Christopher Columbus Statue, Central Park New York
christopher columbus statue, central park newyork
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Christopher Columbus Statue

 

In 1473, Christopher Columbus (1451–1506) embarked on his first maritime voyage from his home near Genoa, Italy headed for the island of Khios in the Aegean Sea. Upon his return in 1476, he traveled in a convoy destined for England. Legend has it that pirates sunk Columbus’s ship near the coast of Portugal. Columbus swam to shore and settled in Lisbon, where his brother Bartholomew worked as a cartographer.

Based on speculative maps, Columbus concluded that there was a quicker route to the markets of Asia than was yet known. Instead of heading south and circumnavigating Africa, Columbus proposed to sail west. In the 1480s, Columbus presented this proposal to the monarchs of Portugal and Spain.

 

In April 1492, King Ferdinand V and Queen Isabella of Spain agreed to sponsor Columbus’s proposed voyage. On August 3, 1492, the three modest ships that comprised Columbus’s party, the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria, set sail. They sighted land on October 12, 1492. The ships landed on Guanahani, an island in the Bahamas.

 

Columbus claimed the land for the King of Spain and renamed the island San Salvador. Believing he had reached the West Indies, Columbus called the natives “los Indios,” or Indians. The members of the expedition returned to Spain triumphantly on March 15, 1493. After receiving a title of nobility, Christopher Columbus immediately launched a larger expedition. On November 3, 1493, this fleet of 17 ships anchored near present day Puerto Rico. His third and fourth voyages set sail in 1498 and 1502.