Columbus Monument - History and Facts | History Hit

Columbus Monument

Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

The Columbus Monument is a major Barcelonan landmark celebrating the famed explorer.

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About Columbus Monument

This mammoth monument to Christopher Columbus opened at the time of the Universal Exhibition in 1888. Celebrating the fact that Columbus disembarked in Barcelona after his trip to America, the Columbus Monument is now a major Barcelonan landmark, and visitors can take a lift up 60 metres to the top for great views of the city.

History of Columbus Monument

The Christopher Columbus Monument (Mirador de Colom or Colon monument) was built in for the Barcelona Universal Exposition (Exposición Universal de Barcelona) 1888 to honour explorer and traveller Christopher Columbus when he disembarked from Barcelona to find the New World.

The idea to build the monument came from Antonin Fages i Ferrer in 1856, who tried and failed to have it constructed for 16 years. In 1872, the mayor of the city eventually lent his support to the project, passing a resolution in 1881 to have it built. A subsequent competition was held for Spanish artists to submit their designs, with the winner being Gaietà Buigas i Monravà, a Catalan.

The subsequent build was paid for privately, with only 12% being financed by public funds, and was completed over a period of 6 years from 1882 to 1888, in time for the Barcelona Universal Exposition.

Located at the lower end of La Rambla, Barcelona, Spain, the monument stands 60m tall, with a 40m Corinthian Column supporting a bronze statue of Columbus pointing towards the New World with his right hand, with a scroll of parchment in his left. The statue pointing south-southeast towards the sea represents Columbus’ seafaring exploration.

Columbus Monument Today

Today, visitors can enjoy views from the top of the monument thanks to a lift which runs from the base to the top of the tower through the centre. From the top, visitors can join Columbus in looking out over the famous La Rambla and the port area, which is known for its vibrant street performers and paintings by famous artist Joan Miró, outdoor markets, shops, restaurants, and cafes.

Getting to Columbus Monument

The Columbus Monument can be reached from the centre of Barcelona in around 10 minutes by car, along the Via Laietana.

By far the easiest way to travel, though, is by foot, bus, or metro. Buses which stop by the monument – the 88, 59, and V13 – leave from the city centre every 15 minutes, and take around 6 minutes to reach the lower end of La Rambla. Similarly, the L3 Metro departs every 4 minutes from PlaÇa Catalunya, with the Drassanes stop dropping you off a four minute walk from the monument.

By foot, the statue is reachable in around 15 minutes from the city centre, and is an enjoyable walk through Barcelona’s artistic and vibrant streets.