busywords

The literary life of EDWARD JAMES, author,reviewer, occasional poet and former pension adviser to the government of Kyrgyzstan

Columbus Rests Here

IMG_0868Perhaps, or perhaps not.

 

The picture above is not a Soviet bock of flats but the Faro (lighthouse) at Santo Domingo, in the Dominican Republic.  It is a gigantic cross, lying flat and projecting an even greater cross into the night sky above the city.  It uses so much electricity that when switched on it blacks out the city, so it is only switched on  for special occasions, such as papal visits.

 

It is also the mausoleum for Christopher Columbus who founded the city and later quarrelled with the citizens and was sent back to Spain in chains. It was completed in 1992 to commemorate the 500th anniversary of his discovery of America. But what about his tomb in Seville cathedral?

 

Columbus travelled almost as much in death as in life.  After two interments in Spain his remains were taken across the Atlantic to Santo Domingo and buried in the cathedral.  In due course his son Diego (a more successful governor than  his father) was buried beside him.  When Spain  lost Santo Domingo in the 1860s they dug up Christopher and took him to Havana.  When that too was lost by Spain he was brought back to Spain to lie in Seville.  The Santo Domingans however discovered another set of bones and claimed that it was Diego’s bones that had gone to Havana. The rival set of bones was given a new monument and then in 1992 they were transferred to the Faro.

 

Since the Seville bones seem to include three legs it seems most likely that both places have pieces of both men.  Diego and his father were very close in life and often voyaged together, so perhaps their posthumous voyages together are not out of keeping.

IMG_0860

And now for a more cheerful picture from a nearby location

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This entry was posted on February 10, 2015 by and tagged , , .
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