The conquest

The way of life of the early inhabitants changed drastically after 1483, when Spain’s Catholic monarchs, Isabel and Fernando, conquered the island. The culture of the new European colonists pervaded every aspect of their lives, from the construction of settlements and buildings to the way people dressed, their beliefs, the justice system and the introduction of new implements and tools, a new economy and new professions. However, the Canary Islands were known to classical antiquity long before they were conquered, as confirmed by occasional findings of Roman archaeological in the sea and on some of the islands. They were also mentioned in Greek and Latin texts. Writing in the 1st century AD, Pliny the Elder told of a journey or expedition made decades earlier by Mauritanian king Juba II to the Fortunatae Insulae.
Seemingly forgotten about for centuries, the Islands began to receive visitors again in the 14th century, during the European expansion in the Atlantic by voyagers from Genoa, Catalonia and Aragon, Portugal, and Castile. The Canary Islands began to feature in nautical charts, maps and portolan charts, and were depicted in the planispheres of Angelino Dulcert (1339) and Abraham Cresques (1375). The first attempts to evangelise the population were made in the same century, with the founding of a bishopric (La Fortuna) in Telde, in 1351. The bishopric continued its work until 1391, when the 12 Majorcan monks posted there were killed by members of the local population.


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