Anyone that has some interest in the adventure of Sir Christopher cannot miss going to Moguer. And this is because if you want to find out if Columbus was from Genoa or Pontevedra, or if the last Templar had something to do with his story, you should visit this town. There is no other alternative.
In any case, do not expect to find the answers of this enigmas here, but you can immerse yourself in a key place of the Columbian feat, full of references and memories of the Great Discovery.
To begin with, it is right here where many of the sailors who were going to risk their lives crossing the unknown and dark ocean were recruited. And it was also here where one of the three caravels was built. La Niña was manufactured by the Niño brothers, expert seamen who were also part of the crew and, as you have already imagined, they also gave the name to the ship.
Intrepid sailors whose job was far from over once they reached American lands because the return trip was much more hectic than the way across. With only two caravels, because the Santa Maria had gone down, a storm came over them which separated the Pinta and the La Niña. The latter in which Admiral Columbus was travelling, got involved in such terrible waves that the sailors made a promise if they got out it alive. It was the 14th of February1493.
The ship was saved, and not long after they arrived at Palos port, the Admiral and the sailors went straight to the Monastery of Sant Clara where they spent the night praying and thanking God for not having being driven into the sea or ended in the belly of some gigantic cetacean.
The abbess of Santa Clara had supported the crazy project, and it is said that Columbus had a special affection for this place, already linked forever to his figure. Also in Moguer is the Convent of San Francisco, from which many missioners left to cross the seas to bring their doctrine and their cross to the inhabitants of the New World. And on their way to wreck their beliefs, rape a few natives, enslave another few and bring their gold and jewels back here. You know the way things went in those days…
Another much more recent character who is also associated with Moguer, since he was born here, is the writer Juan Ramon Jimenez, who had his town as a reference in his work “Platero y Yo”. In it, the poet narrated the sensations of when he was a child and walked with his donkey around this place which has also given a considerable number of illustrious sailors and that, no matter how much was destroyed after the earthquake of 1755, today it is well worth seeing.
So do not miss out on your visit to Moguer its castle, which carefully watches over the entire area. Born as a Roman defence tower, thanks to its location, it was expanded by successive cultures to reach the category of Castle, around the year one thousand three hundred and something, and it was declared a National Monument in 1949.
Finally, you can see the church of Our Lady of Granada, the largest religious temple in the province of Huelva. Built in the eighteenth century on an old Mudejar church, it is a survivor of the 1755 earthquake, the looting of the French and the bombings of the Spanish Civil War. And after all that it still keeps its good Baroque aspect.