World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Columbus Monument, Barcelona

Article Id: WHEBN0018276032
Reproduction Date:

Title: Columbus Monument, Barcelona  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Barcelona, Port Vell, La Rambla, Barcelona, Ciutat Vella, Parc de la Creueta del Coll
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Columbus Monument, Barcelona

Columbus Monument, Barcelona

The Columbus Monument (Catalan: Monument a Colom, IPA: ; Spanish: Monumento a Colón or Mirador de Colón) is a 60 m (197 ft) tall monument to Christopher Columbus at the lower end of La Rambla, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. It was constructed for the Exposición Universal de Barcelona (1888) in honor to Columbus first voyage to the Americas. The monument serves as a reminder that Christopher Columbus reported to Queen Isabella I and King Ferdinand V in Barcelona after his first trip to the new continent.[1]

Description

Statue and Column

At the very top of the monument stands a 7.2 m (24 ft) tall bronze statue atop a 40 m (131 ft) tall Corinthian column. The statue was sculpted by Rafael Atché and is said to depict Columbus pointing towards the New World with his right hand, while holding a scroll in the left. It is a commonly held belief that instead of pointing to the west towards the New World, the statue points east towards Columbus's supposed home city of Genoa.[2] This, however, is not true, as the statue points south-southeast (a more southerly direction than the adjacent Rambla Del Mar and almost a perfect extension of the direction of La Rambla, Barcelona) and in effect is pointing at a point somewhere near the city of Constantine, Algeria. To point at Genoa in northern Italy the statue would have to face east-northeast and point up the coastline. It is more likely that the statue is situated in the current way simply to have Columbus point out to sea underscoring his achievements in naval exploration. The statue is atop a socle, on which the word "Tierra" (land) is inscribed.

Pedestal

Pedestal of Columbus Monument
Statue of Father Bernat de Boïl, with the medallions of the Marqués and Marquessa de Moya behind

The column, hung with a device bearing an anchor, stands on an octagonal pedestal from which four bronze winged victories or Phemes take flight towards the four corners of the world, above paired griffins. Four buttresses against the octagonal pedestal bear portrait medallions that depict persons related to Columbus:

  1. Martín Alonzo Pinzón
  2. Vicente Yáñez Pinzón
  3. Ferdinand II of Aragon
  4. Isabella I of Castile
  5. Father Juan Pérez
  6. Father Antonio de Marchena
  7. Andrés de Cabrera, Marqués de Moya
  8. Beatriz Fernández de Bobadilla, Marquessa de Moya

Seated against the buttresses are four figures that represent the four realms of Spain: the Principality of Catalonia, and the kingdoms of León, Aragon, and Castile.

Against the base of the pedestal between the buttresses are four additional statues:

  1. Jaume Ferrer de Blanes, a Catalan cartographer
  2. Luis de Santángel Bessant
  3. Captain Pedro Bertran i de Margarit, next to a kneeling Indian
  4. Father Bernat de Boïl, preaching to a kneeling Indian

An elevator inside the column takes visitors up to a viewing platform at the top (just below the socle).

Plinth

Bas-relief depicting Columbus meeting King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella in Cordoba

The canted octagonal plinth is inset with eight bronze bas-relief panels that depict important scenes in Columbus's first voyage to the Americas:

  1. Columbus and his son asking for food at the La Rabida Monastery
  2. Columbus explaining his plans to the monks of the La Rabida Monastery
  3. Columbus meeting King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella in Córdoba
  4. Columbus appearing at the council gathering in the Monastery of San Esteban in Salamanca
  5. Columbus meeting the King and Queen in Santa Fe
  6. Columbus leaving port from Palos de la Frontera on 3 August 1492
  7. Columbus's arrival in the New World
  8. Columbus greeting the King and Queen after his return in Barcelona

Alternating with the bas-reliefs are eight coats-of-arms representing locations that Columbus visited:

  1. Huelva
  2. Córdoba
  3. Salamanca
  4. Santa Fe
  5. Palos de la Frontera
  6. Puerto Rico
  7. Cuba
  8. Barcelona

Base

Lion at the base

The base of the monument is a 20 m (66 ft) wide circle, with four staircases. Each staircase is flanked by two lions.

Construction

The idea of a monument to Columbus came in 1856 from Antoni Fages i Ferrer, who proposed that it be constructed entirely by Catalans, but he got nowhere with his plan for sixteen years. Finally in 1872 he gained the support of the mayor of the city, Francesc Rius i Taulet, and in 1881 the city passed a resolution to build the monument. A contest was held exclusively for Spanish artists to submit their designs with the winner being Gaietà Buigas i Monravà, a Catalan. Most of the money was privately raised, with only twelve percent being financed with public funds. All of the funding came from Spanish sources and the entire construction (labour and materials) was done by Catalans. Construction began in 1882 and was completed in 1888 in time for the Exposición Universal de Barcelona.[3]

Other versions

Scale model at the Catalunya en Miniatura park

Copies of the monument can be found in L'Arboç (Tarragona, Catalonia; statue only),[4] Shima Spanish Village (Shima, Mie, Japan),[5] Maspalomas (Gran Canaria, Spain),[6] and miniature versions at the Catalunya en Miniatura park and at the Mini-Europe park (Brussels, Belgium).[7]

References

  1. ^ Frei, Terry. (July 23, 1992) The Oregonian Getting feel and flavor of Barcelona. Section: Sports; Page E1.
  2. ^ Black, James; Legge, Charles. (April 3, 2006) Daily Mail So why is Columbus looking in the wrong direction? Page 61.
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^

External links

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.