Photo: JOHANNES EISELE / AFP / Getty Images
Find the place where they rested the remains of Christopher Columbus Before embarking on his first trip to Seville, in the south of Spain, he is the goal of a study led by historian Marcial Castro, which, together with the architect Juan Luis Sainz, have been presented in order to locate this point in the former convent of San Francisco de Valladolid today disappeared.
This work, presented to Valladolid City Council and recently published, it proves, as explained in an interview with Efe Castro, specialized in Modern History, the “exact place“In which it would be the old chapel of Luis de Cerda, which housed the remains of the discoverer for three years, died in May 1506 in Valladolid.
According to Castro’s theory, at present There are thousands of cars that pass over the first grave every day of Colón, since the historian places this location on the asphalt of the current Constitution Street, near where a team from the City Council of Valladolid discovered last year, on the occasion of the search for the skeletal remains of a former Irish rebel prince – “Red” Hugh O’Donnell-, a wall of one of the chapels of the convent.
However, according to Castro’s theory, the hypotheses of the Valladolid Town Hall They are not entirely exact, hence this line of investigation has been proposed to the City Council with a theory that provides for carrying out a non-invasive survey on the ground by means of georadar and a tasting of no more than two meters on the asphalt, since he is convinced that he knows the “exact place” where the chapel of one of the largest convents in Spain before the confiscations once stood.
Burying himself in the convent of San Francisco of Valladolid It was always a sign of “respect” and status, hence for the architect Sainz this work goes beyond simply locating the chapel where Columbus was buried, which he, however, places a little “Stuck” in a building that today houses a bank, although the margin of error “is only three meters”, which is “very little” for a building of these characteristics: “Huge”.
Thus, in addition to Columbus, in the more than 33 chapels of burial that came to have the convent of San Francisco Valladolid also rested illustrious characters of the time such as the writer Antonio de Guevara, the organist Hernando de Cabezón or the historian of the Catholic Monarchs, Hernando del Pulgar.
Two documents are key
Find the architectural remains of this chapel would be the final step of an arduous investigative task in which two documents have been the “key” to scrutinize and infer how could the plant of this convent be: a plan from 1810, which was copied in 1835 “probably in order to sell the property” and some “invaluable” ‘in situ’ chronicles of a friar who lived in the convent.
It is precisely these notes written by the Franciscan monk Matías de Sobremonte, born in Palencia (central Spain) and died in Valladolid, which have served as a guide to draw the lines in the current map of the city of what was the convent of San Francisco.
“This man was very methodical: he described everything exhaustively, he even measured each inch of the convent based on his feet”, so one of Sainz’s tasks was to transfer these measurements to the current metric system to compare them with the plan of the XIX century and later with the current one, until elaborating, as the work includes, a plan of the convent with only three meters of margin of error.
Against ‘historical revisionism’
One of the fundamental objectives of this work, as its authors say, is to mean one of the main historical points of the city of Valladolid, which at that time had just ceased to be the capital of Spain (1601-1606), but which was still the “unofficial capital” of the Kingdom, explains Sainz.
But another objective is fight against “historical revisionism” that the researcher Marcial Castro believes that he has taken hold of figures like Colón’s, who do nothing more than “show the ignorance of those who utter them.”
“We cannot judge with the eyes of the present the facts from the past, because then no one would be well off ”, reflects Castro, who recalls, for example, the “atrocities” that the Romans did in the Peninsula, but that today are the “base of our culture”.
For all this, Marcial concludes: “We don’t have to ask for forgiveness due to the events of the past, today no one is guilty of Lorca’s death ”.
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