Speaking of the history of Puerto de Santa María is speaking of the history of the discovery of the Americas. This town is very close to the figure of Cristopher Columbus and to la Pinta, la Niña and la Santa María. But much before these events took place during the 15th Century, some other stages of history in this area have to be emphasised.
History in this area of the Spanish peninsula is going back to the paleolític and mesolític periods including the Phoenician settlement, archeological sites, which have been discovered during the past few years.
In the year 711, the Musulmans and the Christians had an important battle in the Orillas del Guadalete, a battle which resulted in the conquest of these lands by the Arabs. The settlement of the Arabs was extended until the capture of the land in the year 1260 by Alfonso X. It was Alfonso X who named the place Santamaría del Puerto. The town henceforth belonged to the crown of Castilla. In the 14th Century, the duke of Medinaceli takes overthe town and this was when Puerto de Santa María had its most fruitful and splendid period of its history. In the 15th Century, during the last quarter, Cristóbal Colón lived her, whilst he was looking for funds for its voyage to the Indias. This was the place where Santa María was founded and from where the second voyage to the Americas was leaving.
These events made of Puerto Santa Maria an important place for the encounter of ship owners and trading people, who where accommodated in the casas palacio, which were residential centres and where the Puerto de Santa María had its beginnings as we know it today.
During the 16th and 17th Century Puerto de Santa María changed into the headquaters of the Capitania del Mar with seat of the Royal galley and the Spanish fleet which travelled all around the world and was in 1729 that Puerto de Santa María was incorported in the Spanish crown.
The Century of lights, the 18th Century witnesses the alteration of Puerto de Santa María, as a place for many illustrious residents, during the War of Independance it changed into the French quaters under the rule of José Bonaparte, or also called Pepe Botella for its liking of the liquor.
During the battles of the 19th Century on the Spanish peninsule, Puerto de Santa María had the distinguised position that from here departed the carta magna of 1812. The Port continued to grow and being the headquaters of important commercial transactions. Thanks to its portual installations and its industry, its population was growing bit by bit.
Nowadays is Puerto de Santa María a place, where one can follow up the history in its streets and surroundings and which bases its economic income on tourism, wines and fishing.
Puerto de Santa María is today one of the principal industrial and leisure centres of the Bahía de Cádiz. Commercial centres like Vista Hermosa or Bahía del Mar, wine cellars like Osborne, Terry, Caballero, 501 or Grant amongst many others know on an international level.
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