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Wednesday, October 12, 2016


It’s Columbus Day.

For the Madeira Wine Expo 98 in Lisbon, leadership of the island had a 72-foot by 23-foot replica of the Santa Maria built in the fishing village of Camara de Lobos.  It was visited by 97,000 persons during the wine conference.  Today, the Santa Maria dupe is berthed in Funchal.

Santa Maria replica berth in Funchal, the capital city of the island of Madeira

SANTA MARIA: The original medium-sized carrack known as Christopher Columbus’s flagship, the Santa Maria, was built in Pontevedra, Galicia, in Spain’s northwest region.  Early historians reported it was only about 58 feet long and ran about 100 tons.  For Columbus’s 1492 expedition, the Santa Maria had a single deck and three masts.  The sister ships in 1492 were the caraval-sized La Nina and La Pinta, which carried less tonnage than the Santa Maria.  Exact measurements have been lost to history.

Earlier replicas of the three ships of exploration sailed from Spain to the United States in 1893 as part of the Chicago World Expo.

Funchal downtown
MADEIRA: With a modern day population of 267,785, Madeira, an autonomous region of Portugal, is an archipelago comprising 4 islands off the northwest coast of Africa. It’s known for its namesake wine and warm, subtropical climate. The main island of Madeira is volcanic, green and rugged, with high cliffs, pebbly beaches and settlements on deltas of the Fajã River. Capital city Funchal has botanic gardens and is known for its harbor and a large New Year's fireworks show.

What a difference a few centuries can make

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