- BBC News World
It was close to midnight on January 4, 1656, and the Spanish ship deck Nuestra Senora de las Maravillas was silent.
Only the sound of the Caribbean sea and the wind that strokes the sails of the huge ship that has left Cartagena de Indias can be heard.
He heads to Spain after he gets the silver trophy recovered from the wreck of the Jesús María de la Limpia Concepción, which sank on a reef in Ecuador.
But within a few seconds, everything changes.
The flagship Nuestra Senora de la Concepción made a navigational error and that fateful night collided with the Maravillas, causing the Spanish ship to smash into the reef.
In less than 30 minutes, I’ll be at the bottom of the ocean.
Of a crew of 650 people, only 45 survived.
Now, explorers have found some of the wonders that the Maravillas kept and display them in the Bahamas Maritime Museum.
“The Maravillas are a special part of the marine history of the Bahamas,” said Carl Allen, entrepreneur and founder of Allen Exploration, the organization behind the expedition.
“The Galleon wreck has had a difficult history: many pieces were found by Spanish, English, French, Dutch, American and Bahamian expeditions during the 17th and 18th centuries,” he said.
According to the Naval Museum, one of Allen’s most important pieces of exploration was a Gold earring with Santiago cross in the middle.
A second gold earring was found in the ruins, oval in shape and 4.7 cm long.
In the center, the Santiago Cross of large Colombian emeralds stands out in an oval shape. The outer frame is decorated with 12 other emeralds representing the twelve apostles.
The Order of Santiago was the most prestigious military body in Spain and Portugal. His knights were especially active in maritime trade.
When the Portuguese navigator Vasco da Gama, the first European to sail to India, commanded a fleet of 21 ships between 1502 and 1503, he sailed with 8 horsemen of the order.
The importance of the Bahamas
The company responsible for the find said it hopes to keep the pieces in the museum in the Bahamas, as they are part of the great historical and cultural wealth of the place.
“For a nation built on the ocean, it is surprising how little is understood about the Bahamas’ relationships with the sea,” says Michael Bateman, director of the Bahamas Maritime Museum.
“Few people know that the indigenous Lucian peoples, for example, settled here 1,300 years ago. Or that the entire population of about 50,000 people was forcibly expelled, forced to search for pearls in Venezuela and became extinct in less than three decades,” he recalls. . .
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