One of the most important episodes in the history of La Gomera took place in the first half of the fifteenth century, it is the failed attempt to conquer the island by Portugal, in that event the fortress of Chipude played a decisive role.
The fortress Chipped, also known by ancient gomeros as Argodey, is a mountain, 1,243 meters and 300 meters in diameter, almost vertical rock walls and rather flat top, located in the municipality of Vallehermoso, in the zone Chipude.
The ancient chronicles as the end of 1424 reached the waters of the Canary Islands expedition that Portugal had sent previously to this archipelago, as to date, the Portuguese crown, had respected the sovereignty of Castilla over the Canary Islands. Don Enrique "The Sailor" son of John I of Portugal, the Canary Islands were vital in its expansion by the Atlantic Ocean through the African coast. All islands in the Atlantic Ocean, near the African continent (Madeira, Cape Verde, Fernando Poo ...), belonged to Portugal, all except the Canary Islands.
The Portuguese sailor Fernando de Castro, captained the campaign had 12 ships carrying 2,500 men and 120 horses. After a failed attack on Gran Canaria they went to La Gomera which they considered easier to conquer, to be smaller and have weaker defenses. They landed at the port of Hirupe, identified by some historians as the cove close to Arguamul Roques in Vallehermoso.
The first confrontation between the Portuguese and the ancient gomeros is believed to have occurred in Argüalmul, very rough terrain with huge cliffs and slopes. During the war, the invaders killed the brother of the cantonal head, after which the initial fierceness of the natives seemed to vanish.
The Portuguese, then easily moved inland while natural fled through the hills of Tazo and Epina. Such flight concealed a clever strategy in which the Portuguese, confident inadvertently dropped. Gomeros, knowing their numerical inferiority resorted to cunning and surrounded the invaders in the fortress Chipude. After several days of siege, the Portuguese surrendered and gomero king showed his piety and generosity to the vanquished pardoning life. But they were not only forgiven ... between winners and losers there was a pact that allowed them to live together in peace and harmony. Through this covenant, Don Enrique "the Navegante" Gotta have your own base in the Canary Islands for its operations in Africa but could not conquer La Gomera.
The part of La Gomera inhabited by the Portuguese defeated who settled on the island was the North, namely Vallehermoso and Hermigua, still some Portuguese influence is seen in La Gomera: in the lexicon (peje, date ...) in the huge number of Portuguese surnames (Coello, Ossorio, etc), in the place names of Portuguese origin in the island's domestic architecture ... Besides the Portuguese were the ones who introduced Christianity in La Gomera.
The fortress of Chipude is Natural Monument, is included in the protected landscape of Orone, declared a Special Area of Conservation within the Natura 2000 network and of Cultural Interest. You can visit at any time of the year through the many paths that cross the island of La Gomera. It is one of the most important archaeological sites in the Gomera and its top found numerous remains of huts and pastoral shelters and a circular stone structures, "the sake of sacrifice" where the old rubber trees made their sacrifices (feet and head goat and sheep). In your visit to La Gomera, do not miss it!