Around Old San Juan you'll find several tributes to Christopher Columbus who is credited with the island's "discovery" in 1493. This particularly lovely fountain and monument can be found in Plaza de Colon bounded by Calle Fortaleza and San Francisco Street. Originally named St. James Square, the square was given its present name in 1893 when the monument was erected to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Colombus's discovery of the island. The statue of Columbus depicts him holding a flag in his left hand and a globe in the right. Some particularly finely wrought bronze plaques at the base of the monument illustrate important events in the life of Christopher Columbus.
I'm not sure what the lovely building in the background is here, but pictures of the statue taken from a different angle would show San Cristobal as a particularly fitting backdrop. Other monuments to Columbus are on display around town as well.
Christopher Columbus "discovered" Puerto Rico in 1493, during his second voyage to the Americas. However, as many people in the country will quickly remind you, others had discovered it before him. The native people were known as Tainos, and they were forced into slavery by the Spanish conquerors. About 30 years after Cristobal Colon first set foot on the island, the entire native population had disappeared. In this context, it's easy to understand how some people might not look at the huge statue that sits in the middle of the plaza with a friendly eye - the statue and plaza were dedicated to Colon in 1893 to celebrate the 400th anniversary of his arrival to Puerto Rico.
Despite the slight controversy surrounding the explorer from Spain, I thought the atmosphere around the Plaza de Colon was really nice. Since we walked over from the Condado area, that's where I got my first taste of the old city. The plaza is surrounded by many cafes that offer outdoor seating, and every day people set up little tents to sell souvenirs and some local arts and crafts. Plaza de Colon is also where you need to go if you're looking for a taxi to get you back to your hotel after a great day in Old San Juan!
Plaza de Colon or Columbus Square,
was originally called St. James Square
was officially renamed in 1893 to honor
Christopher Columbus on the 400th
anniversary of his great discovery of
Bronze tablets at the pedestal of the
Columbus statue record important
episodes in the explorer's life .....
In a nutshell it's a plaza to commemorate the "discoverer" of the Americas. There's not really much to do aside from snapping photos of the statue or of yourself.
We did that!
Built in 1893 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Columbus's discovery of Puerto Rico. Nice place to rest and view the harbor.
Colombus plaza is on the main street that enters and leave the old town. This is the best place to catch a cab back out of the old city