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The Spanish Navy celebrates the 500 anniversary of the first circumnavigation of the globe. - Navy News - Armada Española - Ministerio de Defensa - Gobierno de España

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Saturday, 17 August 2019 - document to 23:26:48
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The Spanish Navy celebrates the 500 anniversary of the first circumnavigation of the globe.
Monday, August 12, 2019

The fleet that sailed around the world for the first time, left Seville on August 10th 1519. On the occasion of the 5th Centenary of this circumnavigation, the city of Seville hosted this weekend a series of events to commemorate the aforementioned feat.

Several activities were chaired by the acting Vice-president Carmen Calvo and the Chief of Staff of the Spanish Navy, Admiral Teodoro López Calderón, accompanied by other civilian and military authorities.

Among the activities, on Friday 9th a Mass was celebrated in the Church of Santa Ana in Triana, where the combat ensign of the training ship ‘Juan Sebastián de Elcano’ had been blessed years ago. The ceremony was officiated by the Archbishop of the Armed Forces of Spain.

On Saturday morning a wreath-laying ceremony before the monument to Juan Sebastián de Elcano was organized in honor of the sailors who died during the expedition. Subsequently the flag of the 5th Centennial was hoisted in a mast located in the vicinity of the Torre del Oro.

About the first circumnavigation

On August 10th 1519, Ferdinand Magellan commanding a small fleet of five ships (‘Santiago’, ‘San Antonio’, ‘Trinidad’, ‘Concepción’ and ‘Victoria’) and a crew of 239 men departed Seville, more precisely from the ‘San Telmo’ bridge.

The expedition sponsored by the Spanish Crown, had the objective of opening a westward commercial route to the isles of spices, the Moluccas, where one of the most lucrative business of the time flourished. To do this, and sailing always towards the west, they had to find a passage between the two great seas of the world: the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

The crews lived all kinds of vicissitudes resulting in great loss of lives, including that of Magellan himself who died on April 27th 1521 on the island of Mactan surprised by a group of Filipino islanders.

The remaining sailors elected Juan Sebastián Elcano as their new commander who, after traveling more than 14,460 leagues (more than 37,500 nautical miles), arrived at Seville on September 8th 1522 with only 17 men on board the ‘Victoria’ culminating the first voyage around the world.

For three full years, the expedition sailed three oceans bordering also three continents, and although it was not the main objective of the journey, it was also confirmed that the earth was round.

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