The Most Famous Spanish Explorers

Published on 2/14/2011 in Spanish Culture

In looking at history, we owe much of what we know about the world today to the voyages that explorers in the Elizabethan Age took. With their skill, ambition and bravery, uncharted areas of the world were discovered.

Christopher ColumbusThe conqueror's goal to find gold, silver and spices established the first avenues of communication between different races. Here are some of the most accomplished conquerors and their achievements.

In the Age of Exploration in the Elizabethan Age, the most popular explorers were Portuguese and Spanish explorers. A little after these men paved the way, English explorers went in search of the precious metals, spices, foods and artifacts their counterparts had found.

It was through the efforts of Spanish adventurers that monopolies on the Eastern spice trade and the power and wealth of the Spanish Empire became a reality.

Spanish explorers made new discoveries that gave their country not only gold and silver but also influence.

While these were the main motives of the explorers and their patrons, there were also other goals like prestige, building the Spanish empire, creating more opportunities for trade and also spreading Catholicism. For their faith and their religion, Spanish explorers braved the seas and the unknown.

It all started with the building of the Spanish Empire. When Princess Isabella of Castile was married to Ferdinand of Aragon in 1469, the Spanish empire started to flourish.

A few years later they financed the voyage of explorer Christopher Columbus to America. Just two years after that voyage, all the lands in what was referred to as the New World were claimed by Spain.

Christopher Columbus is one of the most famous of Spanish voyagers. He was born in Genoa, Italy but his explorations were all in the name of Spain.

The other notable Spanish explorers are Amerigo Vespucci, Juan Ponce de Leon and Vasco Nuñez de Balboa.

Amerigo VespucciAmerigo Vespucci was also born Italian but he had himself naturalized as a Spaniard. His first voyage was on May 10, 1497 where a month later he reached the Guiana mainland. The name America was coined after his name.

With regard to Juan Ponce de León, his fame was set being the explorer who went looking for the fountain of youth. He was also notable for being the first European to set foot in Florida.

Vasco Nuñez de Balboa on the other hand, is an explorer who was famous for being the first European to actually see the Pacific Ocean from the eastern shore in 1513.

I guess looking back we can say that not all aspects of the conquest were detrimental to our communities. There were many advances the conquerors brought with them, like new languages, literature, music, geography and cartography.

Written by: Marcela Hede

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vennesa said:
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