I have been to … the Maritime Museum, Santa Cruz de La Palma

Santa Cruz de La Palma is not a big place. It has a population of about 16,500 people and occupies a position on the eastern side of the island of La Palma. Despite this it manages to support a small but interesting maritime museum that is located in the base and hull of a replica of Columbus’s Santa Maria.

The main exhibits in the museum can be found in the base of the reconstruction, and deal with the role that the population of the island have played in Spanish maritime history.

Columbus’s flagship, the ‘Santa Maria’.

A Maravedi Quarter, minted in copper on Santo Domingo in 1559. This coin has been stamped in the same year by the Island of La Palma’s Council for use on the Island.

A typical trawler, the ‘Carmen II’.

The barque ‘Verdad’ (500 tons), built in 1872.

The barque ‘Fama de Canarias’ (454 tons), built in 1870.

The inter-island mail steamer ‘La Palma’ was built in Middlesbrough in 1912 by Harkess & Sons Ltd.

‘La Palma’ is currently preserved, and is moored in the harbour of Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

‘La Palma’ was launched on 15th February, 1912, and finished on 10th April the same year. She was designed to carry 190 passengers in three classes.

It was remarkable to see examples of original documents on display and such excellent ship models in what is a very small museum by international standards.

The upper floor is contained in the poop deck section of the reconstruction, and deals mainly with the construction methods used by wooden shipbuilders.

It also gives access to the main deck of the reconstructed vessel.

Looking aft towards the poop of the replica of the ‘Santa Maria’.

Looking forward towards the forecastle of the replica of the ‘Santa Maria’.


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