Columbus Monuments Pages

Italy
Cogoleto
Liguria

Church of Sta. Maria

Lapide sulla chiesa Sta. Maria

Plaque on the church



1888

Cogoleto /  Lapide sulla chiesa Sta. Maria

Description

On the façade of the church of Santa Maria is this plaque to confirm Cogoleto's origin of the family of Colombo. It conteins surely an historical mistake (Emperor Otto II did not live in 1200).

Inscription(s)

SORGEVA QUI L'ANTICO CASTELLO
DI COGOLETO
OTTONE II DI GERMANIA
LO DONAVA NEL 1200
ALLA FAMIGLIA COLOMBO
NAPOLEONE PRIMO
L'ATTERÒ NEL 1809
PER DAR LUOGO ALLA VIA
NIZZA-ROMA
IL COMMUNE 1888.

Cogoleto

In 1893, Néstor Ponce de Léon wrote about this village in his chapter on Columbus portraits (p. 12-14):
"Cogoletto is a small village fifteen miles from Genoa, which claims to be the birthplace of Christopher Columbus. A tablet has been placed in an old house in one of the principal streets in commemoration of this dubious fact. Nevertheless, the very room and the corner in which the Discoverer was born are shown to all visitors who are willing to spend a small sum for the privilege of admission. In this house there is also a small portrait of Columbus which is asserted to be of great antiquity, but evidently it is only a copy from the Jovius.
But there is another picture in the Council Hall of the village which is really deeply interesting. Its antiquity has been almost proven by Isnardi in is work, Sulle Patria de Colombo, who says that its history can be traced for over three hundred years; and some have gone so far as to pretetnd that it is the original and now lost portrait of the Jovian Gallery. A single glance at it will show its striking likeness to the Altissimo, to the de Orchi and the Yañez portraits, and to all those emanating from the Jovian type. It even has the same inscription, thus showing their common origin. The picture is in bad condition, and does not appear to be the work of a master-hand."

We visited Cogoleto on 8 August 2001. The "birth house" is closed for public, but has a huge fresco on the façade and plaques on front and back side. A friendly town official in the town hall guided me to the mayor's room, where a painted portrait of Columbus and some documents hang. If the portrait is the same as described by Ponce de Léon, it is now thoroughly restored, because it looks new to me. In the hall of the same building is a model of the Santa Maria. One of the main streets is of course named Via Cristoforo Colombo.

We found the following memorials to Columbus:

  1. Marble bust on the Piazza Giuste before the west façade of the Municipio.
  2. A portrait in relief and tiles with scenes of Columbus's life on the north façade of the Municipio.
  3. A large fresco on the façade of Columbus's birth house.
  4. A plaque commemorating the visit of King Umberto and his brother Amedeo in 1857.
  5. A plaque commemorating the salute of the North-American steamer Princetown in 1847.
  6. A plaque confirming Columbus' origin of Cogoleto.
Here is a interactive map with the locations of the memorials.

Sources & Information

Tags

Location N 44°23'23" E 8°38'51"

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Item Code: itli008; Added: 1 June 2004

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