Seville Cathedral: South Transept – Tomb of Columbus

Columbus Monument situated in the south transept of the Seville Cathedral

Tomb of Columbus situated in the south transept of the Seville Cathedral

Tomb of Columbus
Situated in the south transept, the Mausoleo de Cristóbal Colón (Christopher Columbus Mausoleum or Tomb of Christopher Columbus) is one of the famous attractions of the Seville Cathedral. As you can see from the image, the Sarcophagus of Columbus is carried by four bearers, who symbolically represent the four kingdoms, Castile, Aragon, Navara, and Leon, of erstwhile Spain.

There is an intriguing story associated with the tomb of Columbus. After Christopher Columbus died in 1506, his body traveled to many countries before it found its final resting place in the Seville Cathedral. He was first buried in Valladolid, Spain. Soon after, his brother Diego moved it to a monastery in Seville.

In 1542, his body was again moved to the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, a Spanish territory founded by Columbus. He was interred in the newly constructed Cathedral of Santa Maria la Menor in Santo Domingo, the capital of the present-day Dominican Republic.

As fate would have it, France took over the island of Hispaniola in 1795. Not wanting his remains to fall into the French hands, the Spanish moved them to Havana, Cuba, where the current monument was built. After remaining there for about 100 years, the Spanish transported the Columbus Tomb, along with his remains, to Spain.

The monument we see now was installed in the south transept of the Seville Cathedral in 1899. A DNA test in 2006 verified the remains in this tomb do indeed belong to Christopher Columbus. However, the Dominican Republic still claims that the remains of Columbus never left the country.

Copyright © 2020 by Lawrence Rodrigues. All rights reserved.

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