Christopher Columbus

Christopher Columbus was an Italian explorer and navigator who, in the year 1492, sailed across the Atlantic from Spain with the ships La Pinta and La Niña in the hope of finding a new route to India. He made a total of four trips to the Caribbean and South America and is credited with opening the Americas to European colonization.

Personal information

  • When was born:  1451
  • Where he was born:  Genoa, Italy
  • When he died:  05/20/1506
  • Where he died:  Valladolid, Castilla

Who was Cristobal Colon?

He was a man full of controversy and mysteries, navigator and discoverer , self-taught and observer who came to discover what we now know as the New World , being the first admiral , viceroy and governor of the Indies.

  • Characteristics
  • Christopher Columbus’ biography
  • Christopher Columbus travels
  • Death
  • Where was Christopher Columbus from
  • Contributions
  • Importance
  • Fathers
  • Offspring
  • Phrases
  • Books and films about Christopher Columbus


Some characteristics of Christopher Columbus were the following:

  • He was a craftsman and merchant .
  • He worked in navigation of cabotage for commercial purposes.
  • He dedicated part of his life to making maps .
  • I thought the earth was round and not flat.

Christopher Columbus’ biography

Christopher Columbus was born in 1451 in the Republic of Genoa , or what is now Italy. In his 20s he moved to Lisbon , Portugal, and later relocated to Spain , which was his base of operations throughout his life.

Columbus went to sea as a teenager, participating in various commercial voyages in the Mediterranean and the Aegean seas . One such trip, to the island of Khios in modern Greece, brought him as close as he would get to Asia.

His first voyage to the Atlantic Ocean in 1476 nearly cost him his life as the commercial fleet with which he was sailing was attacked by French corsairs off the coast of Portugal. His ship was burned and Columbus had to swim towards the Portuguese coast. He made his way to Lisbon, Portugal, where he eventually settled down and married Felipa Perestrelo.  They had a son, Diego and his wife died shortly after, and Columbus moved to Spain. He had a second son, Fernando , who was born out of wedlock in 1488 with Beatriz Enríquez de Arana .

Christopher Columbus travels

First trip

On August 3, 1492, he left Puerto de Palos with two caravels, La Niña and La Pinta, and a ship La Santa María . When they saw time pass without touching land, the crew members despaired causing a riot that Columbus calmed down by assuring that, if they did not see land in three days, they would return to Spain.

On October 12, 1492 , the sailor Rodrigo de Triana spotted the mainland. Christopher Columbus and his expedition arrived on the island that the natives called Guanahani , and that Columbus baptized as San Salvador , located in the Bahamas. He immediately explored and arrived in present-day Cuba , which he named Juana .

Columbus believed he had reached the East Indies and that is why he called its inhabitants ” Indians .” Then he came to the island that today belongs to Haiti and the Dominican Republic , and he called it Hispaniola . On January 4, 1493, Christopher Columbus returned to Spain with his remaining two caravels, leaving 40 men at Fort Navidad .

Second trip

Supported by the kings, he begins his second journey to discover oriental treasures. He left Cádiz on September 25, 1493, he discovered the Antilles , Cuba and Puerto Rico . He managed to reach Hispaniola where he found the fortress Navidad destroyed and the men killed. Columbus founded in that place the Isabela in honor of the Queen of Spain. After leaving on a trip and discovering Jamaica, he returned to Isabela where he found chaos as the Spanish forced the Indians to deliver the gold and killed each other.

Third travel

Several conditions and requirements were imposed on him so that he could make the trip and it took him longer to find people who wanted to accompany him. He left Cádiz on May 30, 1498 with 6 ships. They reached the Canary Islands where 3 caravels left for the island of Hispaniola and another 3, where Columbus was traveling to Cape Verde . On July 31, they discovered the Orinoco River and reached Venezuela . On this trip the rebellion of Francisco Roldán occurred, who was the mayor of Hispaniola.

Fourth trip

He left Cádiz on May 9, 1502 for the Canary Islands , then to the Lesser Antilles and from there they went to Santo Domingo where Governor Frey Nicolás de Ovando , by order of the Catholic Monarchs , forbade him to disembark so he had to continue towards Jamaica and Cuba , then descending towards Honduras where on August 1 there was a contact between Europeans and Mayans .

They traveled the Caribbean coast of Honduras , Nicaragua , Costa Rica and Panama reaching the Belén River where they founded the first Spanish city: Santa María de Belén . There they lost one of the caravels, destroyed by the storms. Then they reached Veragua where they lost another caravel. They only had two caravels left. They arrived in Jamaica on June 25, 1503, where they parked their two remaining caravels so as not to lose them at sea.


Christopher Columbus died in Valladolid on May 20, 1506, at the age of 55, as a result of a heart attack . According to a study, published by Antonio Rodríguez Cuartero , from the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Granada, Colón died of a heart attack caused by Reiter’s syndrome or reactive arthritis . According to his personal diaries and the references of his friends, the symptoms of this disease very visible in his last three years.

His remains were buried in Valladolid and later in the La Cartuja monastery in Seville .

Where was Christopher Columbus from

The exact origin of Christopher Columbus has not yet been defined. His origin has been attributed to Italian nationality , specifically Genoa, however, it is said that he did not speak Italian. Many countries claim their nationality, Genoese, Corsican French, Portuguese, Spanish, Galician, Andalusian, Catalan, Mallorcan, etc.

There is also a theory that is based on Columbus hiding that he was Jewish , since at that time the Jews were about to be expelled from Spain . The letters he sent to Italy were in Spanish , and were addressed to Italians who did not speak the language. On the other hand, studies show that he wrote in Catalan characters and his maps are in the Catalan style. Finally, in his will he says that he was of Genoese origin .


Among the main contributions of Christopher Columbus we can mention the following:

  • The expansion of the European continent was achieved .
  • Communication between the old and new world was opened .
  • A great variety of new species were discovered .
  • With his travels he managed to demonstrate that it was possible to navigate to the west of the European continent.
  • He discovered the magnetic declination of the earth.
  • He checked and proved that the Earth was not flat .


The greatest importance given to Christopher Columbus was that thanks to his travels they managed to learn about different and new routes for trade and how to get to Asia from the West, in addition to the great wealth that was obtained by the Europeans. .

The importance of Columbus’s travels was also the official conquest of the Americas, taking into consideration that these lands had already been discovered by Vikings and others.


His father was called Domenico Colombo and was born in the Republic of Genoa and his mother was named Sunsanna Fontanarrossa who was a young woman who would have been born in the Val Bisagno district in Genoa and whose father was a master weaver and also a merchant.


  • Fernando Colón : he was born on August 15, 1488 in Seville. He was the son of Cristóbal Colón and Beatriz Enríquez de Arana. He was his second son and was born five years before his father discovered America .
  • Diego Colón : son and successor of Christopher Columbus in the viceroyalty and government of the Indies . He was the first – born son of Colón and Felipa Moniz Perestrelo.


Some of his most important phrases are:

  • The sea will give each man a new hope , as sleep gives him dreams
  • Find happiness in your work or you will never be happy.
  • They love their neighbors as themselves, and have the sweetest speech in the world, and meek and always with laughter.
  • Very well made, with very beautiful bodies and very good faces .
  • I want to go west to the Indies . The Earth is round .

Books and films about Christopher Columbus

Some famous books that tell us about the history of Christopher Columbus are:

  • Cristóbal Colón’s Aboard Diary : tells us about how he is surrounded by controversy and mystery.
  • The four trips and the testament : it narrates the first expeditions to the new world.
  • Onboard diary : stories of Christopher Columbus and his enigmas and secrets.
  • The great adventure of Christopher Columbus : the life of Columbus narrated by Manuel Fernández Álvarez.

Several films have also been created where history is reflected, among them we can mention:

  • Also the rain : starring Gabriel Bernal and Luis Tosar shows us the two faces that Christopher Columbus had, one ambitious and the other like an intrepid navigator .
  • Alba de América : this is one of the most controversial in history that shows the arrival of Columbus in America.
  • The other conquest : it narrates the resistance that the emperor Moctezuma put up against the Spanish invasion.
  • El dorado : a film recorded in Costa Rica that tells the role of Spain during the conquest.
  • The Conquest of Paradise : it narrates the discovery of America and the experiences of Christopher Columbus and how the life of the indigenous people changed with the discovery.

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