Columbus Monument Madrid
In fourteen hundred ninety-two
Columbus sailed the ocean blue.
He had three ships and left from Spain;
He sailed through sunshine, wind and rain.
And ended up somewhere other than where
he thought he was going. And claimed to have discovered a place that had
actually been “discovered” hundreds of years earlier, and inhabited thousands
of years before that. And proceeded to rape, rob and murder those inhabitants
and returned to Spain a hero.

Seville Cathedral
During
my travels to Spain I noticed a fair amount of worship of Cristóbal Colón as he is known there,
with no shortage of statues and memorials dedicated to the explorer. In
Seville, Columbus is buried in the beautiful Seville Cathedral where in a tomb held aloft by four figures representing
the four kingdoms of Spain during Columbus’ life, Castille, Aragon, Navara and
Leon. 

Photo credit: Wikipedia
Columbus monument Jardins de Murillo, Seville Spain
A running
tour of the city
took me past a Columbus monument in Jardins de
Murillo, located behind the Alcázar palace.
In Madrid,
there is the Plaza
de Colón
, where two monuments exist paying
homage to Columbus and his voyage to
discover the Americas: the Columbus statue that sits atop a tall pinnacle
pointing west, indicating
the route he would take to the Americas, and four massive stone blocks 
Jardines del Descubrimiento (Discovery Gardens)
dedicated to the discovery of the New World called the Jardines del
Descubrimiento
(Discovery Gardens). 
Columbus monument Barcelona, Spain
The Columbus statue in Barcelona is similar
to the one in Madrid, in that it sits on tall pinnacle and is pointing, though
not to the west, but towards the sea signifying his naval explorations.
Since
his exploits brought a lot of wealth and prestige to Spain, I get that the
country wants to pay homage to him, I guess. But all the hoopla over Columbus
in the US, that I don’t get. As P.J. O’Rourke noted, 

“Everybody in
15th century Spain was wrong about where China was and as a result, Columbus
discovered Caribbean vacations.”

So
I guess on the national holiday dedicated to a navigationally-challenged
explorer – not to mention sex-slaver, mass murderer and just plain awful human being (see The Oatmeal on why Christopher Columbus was awful)
– Americans should go to the Caribbean (taking advantage of the incredible
deals offered by airlines and hotels)?
What are you thoughts on Columbus Day? Should America celebrate? Rename it? Abolish it?