate those who are considering the option of learning English here in Medellin.
I love living in Medellin and I love Colombia. I want to give back to the community and this is the best way I know how. Let’s practice English/Spanish and have a great time!
Hey man, thanks for taking the time to write about him. For years, I was wondering why the stadium was named after him and after taking a visit there yesterday and seeing how amazing that complex is, I decided to do some research also. Glad you shared this. BTW, they have some really nice courts inside there. 😉