On 12 October 1492, the famous explorer Christopher Columbus reached the archipelago of the Bahamas.
In his letter to the treasurer of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain, Columbus wrote:
“Thirty-three days after my departure from Cadiz I reached the Indian sea, where I discovered many islands, thickly peopled, of which I took possession without resistance in the name of our most illustrious Monarch, by public proclamation and with unfurled banners. To the first of these islands, which is called by Indians Guanahani, I gave the name of the blessed Saviour (San Salvador), relying upon whose protection I had reached this [island]”.
Although Columbus erroneously believed he landed in Asia, and he was not the first European to reach the Western Hemisphere, his voyage marked the beginning of the European exploration and colonisation of the American continents.
Discover more about life and voyages of Columbus on Europeana.