Written by Ash

Columbus Monument in Barcelona: Catalonia’s Tribute to an Iconic Explorer


In a city renowned for its rich history and architectural marvels, the Columbus Monument may get lost amongst tourist heavyweights.

Towering at the end of the famous La Rambla, the Columbus Monument is not just a historical structure but also offers a panoramic view of the city.

Let’s take a deeper look at the Barcelona Columbus Monument.

Columbus Statue
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The Columbus Monument in Barcelona

History and Construction

The Columbus Monument, known as “Monument a Colom” in Catalan, was erected in honor of Christopher Columbus for the 1888 Barcelona World Fair.

At the bottom of the famous Las Ramblas, it marks the spot where Columbus returned to Spain after his groundbreaking voyage to the Americas.

This monument serves as a reminder that Columbus reported his findings from his voyage to Queen Isabel and King Ferdinand in Barcelona – much to the chagrin of some local Catalans.

Rafael Atché sculpted the statue, which is believed to portray Columbus pointing toward the New World with his right hand while holding a scroll in his left hand.

tourists walking toward the columbus statue along la rambla in barcelona spain

Design and Architecture

Interestingly, instead of pointing west towards the New World, the statue points east towards Columbus’ hometown of Genoa. The pedestal of the statue is inscribed with the word “Tierra” (Land).

The column, adorned with a contraption displaying an anchor, is positioned on an octagonal base.

From this base, four bronze winged figures or Phemes soar towards the four corners of the world, situated above paired griffins.

On the octagonal base, four supports feature portrait medallions representing individuals connected to Columbus: Isabel I, Ferdinand II, and more.

Interesting Anecdotes

Originally, the statue was originally intended to be the Greek goddess Athena, symbolizing the city of Barcelona.

However, for the World Fair, it was deemed more fitting to have a statue of Christopher Columbus. This decision led to the installation of the Columbus statue in 1888.

Besides Park Guell and the towers at Sagrada Familia, it’s the most well-known panoramic view of the city.

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The Monument Today

Located at Pl. Portal de la Pau, the monument is one of the top things to do in Barcelona – found amidst the street artists of La Rambla.

Visitors can take an elevator to the top, offering a breathtaking view of Barcelona and its port. The monument’s proximity to the marina area, Port Vell, and the shopping center Maremagnum, makes it a central point of interest.

This is the cheapest panoramic view in the city at just €8.00.

To avoid long lines it’s recommended to book tickets in advance:

Columbus Statue
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What to See Near the Columbus Monument

Adjacent to the Columbus Monument is Port Vell with its picturesque walkway Rambla del Mar.

This path leads to the Maremagnum shopping center, a popular spot for both locals and tourists. The serene views of the marina make it a must-visit.

It’s also just steps away from the Barcelona Wax Museum and one of the best bars in Barcelona – the fantasy cafe El Bosc de Las Fades.

Public Opinion on the Columbus Statue in Barcelona

Visitors often praise the panoramic views from the top of the monument, with many recommending it for the unique photo opportunities it offers.

The historical significance combined with the beauty of the surrounding area makes it a favorite among tourists.

Lately, with much more emphasis being shone on the downsides of colonialism, some residents have motioned for it to be taken down – whether you want to include it on your Barcelona itinerary is up to you!

Where is the Columbus Monument?

How to Get to the Columbus Statue in Barcelona

To get to the Columbus monument you simply have to take the Barcelona metro.

The closest stop to the Columbus statue is Drassanes, however, you can also get off at Liceu if you’re looking to walk down La Rambla a bit.

It’s also the terminus stop of the shuttle from the Barcelona Cruise Port.

Barcelona Columbus Monument FAQ

  • Why is the Columbus statue pointing east instead of west?

    Contrary to popular belief, the Columbus statue points east to Columbus’ hometown (Genoa) and not to the new world he would discover on behalf of the Spanish crown.

  • Can visitors access the top of the Columbus monument in Barcelona?

    Yes, visitors can climb to the top of the Barcelona Columbus monument using a lift – at the top you’re treated to a 360 degree panorama of the city.

    Barcelona Columbus Monument tickets cost just €8.00.

  • How tall is the Barcelona Columbus Monument?

    The Columbus monument stands 60 meters tall while the statue itself is seven meters high.

  • Where is the Columbus Monument?

    The Columbus Monument is found on Pl. Portal de la Pau, at the end of La Rambla in Barcelona.

Ready to Visit the Barcelona Columbus Statue?

The Columbus Monument is more than just a tribute to an explorer; it’s a blend of history, art, and architecture.

Offering both educational insights and mesmerizing views, it stands as a symbol of Barcelona’s rich heritage and cultural significance.

Let me know what you thought of this Columbus statue below!

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