What Else Happened In 1492?

The year that Columbus sailed the ocean blue

Grant Piper
2 min readJun 2


(Public domain)

In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue. That is a rhyme that many American children learn to help them remember when Columbus left Europe for what would become the New World. But what else happened in 1492? Columbus changed the world forever in 1492, but some other major events also shook the world stage. Here are some other interesting events that took place during this seminal, and overshadowed, year.

End Of The Reconquista

  • Spanish Catholics conquer Grenada. Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile take control of the city from Emir Muhammad XII of Granada. This marks the official end of the Reconquista, the longest military struggle in history.
  • The end of the Reconquista freed up the Iberian monarchies to support Christopher Columbus’ expeditions to Asia.
  • In a bid to make Spain entirely Catholic following the conquest of Grenada, the Alhambra Decree is enacted, expelling all of the Jews from Spain unless they converted to Roman Catholicism. Many Jews were welcomed into the Ottoman Empire and resettled in lands closer to the Levant.

English and French Squabbles

  • The Peace of Étaples is signed after the English laid siege to the French port of Boulogne. This ended the French support of an English pretender to the throne. This ended the most recent round of Anglo-French hostilities.

Cultural Advancements

  • The Erdapfel is produced, the first known globe depicting the Earth. This was an interesting time when people realized that the Earth was spherical, but the globe does not yet show North and South America.
  • Russia constructs the Ivangorod Fortress on the banks of the Narva River. The fortress still exists today.
  • The first Stiegl brewery is opened in Salzburg. Stiegl is still a beer you can buy today, largely in Austria.
  • The Pentateuch is printed for the first time utilizing the new technology of the printing press to put the Torah into publication.


  • The Ensisheim meteorite falls in France. The meteorite is still on display at the local museum.
  • The first arboretum is planned and planted in Dubrovnik.
  • The famous Italian painter Polidoro da Caravaggio is born.



Grant Piper

Thought provoking articles, when time and payouts permit it.