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Christopher Columbus Bust, Plaza Cairasco, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

October 10, 2012
Bust of Christopher Columbus

Columbus indirect

In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue. You knew that already, right? So far, so elementary (school). What you may not know, though, is that, in a naval pit stop, he dropped anchor on the Canary Islands to repair his fleet.

Rudderless in the Canaries

The main repair was to the Pinta, the Painted One. Jenet and Geoff Benge in Christopher Columbus: Across the Ocean Sea cite the explorer’s diary entry for 6th August 1492. In which he writes referring to himself in the third person. Accusing (not so) good shipmates Gomez Rascon and Christopher Quintero of tampering with the rudder. As the unhappy pair were far from jolly sailors and wanted to abort the voyage.

Columbus house

In Las Palmas’ old town of Vegueta, you’ll find the Casa de Colón (the Spanish translation of the Genoese sailor’s surname). It’s here where Cristoforo Colombo (to use his native Italian name) stayed in the city. The house wasn’t his though, but the governor of Las Palmas’ property.

Columbus woz ere

Just around the corner there’s the Ermita de San Antonio Abad, a Canarian Romanesque hermitage. Here a prominent plaque notes the visit of CC to a then-modern building as the city had only been founded 14 years earlier. Where a brought-to-kneel Columbus prayed for divine help as he once again set sail.

Columbus busted

This casual capture with my trusty camera is not of the house ; which is now a museum. That you should go ahead and see whilst it’s still free to enter. Nor is it of the Ermita. It’s of the Alameda de Colón in semi-nearby Plaza Cairasco. Designed by noted architect Laureano Arroyo Velazco, the mastermind behind Valleseco’s charming Iglesia de San Ferrer, it was built to mark the 400th anniversary of Columbus’ voyage.