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Christopher Columbus (1451 20.05.1506) - Genoese explorer.

Christopher Columbus was a well-known Spanish explorer of Italian origin. His main expedition took place in 1492, when he opened America for the Europeans. He is still known worldwide as the discoverer of America. Columbus was the first traveler who crossed the Atlantic Ocean in the subtropical and tropical belts of the northern hemisphere and entered the Caribbean Sea. All in all, he had made four voyages to America. The explorer was born in 1451 in the Republic of Genoa, which is now the part of modern Italy. His family was rather poor and he had several brothers and a sister. Columbus studied at the University of Pavia. Around 1470 he married one navigators daughter. Since then, he participated in maritime trade expeditions. In 1474, he got a letter from his friend geographer saying that India can be reached by a shorter route if they sail west. That information encouraged him to project a sea voyage to India.

Making his own calculations, he decided to go through the Canary Islands. In 1476, the traveler moved to Portugal where he stayed for the next nine years. During that time he visited England, Ireland, Iceland, Guinea and many other places. Around 1480 he addressed the government and Genoese merchants asking them to support his expedition, but there was no response. In 1483, he proposed the same project to the Portuguese King John II, but got the negative response. In 1485, together with his son Columbus moved to Spain. In 1486, he managed to interest the Duke of Medina-Seli by his project. The Duke introduced him to the royal financial advisors, bankers, merchants and his uncle - Cardinal Mendoza, who promoted an audience with Catholic Kings. The Columbus was unwilling to disclose his plans, so the final verdict was unclear. In 1488, he received a favourable response, but without any concrete proposals.

A step forward was made by Queen Isabella of Castile in 1492. The royal couple gave Columbus and his ancestors the title of noblemen and promised to give him the title of Admiral in case his overseas project becomes successful. Between 1492 and 1504 Columbus made four research expeditions, describing all the events in his logbook. Unfortunately, the original journal hasnt survived. The official date of the discovery of America was the 12th of October, 1492. Columbus with his tree ships and a crew of 120 sailors landed on the island which he named San Salvador. After all his expeditions he returned to Seville. By that time he was already seriously ill. Unfortunately, he couldnt restore the privileges and rights that granted to him earlier. The explorer died on May 20th, 1506, in Valladolid. The importance of his discoveries was recognized only in the middle of the 16th century.



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