Columbus kneeling before the Spanish queen.

English

Columbus kneeling before the Spanish queen.

This statue represents Cristopher Columbus kneeling before the Spanish queen Isabella in Santa Fé just outside Granada in 1492. She had granted him permission and funding to go on an exploratory mission to find a better route to India. Little did he know that he was going to find the continent of America. After years of lobbying, the Catholic Monarchs of Spain agreed to sponsor a journey west, in the name of the Crown of Castile. Columbus left Spain in August 1492 with three ships, and after a stopover in the Canary Islands made landfall in the Americas on 12 October. His landing place was an island in the Bahamas, known by its native inhabitants as Guanahani; its exact location is uncertain. Columbus subsequently visited Cuba and Hispaniola, establishing a colony in what is now Haiti—the first European settlement in the Americas since the Norse colonies almost 500 years earlier.
King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella promised Columbus that if he succeeded in finding new land on his voyage he would be given the rank of Admiral of the Ocean Sea and appointed Viceroy and Governor of all the new lands he could claim for Spain. He would be entitled to 10 percent of all the revenues from the new lands in perpetuity plus many other benefits. In 1500 he was arrested and he never received what he had been promised by the Spanish monarchs. The legal disputes and litigation concerning the broken promises did not completely end until 1790.

See more photographs of Granada