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The First Cathedral of America
Where did Christopher Columbus land when he discovered the Americas?
The answer to this question lies in the island Hispaniola. It is a island in the Caribbean that holds two countries; Haiti and the Dominican Republic. The Dominican Republic is the western three-eights of the island and Haiti the remaining.
Island of Hispaniola
First Voyage - Columbus
Christopher Columbus (Cristobal Colon) in 1492 landed on the northern coast of Hispaniola. He built a fortress called “La Navidad” which was completed on Christmas day. He returned to Lisbon, Portugal leaving 39 men because the Santa Maria had ran aground. The men were killed by a native chief Caonabo.
Second Voyage - Columbus
When Columbus returned to Hispaniola November 22, 1493 the fortress had been destroyed. On the northern coast further inland he established the first formal European settlement in the New World “La Isabela.” Columbus left Hispaniola on April 24, 1494 visiting the other side of the island, which is modern day Haiti, then he returned to Spain.
“La Isabela” was abandoned in 1496. Christopher Columbus’ brother Bartholomew founded a new settlement and named it “Santa Domingo” which the current day capital of the Dominican Republic.
Third Voyage - Columbus
Columbus returned to Hispaniola on August 19, 1498 to find the people of Santa Domingo discontent because they believed that Columbus had mislead them regarding the abundance of gold. The Columbus brothers; Christopher, Bartholomew, and Christopher’s son, Diego were removed in chains from Hispaniola on October 1, 1500 because of slavery, lack of gold and treatment of natives. They were sent back to Spain.
Fourth Voyage - Columbus
On June 29, 1502 with his riches and name restored Columbus took his final journey back to Hispaniola, a hurricane was on the horizon and he wanted to harbor in Hispaniola, but the current Governor denied him port. They ported in Jamaica. On November 7, 1504 they arrived back in Castile, Spain. Columbus returned to Valladolid, Spain where he died on May 20, 1506 at the age of 54 years.
Where in the world is Columbus now?
There has been for years a controversy as to where Christopher Columbus has finally been laid to rest. He was a traveler when he was living and his bones have traveled much since his death. His request was that he be buried in the New World. And for a time he got his request and was buried in Santa Domingo. Recently, it has been resolved that he is at rest in Seville, Spain. The Dominican Republic claims that he still resides there or at least part of him. Is it possible that the bones of Christopher Columbus has been mixed with the bones of another person so both places could have a piece of him?
El Alcaza de Colon
Modern day Dominican Republic has the rich history of being the home of Christopher Columbus and family but, it also has a lively, rich culture thriving today.
El Alcaza de Colon was built by Christopher Columbus’ son Diego in 1510. It was the residence of his son and family. It was also where Columbus stayed on his visits. It is now the most visited museum in the Santa Domingo. It houses medieval and Renaissance art.
Christopher Columbus, Mausoleum.
A lighthouse built in 1986 called the Mausoleo de Cristobal Colon or Christopher Columbus, Mausoleum. It was built for the 500th anniversary of the discovery of America and as a tribute to Columbus. It is where remains or partial remains of Christopher Columbus is believed to be placed. The lighthouse is a cross shaped monument. There are 157 rotating giant beams that projects 3,000 feet and can be seen in Puerto Rico. The lighthouse is no longer in use, but the museum houses artifacts from each American country.
First Cathedral of America
The oldest church in the Americas is found in Santa Domingo “Catedral Primada de America” or “First Cathedral of America.” Columbus’ tomb was originally located in this church before being moved to Christopher Columbus Mausoleum. It is architecturally the Gothic style with 500 year old Mahogany door and silver hammered altars.
The Three eyes cave
The natural limestone swimming pool or cave “ Cueva Los Tres Ojos” or “The three eyes cave” is located in Santa Domingo. It was discovered in 1916 and is fed by a underground river of sulfur water.
Altos de Chavon
One hundred miles east of Santa Domingo there is the resort “Altos de Chavon.” It has an open air amphitheater that seats 5,000 people and host many international concerts, it is a place of professional training and cultivation of the arts.
Beaches of the Dominican Republic
Beaches with their palm trees, white sand, and clear turquoise water such as; Bavaro Beach in Punta Cana, Playa Bonita in Las Terrenas and a quiet beach the Playa Moron in Las Terrenas.
Damajaque Cascades - water falls
Rent a water proof camera, get your bug spray, wear shorts and sneakers and head to the Damajaque Cascades of twenty-seven water falls in Puero Plato. You can spend a few hours jumping off a twenty-three foot high fall or slide down the falls. And visit seven of the twenty-seven falls.
Discover what he discovered the Dominican Republic
The largest shell ever found in my beach walking was found on a beach in the Dominican Republic it was a complete 5 x 3 inch conch shell in excellent shape. The people are warm, interesting and considerate. The weather is excellent. It is definitely a place to visit and relax. Definitely check out the territory that Christopher Columbus and family roamed.