The story

Christopher Columbus

Genoese browser (1451-1506). He discovered America and eventually linked Europe to the New World.

Christopher Columbus was the first man to prove what many people in his day already suspected: the world actually had a spherical shape. He believed it was possible to travel east or west and eventually return to the starting point. Columbus was born in Genoa, a northern port city in Italy, where he grew up circulating among ships and sailors. At that time, European trade with the Far East, mainly practiced by Venetian merchants following the route discovered by Marco Pole, was flourishing. The problem is that the pole land path was extremely long and difficult.

Some navigators, such as Columbus, believed in the possibility that the world was spherical and were convinced that they could reach the east in the east by traveling west.

Today we know that the world is indeed a sphere with large land masses in the eastern and western hemispheres. But in Europe, until the time of Columbus, it was generally believed that the earth was flattened like a plate, and those who sailed far into the ocean would eventually fall overboard.

Columbus was willing to experiment - potentially deadly - from traveling west to east, and went in search of a government to fund his adventure. The rulers of the Italian cities of Genoa and Venice as well as Portugal declined their proposal. He then sought out King Fernando V of Aragon (1452-1516) and Queen Elizabeth I (1451-1504) of Castile, Spain, who agreed to provide three ships (Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria) and the necessary crew. Columbus set sail from the port of Palos in Spain on September 6, 1492. After a five-week voyage, during which his sailors nearly mutinied, on October 12, 1492, the expedition likely to be home to the Bahamas today. . He then visited what currently corresponds to the territories of Cuba, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic.

Few facts in the history of mankind were as important as the arrival of Christopher Columbus in the Americas. Important: Columbus did not "discover" America, because when he arrived in the Caribbean, which he thought was India, there were about nine million natives in the western hemisphere. These, however, had no idea that there was an eastern hemisphere, just as the Europeans did not suspect the existence of a continent to the west. The two hemispheres were as different and independent as if they actually existed on separate planets. Columbus's great achievement was to unite them.

Columbus returned to Spain on March 15, 1493 and made other colonization trips in 1493, 1500, and 1502. In 1506 he died, still believing that he had reached Asia. Their findings were dealt with enthusiasm by the Spanish authorities, who made a tremendous effort to explore and colonize the newly discovered lands. For them, indeed, Columbus had even discovered a "New World."