10 Interesting Facts about Vasco Nunez de Balboa

These following facts about Vasco Nunez de Balboa will probably open your mind and knowledge about how great he was during his life. Vasco Nunez de Balboa was a Spanish explorer, governor and conquistador. He is best known for having crossed the Isthmus of Panama to the Pacific Ocean in 1513, becoming the first European to lead an expedition to have seen or reached the Pacific from the New World. He also found the settlement of Santa Maria la Antiqua del Darien in 1510. To get to know more about him, here are some other facts about Vasco Nunez de Balboa you may consider interesting.

Facts about Vasco Nunez de Balboa 1: Early Life

He was a descendant of the lord mason of the castle of Balboa, which is located in northwestern Spain. His mother was the Lady de Badajoz, and his father was the hidalgo (nobleman), Nuno Arias de Balboa.

Facts about Vasco Nunez de Balboa 2: Early Career

In 1500, motivated by his master after the news of Christopher Columbus’ voyage to the New World became known, he decided to embark on his first voyage to the Americas, along with with Juan de la Cosa, on Rodrigo de Bastidas’ expedition.

Facts about Vasco Nunez de Balboa - Vasco Nunez de Balboa

Facts about Vasco Nunez de Balboa – Vasco Nunez de Balboa

Facts about Vasco Nunez de Balboa 3: Possession and Conquest of the South Sea

After the epic moment of “discovery”, the expedition descended from the mountain range towards the sea, arriving in the lands ofcacique Chiapes, who was defeated after a brief battle and invited to join the expedition. From Chiapes’ land, three groups departed in the search for routes to the coast.

Facts about Vasco Nunez de Balboa 4: Disputes with Pedro Arias

The accusations of Fernández de Enciso, whom Balboa had deposed, and the removal and disappearance of Governor de Ojeda, forced the king to name Pedro Arias de Avila as governor of the newly created province of Castilla de Oro. Arias, better known as Pedrarias Davila and who would later become notorious for his cruelty, took control of Veragua and managed to calm the situation.

Facts about Vasco Nunez de Balboa - Route

Facts about Vasco Nunez de Balboa – Route

Facts about Vasco Nunez de Balboa 5: Downfall

Balboa wished to continue exploring the South Sea, but Pedrarias did everything possible to delay his departure. However, in light of the new relationship between them, Pedrarias could not stop him indefinitely, and he finally consented to let Balboa go on his new expedition, giving him license to explore for a year and a half.

Facts about Vasco Nunez de Balboa 6: Pacific Ocean

It was Gaspar de Espinosa, Pedrarias’ underling, who sailed the South Sea aboard the very ships that Balboa had commissioned. In 1520, Ferdinand Magellan renamed the sea the “Pacific Ocean” because because of its calm waters.

Facts about Vasco Nunez de Balboa - Statue

Facts about Vasco Nunez de Balboa – Statue

Facts about Vasco Nunez de Balboa 7: Death

Balboa’s trial began in January, 1519, and on the fifteenth of that month, de Espinosa sentenced him to death by decapitation. Four of Balboa’s friends, Fernando de Argüello, Luis Botello, Hernan Muñoz, and Andres Valderrabano, accused as accomplices, were sentenced to the same fate. The sentence was to be carried out in Acla, to show that the conspiracy had its roots in that colony.

Facts about Vasco Nunez de Balboa 8: Legacy

Although Balboa suffered a premature death, his actions and deeds are remembered by history as the first European to cross America. Several parks and avenues throughout Panama bear the name “Vasco Nunez de Balboa”, and a number of monuments honour his “discovery” of the South Sea.

Facts about Vasco Nunez de Balboa - Monument

Facts about Vasco Nunez de Balboa – Monument

Facts about Vasco Nunez de Balboa 9: Lyric

Balboa appears in the lyrics to “The Great Nations of Europe” by composer and singer, Randy Newman.

Facts about Vasco Nunez de Balboa 10: Balboa’s Name

Balboa’s name appears among a row of avenues which are named after Spanish conquistadors and in a San Francisco neighborhood Balboa Park. There is also a large park (Balboa Park) adjacent to downtown San Diego, California which was named after Balboa in 1910.

Facts about Vasco Nunez de Balboa - Balboa Park

Facts about Vasco Nunez de Balboa – Balboa Park

Those following facts about Vasco Nunez de Balboa should be really interesting for you to read. Through his voyages, you may also know what purpose he was aim to during his life and what kind of personality he was. Hope you would find these Vasco Nunez de Balboa facts really interesting and useful.

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