Why a monument to Columbus on the Ramblas?

The statue of Columbus, located at the end of the Ramblas, in front of the port is universally known. One may wonder what the relation between Columbus and Barcelona is and why his finger points in the direction of Mallorca?.

Barcelona Ramblas Columbus Statue

The monument to Columbus project was launched by the entrepreneur Antoni Fages i Ferrer in 1856. After waiting many years in the drawers of the council, the project was finally rescued in 1880, taking advantage of the renovation of the coastline previous to the Universal Exhibition of 1888. Construction began in 1881, and had to be financed publicly although in the end the council had to provide substantial funding.

The 57 meter high monument has an elevator that gives access to a narrow viewpoint below the statue. The bronze statue is 7 meters high; Columbus is holding a map and indicates the horizon. Numerous theories have circulated about the direction Columbus points at, some claiming that he indicates America, others Genoa in Italy where he came from, but it makes more sense that it only indicates the direction of the sea.

Numerous statues and bronze sculptures adorn the monument: allegories of the four continents, of the kingdoms of Spain, and four statues representing people involved in travel, Columbus expeditions, in two of them we can see kneeling Indians showing their submission to the army and the church…

Barcelona Ramblas Columbus Statue

-> Link to Columbus Monument in Wikipedia.

In this video discover the statue from the top:

-> Discover the Columbus statue history during the tour of the Rambla and surroundings