Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Portugal - Madeira - Porto Santo Island

Multiviews of Porto Santo Island.

Sent by Seninho from Porto Santo Island.

This is from Wikipedia : Porto Santo Island (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈpoɾtu ˈsɐ̃tu]) is a Portuguese island 43 kilometres (27 mi) northeast of Madeira Island in the North Atlantic Ocean; it is the northernmost and easternmost island of the archipelago of Madeira, located in the Atlantic Ocean west of Europe and Africa.

Porto Santo was officially discovered and recognized by the crown of Portugal in 1418, after captains in the service of the Infante D. Henrique came across the island and its sheltered anchorage. João Gonçalves Zarco and Tristão Vaz Teixeira had been ordered (by King John I) to discover new territory west of Africa, and had been sent off-course by a storm. The island's name Porto Santo (English: Holy Harbour) was derived from the sailors' stories of their discovery of a sheltered bay during the tempest, which was seen as divine deliverance.

Bartolomeu Perestrelo, a third member of the team that later explored the islands of the Madeira, became the first Captain-donatorio of Porto Santo, by royal award in November 1445.

During the first centuries of settlement, life on Porto Santo was harsh, owing to the scarcity of potable water and constant attacks by Barbary Coast pirates and French privateers.

The famous explorer Christopher Columbus married Bartolomeu Perestrelo's daughter, and for a while lived on Porto Santo.

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