Christopher Columbus’ eight-month stay in Burgos


An inscription on the façade of the Casa del Cordón commemorates the Catholic Monarchs’ reception of the admiral after his return from his second voyage to America

One of the most delicate moments in the life of Christopher Columbus, after his second voyage to America, was being received in Burgos by the Catholic Monarchs. Due to the delay in being received, he had to remain there for eight months until the long-awaited meeting finally took place… but separately.

The story is full of curiosities. One of them is the delay in being received by the Catholic Monarchs that Christopher Columbus suffered after his second voyage to America. Eight months elapsed before this happened, forcing him to remain in the city all that time waiting to receive an audience.

Christopher Columbus returned from his second voyage to America in June 1496, when he landed in Cadiz. It was a voyage on which he discovered the Lesser Antilles – Dominica and Guadeloupe – travelled along the coasts of what are now Cuba and Jamaica, and consolidated his dominion over Hispaniola.

But…

On that island he met with disaster: those who remained had died as a result of internal strife and revenge by the natives against the Spaniards for the episodes of robbery and mistreatment that had taken place. Worst of all, however, were the tensions among the crew, some of whom were deceived that they had found no trace of the riches they had heard about. Several of them arrived in Spain before Columbus did, so they sowed their prestige with all kinds of infamy. That was what he had to deal with.

The reception finally took place in the Casa del Cordón, where an inscription reminds us that it was there that the expected meeting between the navigator and the Catholic Monarchs took place – especially for Christopher Columbus – but separately, and eight months after his arrival in Burgos. It is said that their majesties, on hearing what was said about him, were so angry that they did not want to receive him and the meeting was delayed. After defending himself against the accusations against him, Columbus left the meeting with the title of admiral, viceroy and governor of the Indies, as well as a promise to finance a third voyage to America.

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