It would have been wonderful to see the actual house where Christopher Columbus grew up. Unfortunately, the one that stands in Genoa today is only a reconstruction. Nevertheless, it’s an incredibly old structure and was reconstructed only a few decades after the original house was destroyed.
Christopher Columbus, a figure of both pride and shame, was born in the city of Genoa, Italy, in 1451. His father was a wool weaver who also owned a tavern where young Christopher worked as a helper. Very little is known about Christopher Columbus’ childhood, but historical documents indicated that Columbus lived in this house between 1455 and 1470, after which his family moved to Savona, a city to the west of Genoa.
The museum-house of Christopher Columbus, where it is thought he was born and raised. Photo: GK1982 / Shutterstock.com
The original house had two or maybe three stories, with a shop on the ground floor, and the front door to the left of the shop. The house was most likely destroyed during bombing of Genoa by King Louis XIV of France in 1684. It was rebuilt in the early 18th century on the basis of the original ruins, but two additional floors were added to it. Curiously, the two extra floors were placed on beams supported by the neighboring buildings. When these adjacent buildings were demolished around 1900, as part of the construction of Via XX Settembre, the upper stories of this building were removed, and it was reduced to its current height of two stories.
The house was purchased by the Municipality of Genoa in 1887, and refurbished to make it a suitable tourist attraction. On the main façade of the house there is a plaque with the inscription: “Nessuna casa è più degna di considerazione di questa in cui Cristoforo Colombo trascorse, tra le mura paterne, la prima gioventù”, which means:
No house is more worthy of consideration than this one in which Christopher Columbus spent, within his father’s walls, his first youth.
Christopher Columbus’s house (Casa di Cristoforo Colombo) stands outside Genoa’s 14th-century walls, and is understandably a popular tourist attraction. It now houses a museum dedicated to a man who helped bridge the old and the new world, but at great cost.
The plaque identifying the historical importance of the house located above the windows. Photo: Darren and Brad/Flickr
View of Porta Soprana Medieval gates and the House of Christopher Columbus in Genoa. Photo: kateafter / Shutterstock.com
Christopher Columbus’s house. Photo: KELENY / Shutterstock.com