It is not even full sure whether Christopher Columbus in fact visited the Columbus House in 1492, before he left for his expedition and found America. However, the building, which is called Casa de Colon in Spanish and is located at the Calle Colon 1 in the Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, used to be a governor’s building. Today it is hosting a museum about the great sailor and discoverer. Even though parts of the exhibitions were closed when I visited the island in December 2020, I just had to dare a look into this historic monument.
Columbus House – Location & Admission
Columbus House is located in the old town of Las Palmas. A couple of key tourist attractions of the capital are nearby, especially the Santa Ana church and its museum or the Canaries Museum. the picturesque Mercado De Vegueta market hall is another tourist spot and also offers the closest paid parking. You can also go for a bus connection to the market hall. The area of Las Palmas is a beauty by itself. The shopping district is not too far away as well.
The museum is opening daily from 10:00 to 18:00 hrs. On Sundays and holidays, doors close at 15:00 hrs already. Admission is 4 Euro.
Columbus House – The Building
The building is a beauty, especially around the two patios. The exhibition rooms are either accessible from these squares or the galleries (which have been closed during my visit). Two parrots are living in the building – but they might bite if you get too close to them. The 16th century building used to be a monastery.
Columbus House – Columbus Exhibition
The small exhibition is really done in a lovely way. There are a lot of exhibits and replicas, but also interactive screens. These, for example, illustrate the travels by Columbus to the American continent.
The first room you visit is a lifesize model of the captain’s office on board of his ships. Thereafter, you for example see a couple of of models, e.g. of his three ships, the Nina, the Pinta and the famous Santa Maria. You also find items which illustrate life on the Canary Islands during Columbus’ times. You also learn about the importance of the region for global maritime life during this era. Other exhibits are navigation instruments, books / scripts and paintings.
Columbus House – Pre-Columbian America Exhibition
The basement part of the museum shows a lot of items which illustrate the American culture before Columbus’ exhibition. I really liked that part of my visit.
Columbus House – Services
Before you leave the building, you of course have the opportunity to do some souvenir shopping. There are, however, more items about Gran Canaria than about Columbus, his mission and his lfie.
Columbus House – My View
Columbus House is not breathtaking (also as there are quite some replicas), but it is definitely a nice visit when you are strolling through Gran Canaria’s capital. The exhibits illustrating the importance of the Canary Islands for international maritime trade during Columbus’ time and the pre-Columbus America part were my personal favorites – but that’s largely a matter of taste. Nice museum!
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