Explorers - Ferdinand Magellan and Seville

Seville - Ferdinand Magellan

Ferdinand Magellan (c. 1480 - 27 April 1521) was a Portuguese explorer who organised the Spanish expedition to the East Indies from 1519 to 1522, resulting in the first circumnavigation of the Earth, completed by Juan Sebastián Elcano. 

After his proposed expeditions to the Spice Islands (specifically, the Moluccas in modern-day Indonesia) were repeatedly rejected by King Manuel of Portugal, Magellan turned to Charles I, the young King of Spain (and future Holy Roman Emperor).

Magellan knew that he couldn't sail towards the east, since under the 1494 Treaty of Tordesillas, Portugal controlled the eastern routes to Asia around the south of Africa. So instead he proposed reaching the Spice Islands by a western route, a feat which had never before been accomplished, the so-called route to the west that Christopher Columbus had sought.

The route had to be confined to Castilian-controlled seas (west of the north-south demarcation line as dictated by the Treaty of Tordesillas, about halfway between the Cape Verde islands and Cuba, passing through the eastern part of Brazil).

Magellan's fleet consisted of five ships, carrying supplies for two years of travel. The crew consisted of about 245 men, most of whom were Spanish, with around 40 Portuguese; others were Belgian, French, German, Greek, Dutch, Italian, British and Malay. More about Ferdinand Magellan >

On 10 August 1519, the "Molucca fleet" departed from Seville, captained by Ferdinand Magellan, and sailed down the Guadalquivir, reaching Sanlúcar de Barrameda (Cádiz).

During the following weeks the fleet took on supplies and prepared for the voyage. Magellan must have returned to Seville, as on August 24 he wrote his will there, naming his son Rodrigo and the unborn child or children caried by his pregnant wife.

On 20 September, the expedition sailed from Sanlúcar de Barrameda, stopping at the Canaries, passing by Cape Verde islands and the coast of Sierra Leone, and then sailing west across the Atlantic toward South America.

Ferdinand Magellan route in Seville

You can visit 15 locations in Seville with connections to Ferdinand Magellan

Puerta de Jerez - Capilla Santa María de Jesús

Plaza de la Contratación

Patio de Banderas

Calle Mateos Gago

Calle Alemanes

Avenida de la Constitución

Archivo de Indias

Calle Temprado

Calle Santander

Torre del Oro

Paseo Alcalde Marqués del Contadero

Puente de Isabel II

Museo Del Castillo De San Jorge

Real Parroquia de Señora Santa Ana

Plaza de Cuba

Ferdinand Magellan route in Sanlucar

To celebrate the 500th aniversary Sanlucar also has a route of places with links to the Portuguese explorer, with 12 locations. More>