As the Columbus Day weekend arrives, Jay Lloyd recalls a getaway he and his wife took to one of the most significant towns in the explorer’s quest for royal support.

by Jay Lloyd
KYW Newsradio 1060

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Palos, Spain, on the south Atlantic coast, is a village that inspires postcards.

We enjoyed a small village square, entered the church where Christopher Columbus said mass before sailing off to the Caribbean, and stopped at the old Roman wells where he drew his ship’s water.

It’s all still there, and functioning.

But the key attraction is the nearby monastery at La Rabida.  Here the monks interceded for Columbus with the court of Ferdinand and Isabella, winning him the financial backing for an ambitious voyage.

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You can stand in the very room where the deal was struck, overlooking the rivers Tinto and Odiel, where Columbus weighed anchor.  It’s now marked by a tall statue depicting the explorer (photo).

In the monastery you’ll see numerous portraits of Columbus. No two are alike.  Columbus never sat for an artist, so we can only guess at how he looked.

Palos can be reached from Philadelphia by British Air and Iberia, with stops in London and Madrid, flying on to Seville, and ground transportation from there to Palos.

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