Number 5

Portico of the Union: The Catholic Kings and Spain

An inscription on the ground gives this entrance its name “Portico de la Unidad”. Now this building is identified as Monumento Colomares. Everything seen so far has been set in context with the Spain that Columbus first set foot in when he presented his project. It has enabled us to observe how the first four points brought us to Columbus and Ferdinand and Isabel in a symbolic way on this historical stage. By now the Kings had met with him and their destiny had become intertwined by 1492.

 The double pointed Mudejar arch was erected in Gothic Elizabethan style, interlacing, blazing, flowery needles and spaces full of iconographic and decorative motives. Higher up the centre is adorned with small details in Renaissance style, which result in a green crown.

 The effigies of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabel (now the Catholic Kings), show their iconography: Tanto Monta on a shield of the final years of the 15th century, and both their insignias (Yoke and Arrows). On the mount (Tanto Monta) a caravel protected by wings which represents the beginning of it all.  Above that, the iron crown of Carlos V (as emperor), the great legacy continuer that was started by his maternal grandparents on both shores of the Atlantic Ocean.

 An alien element stands out in the form of a circle with three points in the interior: the flag of peace (Pax Cultura from the Roerich Pact). The monument is privileged to be the first to exhibit it with authority in Spain. The word PAX (peace) broken in the middle intentionally can be read as a significant premonition and omen from the author.

 Passing to the other side of the portico the details of the opposite facade are exposed. Above the cross, the coin called El Excelente with the royal seals below the wings of the eagle of San Juan (St John) “Sub umbra alarum tuarum proteggino” (sic). Immediately UNIDAD (UNITY) with two important dates: 1497 (Currency Reform) and 1512 (The conquer of the Kingdom of Navarra). With all these inscriptions, on both facades, the synthesization of that intended union of the Catholic Kings (politically, monetarily and territorially).

At the end of the war against the Kingdom of Granada in 1492, Christopher Columbus’s project was accepted. Seven years waiting for the contract to be completed. Confident that the Kings would support him, he brought his family to Castilla and didn’t give up until all were given privileged positions. He took up roots and everyone benefited from his dream. The Capitulations of Santa Fe are considered to be a contract between Columbus and the Catholic Kings and not a gracious concession of royal mercy (everything was firmly agreed upon).