A bit of History
The Columbus statue platform rises 60 meters into the air, and was built for the World’s Fair in 1888. For one, it honors the explorer Christopher Columbus, and for another, it signifies his visit to Barcelona, where he reported to the royal family of Isabella I and Ferdinand II after his return from America – after all, they were the ones who sponsored his travels.
Rafael Ataché designed the statue, which stands 7.5 meters tall and points towards the New World he discovered. In reality, his finger points south, not west, but it is commonly accepted that he was simply pointing towards the sea in general, leading him to America.
The statue stands on a Corinthian column 40 meters in height, with a base made up of several figures. The octagonal pedestal is crowned by four winged Victorias made of bronze. There are also four bust medallions representing people who were closely linked to Columbus, and four figures that represent the four historic realms of Spain: Catalonia, Castile, Leon, and Aragon.
Between those are groups of figures, such as the priest Bernat de Boil, who prays to a kneeling Indian.