Looming high above the busy roundabout congested with traffic exiting and entering Las Ramblas, the Monument to Columbus (Monument a Colom in Catalan) is a tall structure with intricate sculptures at the base and with the statue of Columbus himself placed at the top. Columbus points in the direction of the Mediterranean sea or, quite possibly, of his native Genoa. The monument is popular not only among tourists, but also among pigeons who mark their territory right on the modest bronze body of the famed navigator.
The height of the monument, which had been erected for the Universal Exhibition of 1888, tops at 60 meters. There is a tiny elevator inside that anyone can ride up for 3в‚¬ and gaze at the surrounding buildings, ports of Barcelona and the rest of the city.
The legend has it that it was in Barcelona in 1492 that Columbus first told European royalties about his voyages, including the discovery of the American continent. In the 19th century Columbus was thought to be a citizen of Barcelona, and a very honourable one at that, and even today some historians are willing to debate the famous explorer's roots.