The monument to la fe descubridora



The Monument to la Fe Descubridora (‘Monument to the Discovering Faith’) is a commemorative sculpture dedicated to the Franciscans of the Friary of La Rábida. With their faith and perseverance, they helped Christopher Columbus, the Discoverer of America, to end his odyssey successfully.

The project was carried out by American sculptor Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney. She used to be Auguste Rodin’s disciple in Paris, where she studied as well as in New York. It is there where the Whitney Museum of American Art, opened in 1931, is located. The sculptor was appointed as Favourite Daughter of Huelva.

The Monument is located in Huelva, at the area known as Punta del Sebo – a confluence between Tinto and Odiel rivers at some kilometres’ distance from the city which used to be a natural beach at 21 April 1929, the day of the unveiling of the statue.


The Monument depicts a Franciscan from the Friary of La Rábida. With its faith, this order played a crucial role in helping Christopher Columbus in the so-called ‘Discovering Exploit’.

We must remark Friar Antonio de Marchena and Friar Juan Pérez’s contributions. The 37-metre-high, cubist monument depicts a monk in his habit. The shape of the monument resembles a Tau – the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet, which was used as a signature by St. Francis of Assisi. The pedestal is decorated with Aztec, Incan, Mayan, and Christian bas-relief. The monument was built with stone from the quarries of the town of Niebla, Huelva.

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