Where is the Christopher Columbus’s house?

The answer is: in Genoa πŸ™‚

To be more precise I should add: where is one of the houses where Columbus lived during his life πŸ™‚ In any case, it is located in Genoa and you can also visit it!

Address

The building is located on the street vico Dritto Ponticello, in the very centre of Genoa. Right next to one of the gates leading to the historical centre (Porta Soprana). Until the end of the 19th century, this part of Genoa was very densely built-up. There were numerous, characteristic and very high tenements. However, at the beginning of the 20th century, this part of the city was completely rebuilt. All buildings were demolished (!) And replaced with the current via XX Settembre (I wrote about it here), new skyscrapers and Piazza Dante square, where thousands of scooters are parked every day. Fortunately, the Columbus house has been saved and we can see it today.

History

Christopher Columbus was born in 1451 in Genoa. It is important to know that the 15th century was a period when the city began to rapidly expand beyond the walls of the medieval city. In particular, many new buildings were built in the area of the Vico Dritto Ponticello.

It is known from the archives of the city, that Dominico Columbus, the father of the Christopher, worked as a guard at the Porta Soprana gate. The gate where Vico Dritto Ponticello street leads. And it was for professional reasons that Domenico decided to move with his family to the house that now is a museum.

After Christopher Columbus moved from via Dritto Ponticello we have no information about the house. What’s more, there are people who say that the house that we can visit today is not the one where Christopher Columbus lived (!).

Doubs

In 1684 Genoa was seriously damaged by the French army of Louis XIV (King Sun). The main attack was focused on the city centre and the part built near the medieval city walls. It was said that this part of Genoa was completely destroyed … and also probably the Columbus house was destroyed during the bombing. However, we don’t know how much it was damaged. In any case, it is suspected is that the building was rebuilt from the same (its “own”) stones and reproduced in the same style.

XX century

Then, at the beginning of the XX century, the whole area was rebuilt and new buildings were built. The only building that remained intact was the house of Columbus.

Current state

It’s a small, one-story house that probably reflects how the house looked like when Columbus lived there. Even if, during the renovation of the building, it was confirmed that over the centuries, more floors were added to the house (it probably had 4 or 5 floors). The house preserves the features of the buildings that were built in this area, i.e. the entrance and the craftsman’s shop on the ground floor and the private part on the first floor.

Opening hours and tickets

April, September, October: 11-17; from Tuesday to Sunday

from May to August: 11-18; from Tuesday to Sunday

from November to March: 11-15 from Tuesday to Thursday and from 11-16 from Friday to Sunday

admission: 3 € seniors over 65 years old; children and youth under 18, free; there is also the possibility of purchasing a collective ticket, which outside the home of Columbus entitles you to see the nearby Porta Soprana gate, the cost of 5 € / 3 € seniors; youth for free.

More here.

Visit

Inside there are two rooms on the ground floor and a tank that was used to store rainwater. There are two more chambers on the first floor … and this is the end … In one room on the first floor, there is a TV where you can see a movie about Columbus’s life. In the second room, there is a table with some plastic food. In general, there is very little to see inside … almost NOTHING ( it is very sad).

Anyway, I think it’s worth visiting this place if you want to experience the “closeness” of Christopher Columbus or if you want to say that you have been at his house πŸ™‚ If you don’t care, spend your 3 € on something else, maybe on focaccia πŸ™‚

Cloister

Next, to Columbus’s house, you can see a small, marble cloister. I have wondered, how it is possible that it is placed here and how it is possible that it wasn’t demolished during the reconstruction of this part of the city.

Well, it is a cloister, which belonged to the monastery of St. Andrew. It comes from the beginning of the 12th century and the square near the Columbus house is not the place where it was originally built …

The monastery and the cloister were located in a part of the city that was demolished at the beginning of the 20th century. Fortunately, thanks to the pressure of architects responsible for the reconstruction of the city, it was decided to save at least the cloister. It was dismantled and then, after 10 years of searching for the right place, it was reconstructed stone, on a stone near the Columbus house πŸ™‚ The square where it is located, is open to everyone, so you can see it for free and at any time;)

Surely, the Columbus House is one of the most important symbols of Genoa. Unfortunately, it seems to be completely abandoned and currently it is not very interesting for tourists. I hope that this situation will change soon!

 

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