The Isabela or Villa Isabela was the first city founded in the New World by the Spanish, in 1494. Christopher Columbus chose the site to replace the Fort of Christmas, on the north coast of Hispaniola, and appointed a governing council to govern it, of which they were part among others Antonio de Torres and Bernardo Boyl. The city was a mixture of port, shipyard, customs and warehouse, through which all traffic between the island and Spain was channeled. From 1496 its inhabitants began to emigrate to other parts of the island. By 1500 it had been completely abandoned. At present its ruins constitute an archaeological park.