Number 15

Portico to the Spanish Speaking World

 With a semicircular Romanesque arch decorated in its upper part in Byzantine and finished in Mudejar style, can be read in capital letters: “Genesis de La Hispanidad”. The whole itinerary has taken us to the history of Christopher Columbus reaching out and offering his project, his acceptance and his voyage up to the event of the Santa Maria. Now we find ourselves faced with this historical truth that cannot be changed or erased. When crossing through the portico, we find ourselves in front of La Pinta and La Nina (Palos) these two ships were the ones wich spread the news of the Discovery. The 12th of October is therefore inaccurate. The true Hispanity became a reality when Columbus in person stated openly and to “so Real Señorío” that these lands will be the sole property of the Spanish Kings. Immediately after and with the famous Bulas Alexandrinas as guarantee, the second expedition of the now Admiral Don Cristóbal Colón set sail for that Spanish island (La Española), with the first 1500 people that he took in 17 ships in 1493.  This was the beginning of a story that was to last entire centuries with light and darkness. Remember that we are only the ashes of time past, and whether you like it or not these are the historical facts.

 Having passed though the portico, one ends up at the stern, closing with number (16). From this point the other facade of the same portico can be seen (15) Christ enthroned with the four evangelists. Columbus always felt that he had been chosen by Christ and all the documents that have remained from him remind us of his intention with regard to “La Ynpresa de las Indias”.  He signed off sometimes as “XpoFerens” (He who carries the word of Christ to the natives and brings them to Him) and his original idea, when he came to offer his project to the Kings was to recover the Holy House (Jerusalem) which had been in the hands of the infidels for several decades prior. He wanted to form a great army for the Redeemer together with the vassals of the Great Khan of Asia (8) thus uniting the strong forces sufficiently for the last and final Crusade while fulfilling his obligation to bring the souls he had found to Christ.  He believed this unto death, and it was more important to him than wealth. Curiously King Ferdinand who was by now a widower, and Christopher Columbus, by now deceased, also wanted to extract resources from the West Indies and accomplish the exact same thing: that of recovering Jerusalem.

 That reality of the New World was very different to the thinking and attitude of the Admiral.  That “Other World” (America) that he was able to recognize first and so well on his third trip before other explorers was never compatible with his original idea. He didn’t want lands (his heirs received none) and he became sicker and sicker on each journey (there were four). The worst thing to happen to the old Admiral was that he was unable to die peacefully. He didn’t die alone, nor was he abandoned, but he died indignant of being stripped of what belonged to him, and that curse was passed on to his son, Diego.