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
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:
For bridges with two statues, see the catchword list "Bridge with statues".
- Praha, Karlův most (Charles Bridge), (oldest 1683, most 18th century)
- Náměšť nad Oslavou
- Würzburg, Alte Mainbrücke, 1720-30
- Berlin, Schloßbrücke, 1847-57
- Žďár nad Sázavou
- Kłodzko, Most gotycki Św. Jana, 1655-1714
- Brtnice, Most pod zámkem, 1711-18
- Brtnice, Most na náměstí, early 18th century
- Hamburg, Kornhausbrücke (statues of discoverers, two destroyed).
- Jaroměřice nad Rokytnou, 1714-16
- Carl Börner (Niederwiesa 1828 - Hamburg 1895), German sculptor (Wikipedia).
- Hermann Hosaeus (Eisenach 1875 - Berlin 1958),
Sources & Information
- Norbert Fiks, The Columbus statue at Bremerhaven and e-mail of 23 July 2001. He also wrote the text, which is mainly based on the Portugal-Post No. 8 / 1999, journal of the Portugiesisch-hanseatische Gesellschaft /Associação Luso-Hanseática at Hamburg. And in April 2003 Norbert sent me the scan of the old postcard.
Location (N 53°32'46" - E 9°59'49")
Item Code: dehh001; Photograph: 25 August 2006
Of each statue we made photos from various angles and also detail photos of the various texts.
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© Website and photos: René & Peter van der Krogt