Mirador de Colom - Christopher Columbus Monument Popular

Plaça de Colón, 08002, Barcelona
Nearest Metro
Drassanes L3
City District
Ciutat Vella: El Gòtic
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Mirador de Colom - Christopher Columbus Monument
Monumento a Cristóbal Colón. Also called Mirador de Colom. This is Barcelona's monument to Christopher Columbus. The Mirador de Colom is at 'Plaça de Colón' by the harbour, also called 'Plaça del Portal de la Pau.'

This monument is also known as the 'Mirador de Colom' in the Catalan language. The bronze statue of Columbus is 7.2 m tall and it stands on a column which is 40m tall. The total height of the Columbus monument is 60m.

Columbus is often thought to be pointing his right hand towards the New World while holding a map in the left. In actual fact his hand is pointing east towards Columbus's home city of Genoa.

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The Columbus monument was built to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the discovery of America. Columbus presented his findings to the Catholic monarchs of Spain, Queen Isabella of Castile and King Ferdinand of Aragon, after discovering the Americas.

Columbus stands on a globe with the inscription 'tierra' which means earth.

At the base of the column you can see another statue of Columbus holding scrolls and if you look at the eight bronze relief panels the base of the column you can find scenes from Columbus' first voyage to the Americas.

The idea for a monument came in 1856 from Antoni Fages i Ferrer, a wealthy citizen and great admirer of Columbus. But it was not until the year 1881 that the city of Barcelona passed a resolution to actually build it.

A contest was held for Spanish artists to design the monument which was won by Catalan Gaietà Buigas i Monravà. Funding was 88% private donations with construction beginning in 1882 and ending in 1888 in time for the Universal Exposition in Barcelona.

In Spanish Columbus' name is 'Cristobal Colon' or 'Christobal Colon' - In Catalan he is called 'Colom' - and finally Italian he is called 'Cristoforo Colombo.

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El Mirador de Colom was finally built in 1888 for the 1988 Universal Exhibition. It is a 57m tall monument to commerate the discovery of America.

The monument was a technological sensation, when it was opened, because it had the first hydraulic lift in Barcelona.

The Mirador de Colom now has a faster and more modern lift, although still tiny which go up to a very small viewing platform. There is a souvenir shop and bicycle hire service.

Christopher Columbus set sail in 1492 from the Spanish port Palos de la Frontera and crossed the Atlantic Ocean. He landed in the 'new world' of the Americas.

The expedition was financed by the Spanish King Ferdinand of Aragon and Queen Isabella of Castille. You can still see the original contract and papers pertaining to the voyage in the Barcelona city archives Arxiu historic.

Columbus sailed west in search of a sea passage to India. His mission was twofold: to open trade routes for exploitation and spread the gospel of Christ.

He sailed with three ships called the Niña, Pinta and his flagship Santa Maria. in 1492 and made landfall somewhere in the Bahamas. He returned to Europe and was named 'Admiral of the Ocean Seas' by Ferdinand and Isabella.

If you visit Barcelona Cathedral La Seu you can see the baptism font where the six native americans of the new world that Columbus brought back from his first voyage, were baptized.

Columbus completed three more voyages in the following years, always believing that he had reached Asia, and his success opened the door for Spain to conquer the Americas.

On the second voyage the monkBernat Boïl(Fray Buil) from Montserrat monastery near Barcelona was one of 12 missionaries who travelled with Columbus and on January 6, 1494 Buil conducted the first mass held in the New World in a temporary structure at Isabela on Haiti.

The second Monday in October is celebrated as Columbus Day in the United States.

America is named for Amerigo Vespucci, a Florentine navigator and explorer, who explored what is now South America a few years after Columbus's initial voyage. 

Opening times Mirador de Colom:
Open all year 08:30 to 20:30
Closed 1st Jan and 25/12
Disabled access.

Free admission Barcelona Card holders

Saturday, 09 December 2023