The Kingdom of Granada

ITINERARY: Almeria, Moclin, Pinos Puente, Santa Fe, Granada.

The chance to carry out the voyage of discovery materialized when Columbus secured the patronage of the Catholic King and Queen of Spain. Many and varied are the buildings which evoke the vicissitudes of the negotiations, at a time when the last remaining Arab stronghold in Spain, the Kingdom of Granada, was being conquered.

The man from Genoa appears in the service of the King during these campaigns residing where the court was to be installed. After Almeria had been taken, this was in the Alcazaba (12th-13th C.) a former Arab fortress rebuilt with the addition of Gothic elements. In Granada, as part of the royal retinue, Columbus remains in the strategic Castle of Moclin, which guarded the way to Granada. These events leading up to the Discovery bring us to Puente de Pinos (Pinos Brigde) (9th C.) in Pinos Puente, of Arab construction, where, as a legend has it, the emissaries of the Catholic King and Queen caught up with the seafarer and persuaded him to return, after he had left disheartened by the lack of results. With Granada reconquered in 1492, events were to change the direction of the future admiral's fortunes: he had a decisive audience with the King and Queen in the Torre of Comares in the Alhambra; in this outstanding piece of Arab architecture, in the Salon de Embajadores, the financial details of the voyage of discovery were finalized. On 12th April, 1492, the Capitulaciones (The contract) were signed between the King and the Queen and Crhistopher Columbus in the city of Santa Fe; this historical city which staged the agreement which was to change the world, was designated as the base for the siege of Granada; of a regular layout, its most outstanding features are the four monumental gateways, the Ancient Casa Real (Royal House) and the Iglesia Mayor (Church). The name of Santa Fe was to be used in many of the towns of the New World.

A visit to the Capilla Real (The Royal Chapel, the Cathedral of Granada) serves as the epilogue to this itinerary, symbol of the patrons of the voyage of discovery; this fine Gothic construction houses the pantheon of the Catholic King and Queen, with its sepulchres in the most excellent Renaissance style.

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