Christopher Columbus was born in Genoa, Italy in 1451. His name in Italian was Cristoforo Colombo, however, Christopher Columbus is the Anglicanization of his Latin name Christopher Columbus, and the name that has been known throughout history.
His father was Domenico Colombo, a wool weaver and owner of a cheese stand. His mother was Susanna Fontanarossa. He had four brothers named Giacomo, Pellegrino, Giovanni and Bartolomeo. He started working on boats early in his life and married Filipa Moniz Perestrelo, daughter of a governor and a Portuguese nobleman. In 1492 Christopher Columbus sailed to find a shorter route to Asia that was heading west of Spain. Instead, he discovered the ‘New World’.
Interesting facts about Christopher Columbus:
- The ships that Christopher Columbus used in his historical trip were the Pinta, the Nina and the Santa María.
- Pinta is the word in Spanish for ‘the painted’, and the ship received this nickname from the sailors.
- The real name of the Nina was Santa Clara, but it received the nickname of ‘Nina’ by its owner, Juan Nino.
- Despite rumors to the contrary, Christopher Columbus did not set out to prove that the world was round. This had already been determined and most people did not believe it was already flat.
- It is believed that the Scandinavian Viking Leif Eriksson landed in Newfoundland about five hundred years before Christopher Columbus “discovered” America.
- Christopher Columbus never set foot on the North American continent. First he landed somewhere in the Bahamas or on a nearby island, although nobody is sure.
- The Santa Maria was destroyed on the trip when it hit a coral reef on the eve of Christmas of 1492.
- Due to the shipwreck of Santa María, many members of the crew had to stay behind when Columbus returned to Spain. When Columbus returned, the almost 40 crew members were dead.
- Christopher Columbus is credited with the name of several islands, including Montserrat, Antigua, Redonda, Nevis, Saint Kitts, Saint Eustatius, Saba, Saint Martin and Saint Croix.
- Christopher Columbus saw the Virgin Islands and named them the Islands of Santa Ursula and the 11,000 Virgins.
- Cristóbal Colón also landed in Puerto Rico and called it San Juan Bautista.
- Christopher Columbus made four trips to the New World. On his third trip he was arrested for being brutal and for mismanaging Hispaniola. He was returned to Spain in chains.
- Despite his legal problems, Christopher Columbus was granted his freedom and made his fourth voyage across the Atlantic to the New World with the blessing of King Ferdinand.
- Christopher Columbus died in 1506 and was buried in Spain. Then they moved it across the Atlantic to Hispaniola. It was unearthed in 1795 and sent to Cuba, and then returned to Spain after the Spanish-American War in 1898.
- DNA tests have shown that some of the remains in Spain are his, but a box with human remains was found in a cathedral in Santa Domingo in 1877 with Christopher
- The name of Columbus in him. Some believe that he is as much in the Old World as in the New World.
- There were legal battles between the heirs of Columbus and the Spanish monarchy until 1790.