JUST WHERE IS CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS
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
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
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...
Christopher Columbus -
from DOB in 1451
For an in-depth bio of Christopher Columbus
and family, go to the
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.