Ferdinand of Magellan

Fernando de Mgallanes was an important navigator of Portuguese origin who was one of the greatest explorers of his time, in fact, he was the first European to cross the Pacific Ocean , he also played a crucial role in the first circumnavigation of the world. He was a Portuguese nobleman and navigator, who always sought the support of his king, Manuel I , on three different occasions to carry out an expedition in search of a new water route to the Spice Islands . He had gained experience and demonstrated loyalty , having served the king in a crucial roleon an eight-year expedition attempting to create a permanent Portuguese presence in India and conquer Malacca , followed by the military.

Personal information

  • When was he born:  02/03/1480
  • Where he was born:  Sabrosa, Portugal
  • When did he die:  04/27/1521
  • Where he died:  Mactan Island, Philippines

Who was Fernando de Magallanes?

Fernando de Magallanes was an important military man , explorer , sailor and navigator of Portuguese origin, of noble lineage, discoverer of the Strait of Magellan who sought to make different expeditions to find new lands.

  • Biography of Fernando de Magallanes
  • What did Fernando de Magallanes do
  • Travels of Ferdinand Magellan
  • Route
  • Death
  • Contributions of Fernando de Magallanes

Biography of Fernando de Magallanes

Fernando de Magallanes was born in 1480 and was the son of a noble Portuguese family . His parents died when he was still a child and he became a court page in Lisbon . In 1505, he enlisted in the Portuguese viceroy’s fleet to the Indies , and spent the following years participating in a series of Portuguese expeditions in India and Africa. In 1511, he joined the fleet that conquered Malacca , located on the Malay Peninsula , thus gaining control of the most important trade routes in the region. He also made explorations in the islands of present-day Indonesia, as far east as the Moluccas which were also known as the Spice Islands. Magellan was the son of Rui de Magalhães and Alda de Mesquita , members of the Portuguese nobility. When he was still a child he became a page for Queen Eleanor , wife of John II in Lisbon. At the beginning of 1505 he enlisted in Francisco de Almeida’s fleet  In 1507, Fernando de Magallanes returned to India. He participated in the great Battle of Diu , in which the Portuguese defeated a Muslim fleet and thus obtained supremacy over most of the Indian Ocean.. Magellan is mentioned as an envoy to warn the commander of the Portuguese ships in the waters of Malacca of the imminent attack by the Malays. In the middle of the year 1513, Magellan managed to return to Lisbon, where he soon joined the forces sent against the Moroccan fortress of Azamor. In August, he suffered a leg injury that forced him to limp for the rest of his life. Returning to Lisbon in November 1514, he asked King Manuel for a token increase in his pension as a reward. Later, Magellan was accused of having sold a part of the spoils of war to the enemies. Refusing Magellan’s request for a reward, Manuel ordered him to return to Morocco. In early 1516, Magellan renewed his request; the king, refusing once more, told him that he could offer his services elsewhere.

What did Fernando de Magallanes do

Fernando de Magallanes was an important sailor who worked for the King of Spain .  He managed to discover and name the Strait of Magellan . He was the first European who at that time managed to stop from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean , as he also called it, because before it was known by the name of the southern sea. He was the first person who sought to find a route to the spice islands in Indonesia and he was the first man who managed to bypass the world , a journey through which it was possible to verify that the earth was round. He was the first European to reach PatagoniaArgentina .

Travels of Ferdinand Magellan

In March 1505, he enlisted in the Portuguese Indian Army . This fleet was sent to install Francisco de Almeida as viceroy of India. In the year 1509, he left with Diogo López de Sequeira for the first embassy in Malaca, but they received a bad way with harassment and attacks that made him leave the place. He obtained important information about the places that produced species, and studied the possibility of reaching that place on the island of species. Through the influence of the Bishop of Burgos , they gave him approval to make the first circumnavigation triparound the earth. He left on September 20, 1519 on an expedition, in which he would later discover Magellan .


The expedition of Magellan and Elcano was an expedition that was made by sea and was in charge of Magellan. Left Sevilla a October of August of 1519 out of the spring las Mulas . He did this route to reach the islands of spices by sailing west. The trip was complicated because there were no charts .


The death of Fernando de Magallanes happened during the Battle of Mactan . This battle took place on April 27, 1521, on the Philippine island called Mactan . Magellan displaced several of his men armed with crossbows and pistols, this because they could not disembark. There were more than 1500 Lapu-Lapu warriors , who were armed with arrows and spears. The soldiers were attacked as soon as they reached the shore. During the battle, Magellan was wounded in the leg with a poisonous spear and in the arm with a bamboo spear.  He managed to get his men to flee in the boats, but he was stabbed to death with spears.

Contributions of Fernando de Magallanes

His main contributions were the following:

  • He discovered the Strait of Magellan .
  • He was the first to cross the Atlantic Ocean .
  • He made a bypass of the world.

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