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22d November, 1497 Vasco da Gama rounded the Cape of Good Hope

Vasco da GamaOn 22d of November, 1497 Portuguese traveler Vasco da Gama rounded the Cape of Good Hope. This man was the first European who managed to get around this rocky shore. Members of the expedition were almost killed in a grueling series of storms while sailing here.

The expedition of Vasco da Gama started on July 8, 1497. The crew of the 168 best sailors set off from Lisbon on the four ships with a displacement of 100 tons. By order of the Portuguese king, they would open the way to India. The sailors coped with the task.

Travel map was prepared with the help of an experienced navigator Bartolomeu Dias, who became the discoverer of the Cape of Good Hope, and convinced that having rounded the Cape, it is possible to achieve the Indian Ocean. It is well known, that in 1488 Portuguese explorer Bartolomeu Dias first opened and mapped this Cape and named the Cape of Storms. Later it was renamed the Cape of Good Hope King of Portugal Joao II. In 1497 Vasco da Gama rounded the Cape and paved the way to the Indian shores, thereby justifying the hope of King John II.

Geographic map clearly shows that the Cape of Good Hope is situated in South Africa on the Cape Peninsula to the south of Cape Town. If you examine the topographic map, you can see that the most southern point of Africa is Cape Agulhas, located 155km south- east. But it was at the Cape coastline of the continent where for the first time the coastline turns to the east, opening the way from the Atlantic to the Indian Ocean.

Cape of Good Hope is the extreme south- eastern point of the African continent. Cape Peninsula here reaches its southernmost point and turns to the north, and then breaks off a steep rocky promontory of Cape Point (50 meters north). Paradoxically, but here is situated the lighthouse "Cape of Good Hope.

This Day in History 22-11-2013