Andrés de Urdaneta

Andrés de Urdaneta (* 1498 in Ordizia, † June 3, 1568 in Mexico City) was a native of the Basque Country Spanish Augustinian monk, captain and explorer. He was known for his discovery and mapping a route across the Pacific, from the Philippines to Acapulco, Mexico ( New Spain at that time ), which later became known as " Urdaneta's route ."


Urdaneta was born in the Basque province of Guipuzcoa in Ordizia in Spain. He studied Latin and philosophy, but suggested that he was an orphan, a military career a. In the Italian wars, he attained the rank of captain. After his return to Spain, he took up the study of mathematics and astronomy at what's in it aroused interest in seafaring and brought him to become 1525 luckless expedition García Jofre de Loaísas to the Spice Islands (now the Moluccas ) to connect. Urdaneta was one of the few survivors of the expedition, who managed to reach the Spice Islands. Once there, he was taken, however, captured by the Portuguese.

In 1536 he managed to return to Europe. Thus Urdaneta succeeded the second European voyage around the world, after a journey that lasted ten years. King Charles I of Spain did not receive him particularly warm and so he returned, weakened by his adventures, returned to New Spain and joined the Augustinian order.

Other voyages

After the death of the Viceroy Luis de Velasco in 1564 under the administration of New Spain joined the Real Audiencia. This has equipped an expedition to colonize the Philippines and conquer. This was arranged by Philip II in 1559 and Urdaneta been determined as commander. Urdaneta was considered a good navigator and expert on trips in the Indian waters. Philip II offered him the command and urged him to join the expedition. Urdaneta partially agreed, but refused to take command, which finally Miguel López de Legazpi transferred. The expedition, which consisted of the flagship Capitana, the galleons San Pablo and San Pedro, as well as the tenders San Juan and San Lucas, sat on November 21, 1564 sailing. On board were next Urdaneta another four Augustinian monks. The ships arrived in the spring of 1565, the Philippine island of Cebu. There, the first monastery of the Augustinian Order was founded shortly thereafter, the activity should play an important role alongside the other orders for the Christianization of the islands in the future. After Legazpi had spent some time on the islands, where it had also come to fights with parts of the local population, he decided to return Urdaneta to find a better route and bring support from New Spain for the colony in the Philippines.

Urdaneta sailed on June 1, 1565 by San Miguel from Cebu and was forced to sail up to 36 degrees Northern latitude to find favorable winds. The ship reached Acapulco on October 8, 1565 after he had completed 20000 km in 130 days. 14 of its sailors died, only Urdaneta and Felipe de Salcedo, nephew of Legazpi were still strong enough to cast anchor.

The expedition member Alonso de Arellano, who had to leave shortly after arriving at the port, had arrived before them and Barra de Navidad in Jalisco had reached in August of the same year. Arellano notes, however, were far less precise than Urdaneta; so was Urdaneta's ' Route the more famous and trustworthy.

From Mexico, he traveled to Europe to report on and then returned to New Spain. He was actually going to continue to travel to the Philippines, but was dissuaded by his friends about it. He wrote two accounts of his travels: one on the Loaisa expedition, the other on his return to New Spain. The former was published, the latter is in the Archivo General de Indias in Seville.

Used Spanish ships Urdaneta's route, especially the annual galleon from Manila to Acapulco for the rest of the 16th and 17th centuries. For a variety of reasons, the Spaniards never explored the Pacific coast of North America and most Pacific Islands. Nevertheless, Spain claimed until the 19th century, the sovereignty over most of the Pacific.