La Navidad

La Navidad was the first - short-lived - Branch who founded the Spanish under the leadership of Christopher Columbus on American soil. She lay on the north coast of the island of Hispaniola.


The flagship of Christopher Columbus, the Santa María ran because of the carelessness of a crew member on Christmas night 1492 ( the night of December 25) due to ( a reef or a sandbar ) and could not be made fast. From the remains of the ship was Columbus building (with the help of the friendly cacique Guacanagari and the Taínos ) a fort, which he (German: Christmas) La Navidad called.

The crew of La Navidad

The crew consisted of 30 to 40 members of the expedition. Columbus had these men to leave because the only remaining ship him until then, the Niña, was too small to all crew members to be transported back to Europe. It also saw Columbus quite as addition to being virtually forced by the loss of Santa María establishing a settlement. So he did not change his decision even as the Pinta on January 6, 1493 unexpectedly again came to him ( the captain of this ship and a rival of Columbus, Martín Alonso Pinzón, had previously without giving reasons from the fleet ).

The end

When Columbus on his second voyage on November 28, 1493 reached La Navidad, he found the fort in ruins and the crew from dead. The neighboring village of the cacique Guacanagari had been destroyed. The reasons for this are not clearly understood. According to records of Columbus Guacanagari had originally claimed that the fort had been attacked by hostile tribes. Then he had changed his statement to the effect that the Spaniards had started with the Indians fight over gold and women and raided the neighboring villages. Then, the Taínos had destroyed the fort in retaliation for the losses violence and plundering of the Spaniards and killed the crew.

Weeks after his second arrival in Hispaniola Columbus founded the colony of La Isabela to the east ( named in honor of Isabella I of Castile, an important patron of Columbus ).


The exact location of La Navidad - not clarified until today - in spite of intensive research efforts. What is certain is that the fort was located on the territory of present-day Haiti east of the present city of Cap -Haïtien. As a place, among others, the bay is suspected near the city of Caracol.