The Discoverer of America.
Christopher Columbus was a controversial character who discovered the American continent on the 12th of October 1492 while trying to navigate his way to the Orient in the opposite direction to all the preceding expeditions, in line with the theory that the Earth was round. The controversy stems from his place of birth: while most hold the view that he was born in Genoa, some voices in academic circles claim that he could have been born somewhere in Catalonia.
There is a monument to this emblematic navigator at the end of the Rambla, just where Barcelona meets the sea. There is a lift which takes you to the top, 51 metres above ground and the total height of the monument is 60 metres, which makes it the highest of the 64 monuments to Columbus around the world. It is said that the statue of Columbus at the top is pointing in the direction he took on his voyage, which led to America. The monument was opened with great pomp and ceremony in 1888 in honour of the fact that Columbus chose the port of Barcelona to disembark after this pioneering voyage to America. A great iron column supports this statue of the admiral, and at its foot, there are a wealth of sculptures and friezes that make reference to people and places connected to this historic feat, including eight battle-scared lions with which visitors to Barcelona can take photos.
There is a wonderful view of the city from the top – the waters of the port are at its feet, Montjuïc Mountain is to the right, the neighbourhood of Barceloneta on the other side of the water and even further away to the left are the twin towers of Port Olímpic. If we turn towards the city, we see how the towers of the Sagrada Família, the Cathedral, and the Santa Maria del Pi, Santa Maria del Mar and La Mercè churches emerge from the patchwork of roofs. In addition, starting at the foot of the monument, the popular Rambla de Barcelona snakes its way up to Plaça de Catalunya.
Once you have visited this monument to Columbus there is a choice of directions to take: stroll over to Maremagnum over the wooden walkway that crosses the port, amble around Port Vell and the neighbourhood of Barceloneta or wander up the Rambla and enjoy the city’s most popular street (see Itinerary section).
Christopher Columbus Monument
Address: Plaça del Portal de la Pau.
Metro: L3 Drassanes
Barcelona Bus Turístic: Colom-Museu Marítim.
Barcelona City Tour: Passeig Colom.
Open: every day from 8:30 to 20:30.
Prices: Adults, 4 €; children from 4 to 12 years, 3 €.
Disabled access: www.barcelonaturisme.com/Mirador-de-Colom