The First Journey Around The World

Unravelling the complicated history, science and consequences of the first ever expedition around the world

In collaboration with the National Commission for the Commemoration of the V Centenary of the First Journey Around the World of Fernando de Magallanes and Juan Sebastián Elcano and

Acción Cultural Española, AC/EArchivos EstatalesSeville City CouncilFundación Elkano
and 8 more collections

The world's longest voyage

In 1519, five ships left Seville in search of the first western route to the Spices Islands

What do you need to sail around the world?

And don't forget your nerves of steel...

"If you want to build a ship, don't drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea."Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

The art of mapping

See how the journey changed the existing understanding of the world

A new world of knowledge

Go into the details of the first ever trip around the world

The timeline

What happened before, during, and after the journey

Retrace the route

Follow the steps of the expedition in this interactive map

The Route of Magellan and Elcano (1519–1522)

Travelling used to be very different without the speed and convenience of airplanes...

How long did the first journey around the world take?
Almost 3 years
The expedition route

Who was who?

Learn about the main characters who made the voyage possible

Juan Sebastián Elcano

Discover the epic story of the Basque sailor who proved that the world was round.

“To drown in the abyss-heaven or hell, who cares? Through the unknown, we'll find the new...”Charles Baudelaire

A pinch of clove and nutmeg

How the spices motivated maritime voyages to undiscovered lands

Why Were Spices So Important?

Imagine what supper would be like without any seasoning...

In ship shape

Five naos left Seville for the expedition, only one returned

Hit the deck

Take a tour of the only ship that returned to Sevilla

Pushing the boats out

Join the illustrator Arturo Redondo on a journey around the departure ports

“Keep Ithaca always in your mind. Arriving there is what you are destined for”.Constantine Peter Cavafy

The hazardous return

Two ships arrived at the Spice Islands, but only one made it home

Discover More About The Expedition

The details of the journey

The world before 1520

What could we find in the maps before the Magellan-Elcano expedition?

Marine Navigation Chart

Take a tour through this chart made by the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller in 1516

When was the Strait of Magellan first sailed?
In 1521
Map of Strait of Magellan (Jodocus Hondius)

The art of sailing

How the art of navigation underwent a series of profound changes.

"There are not foreign lands. It is the traveler only who is foreign."Robert Louis Stevenson

Encountering other cultural realities

The people that the crew met along the way

What species did the crew spot?

The creatures that Pigafetta recorded in his diary

Discover More About The Exploration

The encounter with the unknown

Mapping a "New World"

The transformation of the European conception of the world

"What we should value most highly is that we have traveled around the entire circumference of the world, setting off to the west and returning from the east."Juan Sebastián Elcano

The Manila Galleon Trade Route

Maritime trade and cultural transitions between Asia, America and Europe

Flavors across the seas

A journey through the history of culinary exchanges

What are the Spice Islands now known as?
The Moluccas Islands
Spices in wooden bowls

The Suez Canal: A new sea route

A direct and easy route between Europe and Asia

Seville: 500 years later

The transformation of a cosmopolitan city

Around the world in the 21st century

Meet the communities living in the places reached by the expedition

Discover More About The Transformation

A new connected world

Explore more...

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