Guam Historic and Cultural Landmarks
The Church and American Influence
Influence of the Church. The Spanish occupation and Catholic Church continues to exert a major influence on the lives of the people and culture of Guam through the 19th century up to the present.
|Dulce Nombre de Maria
Dulce Nombre de Maria. The first Catholic Church on Guam, the Dulce Nombre de Maria (Sweet Name of Mary) Cathedral Basilica, was originally constructed in central Hagatna in 1669-1670 by Chamorro’s under the direction of Padre Diego Luis de San Vitores on lands granted by Chief Quipuha, the ranking male of Hagatna at that time. This structure survived until World War II when it was destroyed during the shelling of Hagatna in preparation for the American invasion. The present church was constructed on the original site in 1955-1959.
|Pope John Paul II|
Santo Papa as Juan Pablo Dos Monument. This bronze statue of Pope John Paul II (Santo Papa) commemorates the first papal visit to Guam since Christianity was introduced by the Jesuits in the 17th century. Located in the center of Chalan Santo Papa Juan Pablo Dos Street, also named in John Paul’s honor, in Hagatna, between the Plaza De Espana, the U.S. Post Office and the Guam Museum on Skinner Plaza, it stands on the spot where the Pontiff conducted mass during his historic 1981 visit. The statue is motorized and rotates on it’s base at the rate of one revolution every 12 hours.
|Sumay Cove Cemetery|
Sumay Cove Cemetery. Sumay Cove was once a prosperous port and thriving seaside community frequented by Spanish, French, German, Japanese, English, Russian and American ships. When Japanese warplanes bombarded Guam in December 1941, Sumay was the first village attacked. The villagers fled into the nearby jungles and were never allowed to return. The village was virtually destroyed. The American military seized Sumay as part of the Naval Station which it remains today. All that remains of the original village is the Spanish occupation era cemetery. Headstones contain epitaphs in both Chamorro and Spanish. The oldest marker claims the year if birth at 1812 and year of death in the 1890’s.
Merizo Bell Tower. The Merizo Bell tower (Kampanayum Malesso) was constructed in 1910 under the direction of Father Cristobal de Canalas to help raise the standard of living for the people of Merizo village. Merizo is the Southernmost village on the Island of Guam which has historically been known as a fishing village. Just off the shore from Merizo lies Cocos Island, known for outings and an 18th Century Spanish treasure galleon said to be sunk off it’s Southern tip. The tower was constructed with stone and cement and the bell was used to announce religious events, town meetings and mass. Although no longer in use today, it has been maintained and is a well known landmark to visit when in the Southern part of the Island.
World War II – Occupation and Liberation. The Japanese invasion of Guam in 1941 and subsequent occupation and Liberation in 1944 played a major role in Guam’s history and influence on the relationship between the Island and the United States to this day.
|War in the Pacific
National Historic Park Guam
War in the Pacific National Historic Park. The War in the Pacific National Historical Park-Guam was established on August 18, 1978 to commemorate the bravery and sacrifice of those participating in the campaigns of the Pacific Theater of World War II and to conserve and interpret outstanding natural, scenic, and historic values and objects on the island of Guam.
|War in the Pacific
National Historic Park Guam
Asan Beach, pictured here, is one of 6 units of the Park and was was one of the main landing areas of the American invasion to recapture Guam from the Japanese in 1944. Other units are Asan Village, Piti, Mount Chacho , Alifan, and Gann Point in Agat. Visitors can still see Japanese coastal guns, pillboxes, caves and other relics. Asan Overlook on Nimitz Hill, left, offers breathtaking views of the Bay and landing area. The War in the Pacific National Historic Park visitor center and museum is currently located just north of Asan Beach Park, but is scheduled to be relocated to Asan Overlook in the next few years.
|Gaan Point Agat, Guam|
|Japanese Coastal Gun
Japanese World War II Landmarks. A number of World II Japanese gun emplacements, caves, foxholes and pillboxes as well as sunken ships and airplanes (Japanese and American) still abound around Guam and under Guam’s clear waters. Japanese coastal guns in the village of Piti, Gann Point in Agat and Gun Beach in Tumon are accessible by foot. The guns at Piti are accessed by a trail that begins behind Our Lady of Assumption Church in Piti. The trail is not easily seen from the road, if a person was to walk behind the church, they will see it. The emplacement at Gun Beach can be accesses by walking down the beach Northward from the ”The Beach” Bar and Grill.The camouflaged gun emplacements at Gann Point are connected by a network of tunnels were virtually impregnable by the sea, but were eventually knocked out by American tanks approaching from the rear.
|Japanese WWII Mini-Sub|
The Japanese constructed an extensive system of tunnels in the Hagatna area using forced Chamorro, Okinawan and Korean labor. Entrances to the caves, such as the one in Latte Stone Park in Hagatna, can still be seen around the island. Sunken ships and airplanes are accessible to scuba divers and snorkelers. A captured Japanese WWI min-submarine that was sunk outside of Apra Harbor was raised and is currently on display at the Navy Museum just outside the Naval Station main gate.
|War Dog Monument|
War Dog Memorial. The War Dog Memorial, ” Always Faithful.”, located on the Naval Facility adjacent to Sumay, honors the Dobermans that served with the Marines in 1944 courageously and valiantly performing duties such as leading scouting parties, exploring caves and serving as sentries. Twenty-five dogs were killed in action and buried, on Guam. For more information check Louise Neumann’s War Dog Memorial WEB site or “Always Faithful, A Memoir of the Marine Dogs of WW II”, by William W. Putney.
|Japanese POW Steps
Naval Station, Guam
Japanese POW Steps. Japanese prisoners of war held at the Guam Naval Station were assigned various masonry and construction duties. This series of three steps located near Sumay is one example of their work that remains in excellent condition today. An inscription in Japanese characters translates as: “In memory of prisoners of war on the island of Rota, on the 27th day of the 7th month in the 21st year of the reign of Emperor Hirohito.” This would be 27 July 1946.
|Statue of Liberty|
Statue of Liberty. This replica of the Statue of Liberty stands in the Paseo de Susana at the entrance of Hagatna harbor and visible to boats approaching the harbor. The statue was dedicated by the Boy Scouts of America in 1950 in observance of their 40th anniversary.