Located near Plaza de Colon, the Jardines del Descubrimiento recall the discovery of America by the Italian explorer Christopher Columbus on 12 October 1492, landing at El Salvador in the Bahamas. Voyages of other Spanish-funded ventures during the ‘Siglo de Oro’ are commemorated on the brutalist plinths by architect, Joaquin Vaquero Turcois. Opened in 1970 the discovery of America is a contentious claim today, but the site manages to avoid controversy. The world’s largest Spanish flag is erected at the centre of the garden and a late nineteenth century Columbus column celebrates the achievement in the centre of Plaza de Colon.
Beneath the gardens, the Fernan Gomez Cultural Centre continues the theme with a sculpted mural of the Atlantic voyages and temporary exhibitions on various topics, some related to the ‘New World’.