About Casa de Colon
Casa de Colon (Columbus House) is a museum of the history of the Canary Islands, particularly as relates to Christopher Columbus and the Americas. Whilst the current Casa de Colon dates to the eighteenth century, its predecessor was once the seat of the governors of Gran Canaria and a said stopping off point for the explorer Christopher Columbus in 1492, hence its name.
Casa de Colon history
In 1492 Christopher Columbus embarked on an expedition in search of a new route to the East Indies which, financed by the Crown of Castile, headed west across the Atlantic. On this trip, Columbus stopped on the coasts of Gran Canaria to repair the rudder of one of his ships. Columbus went on to make a total of four journeys to America, and Gran Canaria was vital to three of them. Gran Canaria was, in effect, the bridge between Europe and America. Columbus’ fleet also transported sugar cane saplings and domestic animals from Gran Canaria to the New World.
At the end of the 1940s, the Cabildo de Gran Canaria began to draw up plans for what would become the Casa de Colon The museum was to be created at the site of the old building of the House of Governors. The restoration works were commissioned to the architect Secundino Zuazo Ugalde who counted on the advice of the historian Antonio Rumeu, Néstor Álamo and the artist Santiago Santana.
In 1951 part of the building was symbolically inaugurated with an exhibition of Illustrious Children of the Country and the museum opened its doors to the public.
Casa de Colón is now one of the most visited museums in the Canary Islands
Casa de Colon today
Today, Casa de Colon exhibits collections ranging from pre-Columbian pieces to items that belonged to Columbus including navigational tools. It also looks at the period he spent in the Canary Islands.
Displays include models of Columbus’ ships, historical maps and artwork. In the basement there are displays on ancient South American pottery and history. Spread over 13 rooms, the museum addresses the relationship between the island and the colonisation of America.
The building is a superb example of Canarian architecture, built around two balconied patios, complete with fountains, palm trees and colourful macaws. The exterior is also beautiful with plasteresque elements combined with traditional heavy wooden balconies.
Getting to Casa de Colon
The site is easily accessible by public transport. To travel by bus, visitors can take lines 12, 15, 301, 311, 328, 4, 59 and 91.
The is located in a pedestrian area and does not have car parking. Nearby car parks are Vegueta Market, Monopol Shopping Center and Jesuit College in Vegueta.