Monday, October 10, 2011

Columbus Square – Plaza de Colón, Madrid, Spain

Plaza Colón, Madrid, Spain

Columbus Day, October 10, 2011

In the United States, people of Italian descent have claimed Christopher Columbus and his holiday as a day to celebrate their Italian heritage.  Although he was from Genoa, Spain also claims him as a national hero, since their government funded his voyage of discovery. On Madrid’s grand boulevard, the Paseo de la Castellana, there is an intersection called Plaza Colón.  There are actually two Columbus monuments here.  In the middle of the traffic circle there is a column with a statue of Columbus on top.  He is pointing west towards the New World.   In the plaza itself there are modern sculptures by Joaquín Vaquero Turcios decorated with inscriptions by Spanish historians and Indigenous Carribean peoples.   A waterfall cascades over a walkway with a map of the known world in 1492 marking the path of Columbus’s various voyages to the New World.

We often pass this memorial to Columbus on our way from my in-law's apartment to the Prado Museum.  Usually we are travelling by bus, but the last time we were in Madrid we rented a car and could see the monument very well by traveling around the traffic circle to take a photograph.  It is a short walk from the Prado to Plaza Colón, where we often stop at the Hardwalk Cafe and then hop back on the bus.  Originally the column with Columbus was above the waterfall, but it was moved to the traffic circle sometime in the past four or five years.

Columbus Day 2010 post


Original photo-
before editing
The original photo I snapped of the Columbus statue was taken from a moving taxi cab in Madrid traffic.  Through the magic of editing my clever daughter was able to produce the image you see above: no cars, no traffic lights, no leaning column.  Priceless!

Copyright 2011, Heather Wilkinson Rojo 

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