Public Art Around The World

More Than Just The Plaque

Columbus Monument

Columbus Monument
Columbus Monument

Public Art: Columbus Monument 

Also known as:  “Monumento a Colon” and “Mirador de Colon”

Architect: © Gaieta Buigas i Monrava (1851 – 1919 )

Sculptor: © Rafael Atche (1854-1923)

Date Unveiled: 1888

Description: The Columbus Monument is dedicated to the famous explorer Christopher Columbus (c. 31st of October, 1451 – 20th May, 1506). The Corinthian column and statue rise 60 m (197 ft) high above Barcelona.

Right at the top of the column stands a 7.2 m (24 ft) bronze statue of Christopher Columbus who holds in his left hand a navigational chart, while his right-hand points “supposedly” towards America (The New World). This is in fact not entirely true, it points east towards Genoa. 

The statue stands atop a socle, which has the word “Tierra” (land) inscribed on it.


Location: The Columbus Monument is located at the lower end of La Rambla, Barcelona, Spain. This was the site where Christoper Columbus returned to Spain in 1493, after his first voyage to the Americas, to greet Queen Isabella and Ferdinand.

Columbus Monument Trivia: The statue of Christopher Columbus is not actually pointing west in the direction of America but east towards his “supposed” home town of Genoa in Italy.

There is a lift inside the column which takes visitors to a viewing platform gallery.

On the 1st of May, 2012, six tourists became trapped on the viewing platform for 7 hours when the elevator failed. When all attempts to fix the elevator failed, firefighters tried to rescue them by using a helicopter. This also failed. In the end, they were forced to build a crane with a cabin to set the tourist back safely on the ground.

Interesting Tidbits: Christopher Columbus and his crew were rumored to have been responsible for bringing syphilis to Europe after returning from their voyage to the New World.


Baltimore: Baltimore’s Colombus Obelisk, Baltimore’s Colombus statue,

New York City – New York City’s Colombus Monument

Columbus Monument
Columbus Monument

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