Christopher Columbus was an Italian explorer and traveller who set out to explore the world at a time when most Catholic theologians of his time considered the Earth to be flat and were hesitant to venture out into the sea.
Columbus was born in the Italian seaport of Genoa in 1451. His father was a weaver and small-time merchant. As a teen, Christopher went to sea, travelled extensively and became an experienced sailor. He sailed across the Atlantic Ocean from Spain in the Santa Maria, with the Pinta and the Nina ships alongside, hoping to find a new route to India. In his 20s he moved to Lisbon, Portugal, and later resettled in Spain.
In 1484, Columbus asked King John (King of Portugal) to fund his venture but they declined. Columbus then spent around 7 years in Spain and trying to convince King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain to invest in his venture. Ferdinand and Isabella, agreed to finance him and finally, in 1492, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella provided three small ships, men, and supplies to Columbus.
Columbus set out on his first voyage under the patronage of the Spanish monarchy in the quest of the sea route to Asia in August 1492. While Columbus himself captained the ship called Santa Maria, he had two other ships along his side the Pinta and the Nina. On October 12, 1492, after 36 days of sailing westward across the Atlantic, Columbus and several crewmen set foot on an island in the present-day Bahamas. Columbus made three more journeys across the Atlantic to the Caribbean. He was sure that he had found Cipangu (Japan), but it was actually Cuba. Columbus landed on a number of other islands in the Caribbean, including Cuba and Hispaniola. He visited Trinidad and the South American mainland.Before leaving the islands, he left some of his men, established a settlement La-Navidad and took back some natives with him to be presented to the king.
In 1502 along the eastern coast of Central America in an unsuccessful attempt to discover a route to the Indian Ocean he undertook his last voyage. Columbus attempt at colonizing and creating a base for slavery in the Cuban islands angered the Spanish throne, he was arrested for the same and he was stripped off his riches and titles.
Although Columbus is credited for opening up the American islands to the Europeans, he is also accused of destruction of the native culture of the islands he explored. Columbus died in May 1506 at the age of 54, still believing he had discovered a shorter route to Asia. In the two remaining years of his life following his last voyage to the Americas, Columbus struggled to recover his lost titles. Although he did regain some of his riches in May 1505, his titles were never returned.