SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Columbus landing at Hispaniola. The Italian explorer Christopher Columbus (1451-1506) landed on Hispaniola, now Haiti, West Indies, on 5 December 1492. Columbus believed wrongly that Asia was only 5000 kilometres west of Europe and set sail, with the backing of the Spanish court, westward with three ships and 120 men. After five weeks at sea he landed on a small island in the Bahamas (San Salvador), believing he had found the East Indies. On this voyage he also discovered Hispaniola and Cuba. This woodcut was published in De Insulis inuentis (Concerning the Discovered Islands), which was based on Columbus's first letter sent from the West Indies, in Basle in 1493.
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