La Rábida is an area belonging to the municipality of Palos de la Frontera and located five kilometres from it.
There is no doubt that the Monastery of Santa Maria of the Rábida, is the monument most emblematic to the New World Discovery Spirit. The modest Franciscan monastery, joined to Huelva by the bridge that crosses the River Tinto, is a pilgrimage site, essential for those who want to follow the footsteps of Christopher Columbus.
In 1485 Columbus with his son Diego came to the Rábida, from Lisbon. In the small monastery found hospitality, understanding and support, especially two brothers: Fray Antonio de Marchena, custodian, famous astrologer and Counsellor at the Spanish Court, and Fray Juan Perez, Guardian of which had served there as an accountant and confessor. Both supported him before the Court and helped him get the ships and crews that needed by contacting Brothers Pizón
On 23rd February 1,856, was declared a Historic Monument. Since then it has become a meeting point and place commemorative events colombinas.
Located on a hill surrounded by pinewoods and flanked by beautiful gardens and the Iberoamerican Forum, it was inaugurated in 1991. La Rábida does not enclose vast richness; however, the visitor can feel the full strength of the weight of the history that was initiated in its interior. Among the rooms is (especially interesting), the Vázquez Diaz Room, decorated with pictures from the Huelva artist, on which is narrated in a magnificent manner, the development and beginning of the first discovery trip. The Mudéjar Patio, the Conference Cell, the small Gothic Mudéjar Church and the Flag Room, are the more interesting items of this monastery in which, finally, Columbus received attention and approval for his momentous navigation project.
Five kilometres from La Rábida is located the village of Palos de la Frontera, with its port on the River Tinto, today covered over. It was the starting point of the first Columbian trip, initiated on the 3rd of August of 1492. Palos still preserves many traces that recall the departure of the caravels Pinta, Niña and Santa María. The Gothic Mudéjar Church of San Jorge, was the stage in which the Royal Pragmatic was read which ordered the ships to be turned over to Columbus; the Fontanilla, under a small temple of Mudéjar style neatly restored, was the place where the discoverers supplied themselves with water. The Pinzón Brothers House, Vicente Yánez and Martín Alonso-All of these things remind us of the fundamental presence of these sailors from Palos on the first Columbian trip… However, there are only a few remains from the historical dock, which were probably a part of the old pier.
Huelva is a mecca for those interested in Christopher Columbus, with a number of significant tourist attractions about the famous explorer.
Día de Martín Alonso Pinzón, March 15th
Fiestas de San Jorge, April 23rd. Palos protector procession
Conmemoración del descubrimiento, August 3rd, Christopher Columbus departure festivity
Fiestas patronales de Nuestra Señora de los Milagros, August, pilgrimage on last weeked of August and procession until La Rabida monastery
Conmemoración del descubrimiento de América, October 12th. America Discovery commemoration