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19th November 1567 the expedition Álvaro de Mendaña y Neira sailed off

Álvaro de Mendaña y Neira sailed offOn the 19th of November, 1567 expedition of Spanish explorer Álvaro de Mendaña y Neira on two ships set off from the Peruvian city of Callao to study and conquest the Unknown Southern Land.

It's no secret that until the mid XVI century starting points for the Spanish Pacific expeditions were harbors in Mexico and Spain. However, in the late 60 's the rulers of Spain and its colonies, including Peru, expressed interest in the wealth of the island , which, according to their hypothesis , should be strewn with South Sea.

Alvaro Mendaña was born in Zaragoza (can be found on the map of Spain). In 1565 he arrived in Peru, where his uncle Lope García de Castro served as Viceroy and appointed Mendaña head of the expedition. Swimming lasted from 1567 to 1569. During this time he covered about 17,000 miles in the South Sea, in waters where previously floated European researchers. It was opened a new sea route, which crosses the equatorial Pacific Ocean waters.

After a long journey Mendaña discovered, mapped and explored the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu and Wake Island . Two years after the expedition, he issued a report, which presented a map of Solomon Islands and described the newly discovered lands as a very rich country. However, the discoverer could not provide proof of his words. Moreover, wars, which in those years were led in Spain, did not allow it to allocate funds for a new voyage.

The second expedition Mendaña started 26 years after the first - in 1595. Spanish King Felipe II ordered to found a colony in the Solomon Islands and Mendaña was appointed a governor of the island of San Cristobal. The expedition started from Callao on the four ships with 280 soldiers.

During the second trip was discovered a group of islands called the Marquesas in honor of the viceroy of Peru, the Marquis of Cañete. Map of navigation shows which ships headed to the Solomon Islands and reached the big island of Santa Cruz, where Mendaña organized a Spanish colony. At first, the locals warmly welcomed the colonizers. But after explorers killed the leader, the natives began a bloody war, which was triggered by the same Spanish. Began a rebellion of soldiers. These troubles have undermined the health Mendaña and in 1595 he died. His wife decided to administer the colony, and she decided to leave the island. After an arduous voyage, and the loss of two ships the expedition arrives to the Philippines. In Peru, the ships returned only in 1598.

The expeditions have failed to find the once opened Solomon Islands. Then, in 1568 due to imperfect navigation devices was made mistake in the determination of longitude. Despite the fact that on some maps of that time Solomon Islands have been shown very accurately, for practical navigation they were lost until the second half of the XVIII century.

This Day in History 19-11-2013