The Conquistadors

Diego Columbus’ palace was, at the time, one of the marvels of the New World, and it became the headquarters of the Spanish Court in America. All future Spanish conquests and conquistadors in the Western Hemisphere came through its gates.

HERNAN CORTES, conqueror of Mexico, met his wife at the Alcazar. When Cortes left Santo Domingo in 1511 as secretary to Diego Valazequez on his conquest of Cuba, he took with him the plans and drawings of Diego’s palace. Later in Cuenavaca, Mexico, he ordered a similar palace built.

JUAN PONCE DE LEON, conqueror of Puerto Rico and discoverer of Florida, in 1508, was appointed governor of Puerto Rico in spite of Diego Columbus’ objections.

FRANCISCO GONZALO PIZARRO, conqueror of Peru, reached Hispanola on Sept. 5, 1499, together with Alonso Ojeda.

VASCO NUNEZ DE BALBOA, conqueror of Darien and discoverer of the Pacific, once escaped Santo Domingo in a barrel, according to some accounts. He was put to death by Governor Pedro Arias Pedrarias, founder of Panama and colonizer of Nicaragua.

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