Cueva de Guahedum

Cueva de Guadejume

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Location: Degollada de Peraza
Light: none, bring torch.
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1488 Hernán Peraza killed by Hautacuperche in the cave.


Cueva de Guahedum is today a small cave closed with a wall. It is nothing special, but it is a sort of historic sight, at least if you believe contemporary chronists. It is a story of love and murder, and the bloodiest up-rise in the history of the Canarian Islands. And finally it has something to do with Christopher Columbus.

The story starts with Hernán Peraza the elder, who was governor of Gomera and built the Torre del Conde in San Sebastián in 1450. This tower was a stronghold against the native Guanche. His son, also named Hernán Peraza, was suspected of murdering another noble, and thus banished to La Gomera.

Ferdinand of Castille, the Spanish King had a young and beautiful lover, named Beatriz de Bobadilla. His wife, Isabella of Castille tried to get rid of her by marrying her to Hernán Peraza. So she was banished to the outermost island of the Spanish empire.

Hernán Peraza fell in love to the Guanche princess Yballa. They met in Cueva de Guahedum, which they thought was a secret place. But now Beatriz de Bobadilla and the Guanche suitor Hautacuperche. Hautacuperche waited for Hernán Peraza in the cave and killed him with a lance. Now followed an island-wide rebellion forcing Beatriz to hide in the Tore del Conde.

Pedro de Vera, the governor of Gran Canaria, came and crushed the rebellion brutally. He hanged, impaled, decapitated or drowned all Gomeran Guanches, even 300 of them living on Gran Canaria. The women were parceled out to his militiamen or sold, along with their children, into slavery. Hundreds of Gomerans were cajoled from the mountains by promises of complete amnesty and then killed brutally.

The widow Beatriz de Bobadilla stayed ruler of La Gomera. For years later, in 1492, Christopher Columbus came to the island on his first journey to the New World and was hosted by her. Much speculation about the pair raised, when he delayed his journey for over a month. San Sebastián was not the best-equipped Canarian port, so Columbus had to send one ship to Gran Canaria for repairs. Still he stayed here.

Columbus interrupted both his 1493 and 1498 journeys on La Gomera. In 1498, he was disappointed to find that Beatriz had married Alonso Fernández de Lugo. On his final 1502 voyage Columbus did not visit San Sebastián.