Although an Italian by birth, Christopher Columbus became a hero for the Spanish. The impressive Columbus statues in Spain can confirm how much he was celebrated for centuries after his death. Despite being a controversial figure, there is no denying that Columbus is one of the most important people in history. While his voyages to the Americas started a new age of opportunities and wealth for Europeans, it started an age of sorrow and death for the natives of the Americas.
Birth of a New Man / Seville
The largest one of the impressive Columbus statues and the largest statue in Spain is the Birth of a New Man. It is 45 meters tall and weighs 476 tonnes. The statue was a gift from the city of Moscow to Spain for the 500th anniversary of Columbus’ voyage to the Caribbeans. It was the work of a Georgia-born Russian sculpturer, Zurab Tseretelli.
The statue depicts Christopher Columbus in an egg symbolizing the birth of a new age. Columbus is holding a map with three ships on it, getting ready to sail. Additionally, another theory suggests that the story of Columbus’ Egg inspired Tseretelli. Sources say that Columbus dared three nobles to try and make an egg stand on its end.
While the nobles failed, Columbus broke the egg a little and the egg stood still. In summary, the story represents how Columbus was a cunning man. Although it is the largest statue in Spain, the Birth of a New Man is not easy to find. The statue is in a park in Seville that is not even open during the weekdays.
Columbus Monument / Barcelona
The Columbus statue in Barcelona is on top of a tall monument. The monument with the sculpture stands at a height of 60 meters. The construction of the monument began in 1882 and ended in 1888. Essentially, the monument was a celebration of Columbus’ first voyage to the Americas. However, the important part of this voyage for Barcelona was different.
Apparently, when Columbus arrived in the Americas, he first informed Queen Isabella I in Barcelona. In order to highlight the connection between Columbus and Catalonia, in the 19th century, an entrepreneur in the city wanted to build a Columbus statue by Catalan effort only. It took nearly 20 years to get approval from the city government and start the construction.
The statue shows Columbus pointing to the New World with his right hand and holding a scroll with his left. The column under Columbus is adorned with smaller sculptures of mythologic and real-life figures. On the pedestal of the column, there are winged victories and griffins. Below the pedestal, there are the friends and supporters of Columbus in his voyages.
Monument to Columbus / Madrid
Another example of the impressive Columbus statues in Spain is the Monument to Columbus in the capital, Madrid. It is located in the Plaza of Columbus, a plaza solely dedicated to him. The construction of the monument was actually a prize for a competition. In the late 19th century, Spain announced a public contest and the winner would get to build a Columbus monument.
The winner was Arturo Melida who started to design the monument in 1877. However, the statue was the work of Jeronimo Sunol in 1892. In contrast to the other statues, this monument was actually a gift for the marriage of the King of Spain, rather than celebrating Columbus’ voyages. The monument is made of pure white marble that stands out even from far away.
Moreover, the Monument to Columbus is a little close to 20 meters. The statue is holding the flag of Castille and standing next to a bollard with ship ropes. The four sides of the monument have different carvings representing important events and objects. On one side, there is the carving of Columbus’ ship the Santa Maria. On the two other sides, there are representations of Isabella giving money to Columbus and Columbus telling his plans to a priest.