22.04.

1451: Isabella of Castile – Queen who Financed the First Voyage of Columbus across the Atlantic

1451: Isabella of Castile – Queen who Financed the First Voyage of Columbus across the Atlantic
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons/ Columbus Before the Queen, 1843 (by Emanuel Leutze)

Story Highlights

  • Historical event:
  • 22 April 1451
  • The wedding of Isabella of Castile and Ferdinand of Aragon united the crowns of Castile and Aragon, which led to the unification of the Spanish countries. It is interesting to note that Isabella of Castile gave birth to four future queens.

Queen Isabella of Castile, was born on this day in 1451.

She financed the first voyage of Columbus across the Atlantic. The wedding of Isabella of Castile and Ferdinand of Aragon united the crowns of Castile and Aragon, which led to the unification of the Spanish countries (Castile and Aragon have been united since then).

It is interesting to note that Isabella of Castile gave birth to four future queens. Namely, her daughter Joanna became the Queen of Castile and Aragon, Catherine became the Queen of England (as the first wife of Henry VIII), and daughters Mary and Isabella became Queens of Portugal.

Probable depiction of Isabella of Castile, around 1520 by Gerard David (?)
Probable depiction of Isabella of Castile, around 1520 by Gerard David (?)

It seems that Isabella of Castile and Ferdinand of Aragon really wanted to equally and jointly rule Spanish countries. In Spain, they are addressed as the “Catholic monarchs” (Spanish: Los Reyes Católicos). Isabella and Ferdinand used a yoke and a bundle of arrows as their symbols (El Yugo y las flechas), which was also used by the Spanish Phalangists and Francisco Franco.

The process of canonization of Queen Isabella of Castile has been launched, and she has the title of Servant of God (the first stage of canonization in the Catholic Church). It is interesting to note that her confessor, the devout Franciscan Francisco Jiménez de Cisneros, became archbishop of Toledo (the primate of Spain and a cardinal) due to her efforts.

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