Captain Tony's
Adventure Guide
THE Outdoors "Adventure Guide" for world  travellers
 

 


JUST WHERE IS CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS BURIED?

 

Right: Home built by one of Christopher Columbus' two sons, Diego, in Santo Domingo as memorial to his father.

Lower right: Painting in same home of Christopher with Diego.

 

On the Caribbean island named by himself as Hispaniola and now known as the Dominican Republic, the remains of Christopher Columbus lie buried in Santo Domingo's impressive Columbus Lighthouse.  A solid, justly suited memorial to his endeavors as possibly the world's greatest navigator. 

Not so say historians now searching for traces of his DNA in Seville's gothic Cathedral of Santa Maria.  But then again, could his remains lie alongside his younger brother buried elsewhere in Seville?

Prompted by knowledge of Columbus' wish to be buried on his much loved island of Hispaniola, confusion over his final resting place began to grow following his death in 1506 in the Spanish city of Valladolid. 

His remains lay for three years in Valladolid, then followed an 18-year stopover in the Carthusian monastery of Santa Maria de las Cuevas, Seville. Remains were finally shipped to Santo Domingo, along with the body of his son in 1537. Both were eventually interred in the city's cathedral.

In 1795, when Spain handed Santo Domingo over to France, some of the bones were carried off to Havana. These, in turn, were taken back to Seville in 1898 when the Spaniards were thrown out of Cuba.

Twelve years earlier, however, workmen at the cathedral in Santo Domingo had unearthed an urn containing bones and the inscription: "The Illustrious Don Christopher Columbus".

The urn was moved several years ago to the city's newly built Columbus Lighthouse monument.

The debate over where he really lies has raged since then, with some even claiming his bones were divided into two lots and partially buried in both spots. The last time scientists tried to lay the mystery to rest, by digging up graves in 1960, they were unable to come to a conclusion...                                                
 

Image, Source: digital file from original print Christopher Columbus - Timeline from DOB in 1451

For an in-depth bio of Christopher Columbus and family, go to the
NNDB website. 


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Update:

 8:33 p.m. PT, Fri., May. 19, 2006

MADRID, Spain - Spanish researchers said Friday that they have resolved a century-old mystery surrounding Christopher Columbus's burial place, which both Spain and the Dominican Republic claim to be watching over. Their verdict: Spain's got the right bones.

A forensic team led by Spanish geneticist Jose Antonio Lorente compared DNA from bone fragments that Spain says are from the explorer and are buried in a cathedral in Seville with DNA extracted from remains known to be from Columbus' brother Diego, who is also buried in the southern Spanish city.

"There is absolute matchup between the mitochondrial DNA we have studied from Columbus' brother and Christopher Columbus," said Marcial Castro, a Seville-area historian and high school teacher who is the mastermind behind the project, which began in 2002. Mitochondria are cell components rich in DNA.

 

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