Trinidad and Tobago

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Moruga /  Cross


The cross marks the place where Christopher Columbus is said to have landed when he discovered Trinidad on his third trip in 1498. Moruga is on the south coast of Trinidad. The present cross commemorates the first cross mounted here by Columbus.
On July 6, 1498, Columbus sailed from the Cape Verde Islands heading south towards the equator. Becalmed and running out of supplies, especially water, the sailors were losing hope and growing weak. Columbus suffered an attack of gout. The heat was unbearable. When at last the wind freshened and the sky cleared—with one barrel of water left on each ship—Columbus decided to sail west. In the days of despair, he had renewed his vow to name the first land sighted in honour of the Holy Trinity.
On Tuesday July 31, 1498, sailor Alonzo Perez Nizzardo shouted from the ship’s mast, "Land! Land!" When Columbus saw "three peaks united at their base," he thought it a miraculous coincidence. But the coastline was rocky and it was not until the next day (August 1) that he was able to land at what is today Gran Chemin beach, where he raised the white cross and claimed the island for Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand of Spain with the name "Trinidad." He also saw and named the island to Trinidad’s north-east, "Concepcion" though that island’s name reverted to Tobago.

Sources & Information


Locatie (N 10°5'12" - W 61°16'41") (Satellite view: Google Maps)

Item Code: tt001; Added: 24 January 2007

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