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Christopher Columbus 1492

First VoyageMaiden Voyage 1492 - After a prolonged stay at the province of Tenerife, on the island of Gomera, due to his alleged romancing of the Islands Governor, on September 6, he departed the island of Gomera for what turned out to be a five-week voyage across the ocean.

Land was sighted at 2 a.m. on October 12, 1492, by a sailor named Rodrigo de Triana (also known as Juan Rodríguez Bermejo) aboard Pinta Columbus called the island (in what is now The Bahamas) San Salvador; the natives called it Guanahani. Exactly which island in the Bahamas this corresponds to is an unresolved topic; prime candidates are Samana Cay, Plana Cays, or San Salvador Island (named San Salvador in 1925 in the belief that it was Columbus's San Salvador). The indigenous people he encountered, the Lucayan, Taíno or Arawak, were peaceful and friendly.

Columbus then explored the northeast coast of Cuba (landed on October 28) and the northern coast of Hispaniola, by December 5. Here, the Santa Maria ran aground on Christmas morning 1492 and had to be abandoned. He was received by the native cacique Guacanagari, who gave him permission to leave some of his men behind. Columbus left 39 men and founded the settlement of La Navidad in what is now present-day Haiti.

Second Voyage

Second Voyage 1493 - On October 13, with 17 ships carrying supplies, and about 1,200 men to colonize the region he left the Canary Islands as they had on the first voyage, following a more southerly course this time.

Columbus Day in the United States takes place on the second Monday in October. Its significance is often brought into question but, at the end of the day, the significance of Columbus´s Voyage and the impact it had on the life´s of billions of humans since is worth remembering. It is also of major importance that these voyages originated from the province of Tenerife and that since the initial voyage Canarian native’s populated areas of the US founding townships and similarly in Cuba.

The Columbus Trail

The main focus in San Sebastian, Gomera just half an hour from Tenerife however is good old Christopher Columbus and there's an obligatory Christopher Columbus trail around the town! Notable Columbus linked buildings include the Casa de la Agunada on Calle Real. It's also known as Casa Condal and has served as a cutom house and a residence. Inside is both the tourist office and an exhibition - 'La Gomera and the Discovery of America'. Columbus is supposed to have taken water from the well situated in the central patio. Moving up Calle Real is Iglesia de la Virgen de las Suncion where Columbus and his entourage are supposed to have prayed before taking off to the new world! (it's not the original chapel however, which was obliterated in a far - this one dates from the 18th century). The older church - Ermita de San Sebastian nearby is older, dating from 1540.

Columbus is supposed to have resided in the Casa de Colon during his stays on La Gomera, and it's open to the public (from 10am to 1pm and 4pm to 6.30pm Mon-Fri, 10am to 1pm on Sat). There's a collection of ceramics dating before Columbus' period from Peru and elsewhere in the Americas. The most renowned historical building in San Sebastian is certainly the Torre del Conde tower situated in the Parque La Torre del Conde just inland from the beach. This most important Canary Islands military building dates from 1447 and it's the retreat where Beatriz de Bobadilla, the wife of terranical Hernan Peraza (La Gomera's governor remembered for his cruel treatment of the Gomeros) barricaded herself in during the 1488 battle between the Gomeros and Spanish colonialists. The preservation of the Torre del Conde tower in pretty much it's original state makes it particularly interesting.

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