The Columbus Monument is known as Monument a Colom in Catalan. It is also known as Monumento a Colón or Mirador de Colón in Spanish. This monument can’t be missed at the end of Las Ramblas near the Port Vell. The 60 m (197 ft.) tall monument of Christopher Columbus was constructed for the Exposición Universal de Barcelona in 1888. The monument was built to honor Christopher Columbus’ first voyage to the Americas. As a result of leaving from the Barcelona port, he reported to King Ferdinand V and Queen Isabella I.
The statue and column
Rafael Atché sculpted the statue of Columbus pointing with his right hand and holding a scroll in his left. The 7.2 m (24 ft.) bronze statue sits on top of the Corinthian column. Some say he is pointing to the ‘new world’ of the west; however, he is actually pointing in the direction of Constantine, Algeria. Others say he is only pointing out to the sea for his naval exploration achievements. The word “Tierra”, which means land, is inscribed below the statue.
The octagonal pedestal is a masterpiece in itself. Four bronzed Phemes facing the four corners of the world arise at the top of the pedestal. In addition, directly below each one is the powerful and majestic griffin. Furthermore, there are four buttresses around the octagonal pedestal. Each side displays a medallion portrait of someone related to Columbus. They include:
• Vicente Yáñez Pinzón.
• Martín Alonzo Pinzón
• Isabella I of Castile
• Ferdinand II of Aragon
• Father Juan Pérez
• Father Antonio de Marchena
• Beatriz Fernández de Bobadilla, Marquesa de Moya
• Andrés de Cabrera, Marqués de Moya
Additionally, seated between the medallions and against the buttresses are four statues. One symbolizes the Principality of Catalonia and the other three for the kingdoms of Aragon, Castile, and León.
Similarly, there are four additional statues between the buttresses at the base of the pedestal. They are:
• Luis de Santángel Bessant
• Jaume Ferrer de Blanes, a Catalan cartographer
• Father Bernat de Boïl
• Captain Pedro Bertran i de Margarit
The octagonal base alternates eight bronze bas-relief panels and eight coats-of-arms. The panels illustrate some of Columbus’ first voyage to the Americas. They include:
• Columbus’ arrival in the New World
• Columbus meeting the King and Queen in Santa Fe
• Columbus meeting King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella in Córdoba
• Columbus leaving port from Palos de la Frontera on August 3, 1492
• Columbus greeting the king and queen after his return in Barcelona
• Columbus explaining his plans to the monks of the La Rabida Monastery
• Columbus appearing at the council gathering in the Monastery of San Esteban in Salamanca
• Columbus and his son asking for food at the La Rabida Monastery
Furthermore, the eight coats-of-arms symbolize the places that Columbus visited:
• Santa Fe
• Puerto Rico
The circle surrounding the monument base is 20 m (66 ft.) wide. It incorporates four staircases with a large lion on both sides of each.
Views and wine tasting
Few people know that you can take a lift to the top of the 60-m (196.85 ft) tower. It is small with only room for two people plus the operator. However, the views of Las Ramblas, the city and Port Vell from the top of the tower are amazing. You will enjoy the obstruction free 360-degree views, so make sure you bring your camera with you.
You will also have the opportunity to indulge in a wine or cava tasting in the Espai de Vins Mirador de Colom. Choose between four varieties of wine and cava with Designation of Origin status. The world-renowned Penedes, the innovative D.O. Catalunya, the inland region of Pla de Bages, and the coastal area of Alella are available. Your glass of wine or cava will be complemented by an artisan cheese tapa.
Monument copies & tickets
Models and miniature copies of the Columbus monument can be seen in other areas around the world. One is in Shima Spanish Village (Shima Mie, Japan), Mini-Europe park (Brussels, Belgium), Catalunya en Miniatura park, Maspalomas (Gran Canaria, Spain) and L’Arboc (Tarragona, Catalonia).
Tickets start at just 6 EUR (6.75 USD) for the lift to the top of the monument. A ticket for the lift to the top and wine tasting is 8 EUR (9 USD).
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