Expedition History

The world would not be the same after this expedition. Two hundred and thirty-nine men on five carracks set sail from Seville in 1519 in search of a westward route to the Spice Islands. Three years later, eighteen men and one ship returned, after having made a voyage around the world.
This story does not claim to be either linear or exhaustive. We have handed things over to experts, asking them to analyse specific aspects of the expedition: why this one and not another, what resources they had, what they discovered, what it meant, what it means today.
Our sincere gratitude to everyone who has written for this story and has contributed with their learning to improving our knowledge of the events we are celebrating.
Particular thanks to the Royal Geographical Society, which worked on all the maps for the website and this section; to the Navy’s Institute of Naval History and Culture, which has provided images and texts on sailing; and the Civiliter Foundation, which has authorised the reproduction of the text Primer viaje alrededor del globo (Primo viaggio in torno al Globo Terracqueo in the original or First Voyage Around the World in English) by Antonio de Pigafetta.

The chronicle of the expedition

The most important narration of the first round the world was written by the young Antonio Pigafetta. Born in Vicenza of noble origin between 1480 and 1491 and died in the same city around 1534, also known as Antonio Lombardo or Antonio de Plegafetis, he went to Spain in 1518 perhaps as a knight of Rhodes, at the service of the Pope's ambassador, Monsignor Francisco Chieregati . Soon he had a great friendship with Fernando de Magallanes, which allowed him to accompany him on his trip to the shop ...