Statues - Hither & Thither

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Freie und Hansestadt Hamburg


Statuen von Entdecker

Statues of Explorers

Carl Börner & Hermann Hosaeus

Hamburg /  Statuen von Entdecker   Hamburg /  Statuen von Entdecker


In 1903 four statues of famous explorers - Christopher Columbus, Vasco da Gama, Fernão Magalhães (Magellan) and James Cook - were erected at the Kornhausbrücke, the entrance to the newly built storage quarter in the harbour of Hamburg. The statues were made from red sandstone by different artists. Sculptor of the Columbus statue was Carl Börner. Börner who live from 1828 to 1903 was one of the most important sculptors in town and also involved in the design of the decorative and ostentatious town hall of Hamburg.

During an allied air blitz in 1944 the Kornhaus brigde was badly damaged, the statue of Magalhães and Cook were destroyed. Columbus (by Börner) and da Gama (by Hosaeus) got over the bombardement. 44 years later both the statues need urgent renovation. They were dismounted on July 31st, 1988, and completely restored. On July 9, 1989, the statues returned to their old places at the bridge.



C. Börner | fec. 1903


1905 postcard. The Columbus statue is the one in the background, the other is Vasco da Gama The same spot in 2005

Bridges with four or more statues

Mostly in Central Europe there are a number of bridges with several statues of saints. The presence of the saint statues on bridges can be explained by saying that "even strangers passing by could worship God in public through His saints, to the disgrace of heretics" (quote of the investors of the bridge at Náměšť nad Oslavou, source). A statue of the "bridge saint" Saint John of Nepomuk, is usually - but not always - included. In a few cases, bridges show secular statues (f.i., Hamburg). The overall prototype was Ponte d'Angeli, Rome.
Bridges with four or more statues are:
    30 statues
  1. Praha, Karlův most (Charles Bridge), (oldest 1683, most 18th century)
    20 statues
  2. Náměšť nad Oslavou
    12 statues
  3. Würzburg, Alte Mainbrücke, 1720-30
    8 statues
  4. Berlin, Schloßbrücke, 1847-57
  5. Žďár nad Sázavou
    6 statues
  6. Kłodzko, Most gotycki Św. Jana, 1655-1714
  7. Brtnice, Most pod zámkem, 1711-18
  8. Brtnice, Most na náměstí, early 18th century
  9. Lnáře
    4 statues
  10. Hamburg, Kornhausbrücke (statues of discoverers, two destroyed).
  11. Jaroměřice nad Rokytnou, 1714-16
  12. Písek
For bridges with two statues, see the catchword list "Bridge with statues".


Sources & Information


  • Bridge with statues
  • Columbus, Christopher
  • Cook, James
  • Explorer
  • Gama, Vasco da
  • Hosaeus, Hermann
  • Magalhães, Fernão de
  • Statue (Columbus)
  • Statue (man)
  • Locatie (N 53°32'46" - E 9°59'49") (Satellite view: Google Maps)

    Item Code: dehh001; Photograph: 25 August 2006
    Of each statue we made photos from various angles and also detail photos of the various texts.
    If you want to use photos, please contact us via the contact form (in Dutch, English or German).
    © Website and photos: René & Peter van der Krogt

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