500th anniversary of Magallanes and Elcano

For the next three years we are celebrating the 500th anniversary of the expedition of Magallanes-Elcano.This expedition started from Seville on August 10th 1519 and ended on 8th September of 1522 back to Spain. It crossed many new places and islands. Since then our view changed of the world forever: it proved that the Earth was a sphere, it was namely the first circumnavigation of earth. Because of this fifth centennial event, Seville will commemorate this achievement by hosting a program with events and activities.


Ferdinand Magallanes was from Portugal who started the journey until 1521. He got murdered during the Battle of Mactan in the Philippines during his voyage.

So, after that, Elcano took responsibility to go on with the expedition. He was from Spain and was born as Juan Sebastián Elcano. He died 5 years later during another expedition to the Maluku Islands when he got sick on the boat.


The purpose of this journey was to find a commercial route with the Spice Islands, a part of Indonesia by King Charles I. He appointed Magallanes to do it. There were 5 ships and around 240 men.

The expedition started from Seville, crossing the Atlantic Ocean until they reached the south of America. Then it continued to the Pacific Ocean, discovering few islands such as Guam. Then in 1521 Magellan arrived in the Philippines, where he died (as mentioned before).

In the Philippines, in Cebu there is a Christian cross, planted by Portuguese and Spanish explorers in 1521. It is called the Magellan’s Cross as a commemoration towards him.

Elcano took the expedition further with only 18 men and one ship: Victoria. It’s the most known ship, because it lasted till the end of the expedition. The journey was not that easy because of the hard winter, high numbers of death and desertion. Still, Elcano and his crew crossed further to the Indian Ocean, where he discovered the Cape of Good Hope. After that he also crossed the Atlantic Ocean, returning back to Spain. 

Though they didn’t find a route for commercial reasons, it was a successful voyage for the world. It was the First Circumnavigation of the world that had an important impact on the European understanding of the world: the world was a sphere and a lot of new places and territories were discovered.


We are in 2019 which means the start of a three-year celebration of Magallanes and Elcano!  The events will tell the story of the expedition, explorers and the importance of this occasion. It will take place in the ports where the voyage began: Seville and Sanlúcar de Barrameda, the stop place Tenerife and Valladolid, the city where King Charles I gave his approval for the expedition.

The events will consist of conferences, shipbuilding events, expositions, film screenings, musical performances and more...

An example of an event in Seville takes place on 25th till 30th June in Muelle de las Delicias. There will be an exhibition with different activities: underwater sports, sailing, games, information about nautical commercial, show-cooking, conferences, networking, live music and even much more! On the Guadalquivir there will also be a range of activities during this period.

The commemoration is for everyone, kids or adults... you all are welcome!

So, if you’re here in Seville during the next three years you might have luck and see one of these events happening nearby! If you want to know more about the expedition and explore its history with a local, don’t hesitate to contact us at info@sevilla4real.com and we will prepare a personal route for you!


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