When on your La Gomera holiday, head to the resort of San Sebastian de La Gomera to see Torre del Conde (Tower of the Count). The tower is the first building of any historic note on this small Canary island. A medieval stone fort built by the 1st Count of La Gomera, Herman Peraza, between 1445 and 1447 with walls well over 1 meter thick in places.
A Brief History
Hernan Peraza was a Castilian commander who took part in the conquest of the Canary Islands. He was subsequently killed by a local Guanche in an uprising in revenge for his affair with a native princess. His wife, Beatriz de Bobadilla, then barricaded herself in the tower until she was rescued. Four years later in 1492, Beatriz played host to Christopher Columbus who reportedly delayed his sail to the New World for over a month. This delay promoted much speculation about the relationship between the couple.
However, Beatriz went on to marry Alonso Fernandez de Lugo who conquered Tenerife. She eventually ordered the execution of the Governor of La Gomera, and the death of every male Guanche on La Gomera in revenge for her husband’s murder. She was, as a consequence, summoned to the Spanish court, but before her trial she was found poisoned in bed.
For a while, the tower was used to guard some of the vast store of treasure that came back to Spain from the New World, including silver. The tower remained closed to the public for a considerable period of time but was restored in 1997. Today, after such a colourful history, Torre del Conde has the status of a Spanish Historical Monument. It now houses a museum displaying the history of the island of La Gomera together with maps and documents from the era of Christopher Columbus.
If you are interested in the history of the island whilst on your holiday in La Gomera, then a visit to the Torre del Conde is highly recommended.