Faro Colón: an urban monolith

Here I am on an afternoon visit inside Faro Colón in Santo Domingo with my first Rustic Pathways group ever!

I mentioned the lighthouse dedicated to Columbus (Faro Colón) in Santo Domingo earlier, but it really is worth showing you some photos of the unusual structure.

Here Piña poses in front of the super-cool building. My first time visiting Faro Colón, I didn’t exactly expect it to look like this. I was expecting your typical New England-style light house on the beach. Clearly not the case.

If you zoom in on the above photo, you can see the names of numerous countries engraved on the structure. All the countries who donated funds towards the construction of Faro Colón get an engraved square. Deflatingly however, the most mind-numbing part of the Faro Colón tour is when the tour guide guilts you into visiting the “shrines” inside the structure that have been set up in homage to each country that donated towards the construction of this monument. Said shrines have absolutely nothing to do with Dominican heritage or info about Columbus.

Chris Columbus’s ashes allegedly reside inside the black box in the following picture:

Architecture enthusiasts will appreciate a visit and photo op at Faro Colón:

Again, the structure itself is not what I expect when I think of a “lighthouse.” Apparently the beams of light that emanate from the building are visible from Puerto Rico.

I loved seeing this on the tour, because it was actually on the Santa María with Columbus. I enjoy its intricate design.

This last picture provides some perspective on the sheer size of the building.

A visit to Faro Colón is worth it just to hear the local tour guides get so worked up over where Columbus’s remains are actually located. His remains have changed locations various times throughout history (having died in Spain in 1506 after having lived for so long in DR), so it is always a point of contention (and DNA testing of candidates of possible remains) regarding where the remains really are.

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