History knows and recognizes thousands of instances related to great discoveries. Principally, people who made them were dreamers and adventurers who dared let their dreams set sail. Their strong belief in their dreams and of course, their courage contributed greatly to the finding of new and unknown lands and continents and to the development of the world, thus leaving an imprint on future generations.
Speaking about world discoveries, for sure, the most legendary explorer of all centuries and all times is the Italian discoverer from Genoa – Christopher Columbus. His 1492 discovery is of huge significance to the Western history. His historic first round-trip voyage to the Americas was based on his dreams and his adventurous spirit brought him to the new continents. Columbus’ strong belief that he had reached Asia deluded him enormously and that was the reason why the new world wasn’t named after him but after another Italian explorer– Amerigo Vespucci from Florence. The times when Columbus found the Americas were too hard in terms of finding money for voyages as well as when it came to the building of reliable vessels it must be mentioned that it was a true burden to cross vast and unknown oceans in the ships of those times. And he managed to cope with these two major issues after lots of hardships, i.e. he started his first round-trip voyage in August 1492 sailing under the Crown of Castile and his expedition contained one carrack and two caravels – the Galician (or the Santa María ex-Gallega), the Pinta (or also known as either The Look or the Spotted One ) and the Niña (The Girl), the latter having a replica built by the Spanish government in 1893.
Another great and courageous discoverer is the British Captain James Cook who explored another almost new continent – the vast “terra australis incognita”. Actually, the unknown lands of the South were found by Abel Tasman who is known to be the first European to have discovered NZ and AU (in 1642). And much later, in 1769 Captain James Cook sighted New Zealand and then he explored the Eastern Australian coast in the famous Endeavour that was a 3-mast wooden ship with an interlaced network of ropes. Nowadays her replica is on display in Sydney.
Being on the topic of ships, it must be mentioned that there are plenty of other ships that have turned into tourist attractions. Two of them are housed in two European cities. London is proud of the ex tea trade (and later wool trade) Cutty Sark. Today she is preserved as a museum ship, part of the National Historic Fleet. As to Genoa, it houses the Neptune galleon. She is a replica of a Spanish galleon of the 17th century and was built in the middle of the 80s specially for Roman Polanski’s film “The Pirates”.