Record ID: 81

Site Name

Madeira Islands

Type

Islands

Description

Volcanic archipelago in North Atlantic 621 miles southwest of Lisbon and 495 miles off African coast(33N/17W), discovered by the Portuguese around 1420. Thereafter settled at urging of Prince Henry.

Early Portugueses settlers included Christopher Columbus's future father-in-law, Bartolomeu Perstreli. Islands later produced sugar and had active commerce with Britain's North American colonies. Turning point on Verrazzano's 1524 cruise to North America.

Madeira Islands, in Portuguese control during Age of Discovery, and Canary Islands, under Spanish rule. [Image Id: 1882]
Madeira Islands, in Portuguese control during Age of Discovery, and Canary Islands, under Spanish rule. [Image Id: 1882]