Spain

Ferdinand Magellan and the first Trip around the World

Ferdinand Magellan and the first Trip around the World

On 10 August 1519, five ships under Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan‘s command left Seville and descended the Guadalquivir River to Sanlúcar de Barrameda, at the mouth of the river. After further preparation 5 weeks later the ships set sail for the very first circumnavigation of the earth. Growing up in Lisbon Magellan was born Fernão de Magalhães (or Magalhãens) to an impoverished noble family in the northern Portuguese province of Trás-os-Montes. His…
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How the Pope divided the New World among Spain and the Rest of the World

How the Pope divided the New World among Spain and the Rest of the World

On May 4, 1493, Pope Alexander VI issued the papal bull ‘Inter caetera‘ (Among other [works]), which granted to the Catholic Majesties of Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain all lands to the “west and south” of a pole-to-pole line 100 leagues west and south of any of the islands of the Azores or the Cape Verde islands. It established a dividing line between the Castilian and Portuguese spheres of power. No Agreement between Portugal and Spain…
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Francisco de Goya, Herald of Modernity

Francisco de Goya, Herald of Modernity

On March 30, 1746, Spanish romantic painter and printmaker Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes was born. He is regarded both as the last of the Old Masters and the first of the moderns. Goya was a court painter to the Spanish Crown, and through his works was both a commentator on and chronicler of his era. The subversive imaginative element in his art, as well as his bold handling of paint,…
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Lope de Vega and the Spanish Golden Age of Literature

Lope de Vega and the Spanish Golden Age of Literature

On November 25, 1562, Spanish poet Lope de Vega, or with full name Félix Lope de Vega Carpio, one of the key figures in the Spanish ‘Siglo de Oro’, the Golden Century Baroque literature, was born. His reputation in the world of Spanish literature is second only to that of Miguel de Cervantes, while the sheer volume of his literary output is unequalled, making him one of the most prolific authors in the…
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Audacity and Singularity in Design – Antoni Gaudi

Audacity and Singularity in Design – Antoni Gaudi

If you are going to Barcelona, Spain, it is rather unlikely that you will leave without having visited one of the fascinating architectural creations of famous architect and designer Antoni Gaudí, the frontfigure of the so-called Catalan Modernism, who was born on June 25, 1852. Architecture, nature, religion, and the love to his home country Catalonia were the driving forces of Gaudí‘s work. His work transcended mainstream Modernisme, culminating in an organic style inspired by…
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Hernando de Soto’s American Expedition

Hernando de Soto’s American Expedition

On June 3, 1539, Spanish conquistador and explorer Hernando de Soto, with all the dignitaries and necessary paraphernalia, took formal possession of La Florida, where he landed nine ships with more than 620 men and 220 horses. De Soto‘s expedition was the first European expedition leading deep into the territory of the modern-day United States, searching for gold, silver and also a passage to China. Moreover, he also was the first European…
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Francisco de Enzinas and the Translation of the New Testament

Francisco de Enzinas and the Translation of the New Testament

On December 30, 1552, classical scholar, translator, author, and Protestant apologist of Spanish origin Francisco de Enzinas, also known by the humanist name Francis Dryander, passed away. De Enzinas was the first to translate the New Testament from Greek to Spanish. Early Years Francisco de Enzinas was born in Burgos, Spain, probably on 1 November 1518, as one of ten children of the successful wool merchant Juan de Enzinas and his wife…
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Severo Ochoa and the Biological Systhesis of RNA and DNA

Severo Ochoa and the Biological Systhesis of RNA and DNA

On September 24, 1905, Spanish physicist and biochemist Severo Ochoa de Albornoz was born. Ochoa received the 1959 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine together with Arthur Kornberg for their discovery of the mechanisms in the biological synthesis of ribonucleic acid and deoxyribonucleic acid. Severo Ochoa was born in Luarca (Asturias), Spain, to Severo Manuel Ochoa, a lawyer and businessman, and his mother Carmen de Albornoz. Ochoa was the nephew of Álvaro…
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Michael Servetus and the Pulmonary Circulation

Michael Servetus and the Pulmonary Circulation

On September 29, 1509, Spanish theologian, physician, cartographer, and Renaissance humanist Michael Servetus was born. Servetus was a polymath versed in many sciences: mathematics, astronomy and meteorology, geography, human anatomy, medicine and pharmacology, as well as jurisprudence, translation, poetry and the scholarly study of the Bible in its original languages. He was probably the first European to correctly describe the function of pulmonary circulation. Michael Servetus studied law in Toulouse. In 1531, he published…
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Juan Sebastián Elcano and the First Circumnavigation of the Earth

Juan Sebastián Elcano and the First Circumnavigation of the Earth

On August 4, 1526, Spanish explorer of Basque origin Juan Sebastián Elcano passed away. Elcano was part of the Spanish expedition commanded by the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan, who set sail for the first successful circumnavigation of the Earth. After Magellan‘s death in the Philippines, Elcano took command of the nau Victoria from the Moluccas to Sanlúcar de Barrameda in Spain. Signing up on Magellan’s East India Expedition Juan Sebastián Elcano was…
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