Plaza de Colón, Madrid

Category: Madrid

Have you recently scheduled a European vacation in which a visit to Madrid—Spain’s beautiful capital city—will be among your various tour stops?  Have you decided upon the places and attractions you’d like to see while visiting this historic and very cosmopolitan city?  Madrid is a city overflowing with history, with an abundance of monuments and other attractions that showcase these times gone by and their significance.  One of these places is the Plaza de Colón, a city square dedicated to the memory of Christopher Columbus.  To help you become more familiar with this attraction, below we will provide some interesting facts about the Plaza de Colón, including its location, history, characteristics and amenities.

The Plaza de Colon

The Plaza de Colón is one of the more fascinating areas to visit in Madrid, Spain, especially for history buffs, as it pays homage to the renowned explorer, Christopher Columbus, whose name in Spanish translates to Cristobal Colón.  Located in the Alonso Martinez district of Madrid, the Plaza de Colón features two monuments honoring this famous man, whose voyage in the year 1492 led to the discovery of the Americas.

Plaza de Colón was originally established in 1893 as a way to commemorate and celebrate the 400th anniversary of Columbus’ voyage to America, celebrated the year before in 1892.  The plaza features two very dissimilar works of art to honor the great explorer, whose commission to make the trip to the Americas was given by Spain’s Royalty of the time, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella.

Upon the first monument in Plaza de Colón stands a likeness of Christopher Columbus himself, situated on the Paseo de la Castellana side of the plaza, one of the streets that make up the Plaza de Colón.  The monument shows the mighty explorer perched at the apex of a tall column, facing eastward towards the open sea.  Underneath the neo-Gothic base of the monument that holds Columbus, visitors will also find a breathtaking cascading fountain, providing a cool mist as they awe at the monument’s amazing detail.  Under the fountain there are a series of steps leading to the Centro Cultural de la Villa, a cultural arts center that’s used for a variety of presentations and events, including ballets, plays, folk concerts and entertaining children’s theater productions such as puppet shows.  The Centro Cultural de la Villa is widely considered one of the premiere performing arts venues in all of Madrid.

The other monument dedicated to Christopher Columbus is a bit more abstract—an immense and bulky cement piece of art that somewhat resembles an anchor.  This monument, which was designed by Spanish painter Joaquin Vaquero Turcios, was placed in the Plaza de Colón many years after the original monument.  On this statue, tourists can peruse the numerous quotes of famous Spanish individuals and ancient philosophers that were etched by the artist, most dedicated to the very spirit of exploration that Christopher Columbus embodied.

In addition to the two monuments, the Plaza de Colón is also home to the pretty gardens known as the Gardens of Discovery.  This is a wonderful place to take photos and/or rest and rejuvenate after a full day of exploring, particularly during the spring months when the flowers in the gardens are in full and glorious bloom.