Famous well, Known Europeans Explorers

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The famous Monument of the Discoveries
The famous Monument of the Discoveries

Famous well, Known Europeans Explorers

The following were the most popular European explorers:

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1. Christopher Columbus (1451–1506)

Christopher Columbus was an Italian navigator and explorer who successfully conducted four Spanish-based expeditions across the Atlantic Ocean funded by the Catholic Monarchs of Spain. His work paved the way for Europeans’ extensive exploration and colonization of the Americas. He is renowned for his ‘discovery’ of the Americas in 1492 aboard his ship, the Santa Maria, as part of his third and final voyage.

2. Vasco da Gama (1469–1524)

Vasco da Gama was a Portuguese explorer and the first European to reach India by sea. His initial voyage to India, from 1497 to 1499, established the sea route from Europe to India, which became known as the ‘Middle Route’ or the ‘Cape Route’. This sea route opened the way for direct trade between Europe and India. He is also credited with having established diplomatic relations with several rulers in the Indian subcontinent.

3. Ferdinand Magellan (1480–1521)

Ferdinand Magellan was a Portuguese explorer famous for his expedition, which was the first to sail from the Atlantic Ocean into the Pacific Ocean and eventually around the world. This expedition is considered one of the greatest explorations in maritime history.

4. Sir Francis Drake (1540–1596)

Sir Francis Drake, the vice-admiral, was an English sea captain, privateer, navigator, slaver, and politician of the Elizabethan era. He made his name as a senior officer in the Royal Navy during the Anglo-Spanish War (1577–1580), leading attacks on Spanish ports in the Caribbean, where he burned a fleet of ships and returned with their cargoes as spoils. This gained him heroic status, leading to his famed saying, “The world is not enough”

5. Sir Walter Raleigh  (1552-1618) 

Sir Walter Raleigh was an English aristocrat, writer, poet, soldier, courtier, spy, and explorer. He is also well known for popularizing tobacco in England.

Raleigh was born to a Protestant family in Devon, the son of Walter Raleigh and Catherine Champernowne. Little is known of his early life, though he spent some time in Ireland, in Killua Castle, Clonmellon, County Westmeath, taking part in the suppression of rebellions and participating in the Siege of Smerwick.

6. Hernando Cortes(c. 1485-1547)

Hernando Cortés was a Spanish conquistador and is considered the conquistador of Mexico as he led the first expedition that brought Spain and its territories into the Americas. He landed at Veracruz and defeated the Aztec Triple Alliance in present-day Mexico. Cortés’ conquest of Mexico became the stuff of legend, much of it arising from his accounts of the campaign, which were published in Spain several years after he returned to Spain.

7. Samuel de Champlain ( 1567-1635)

Samuel de Champlain was a French explorer and founder of New France, the colonial empire encompassing much of North America (a.k.a. Canada) during the 17th century. He established the first permanent European settlement north of Florida at Port Royal in 1605 and founded Quebec City on the banks of the Saint Lawrence River in 1608. Samuel de Champlain is also known for his map of 1612, which is one of only three surviving maps drawn by de Champlain.

Famous Portuguese explorers

1. Bartolomeu Dias

Bartolomeu Dias (Portuguese: Bartolomeu Dias; 1450 – c. 1500), was a Portuguese explorer who, with the Portuguese navigator Pedro Álvares Cabral, led the earliest European expeditions to sail around the southernmost tip of Africa and thus open up the sea route to Asia.

2. Pedro Álvares Cabral

Pedro Álvares Cabral was a Portuguese explorer and the first European to describe the Brazilian archipelago. He was born in Lisbon, Portugal. Cabral took part in the expeditions of 1486 and 1487 that discovered Brazil, which at that time were two continents.

3. Diogo Cão

Diogo Cão was a Portuguese explorer who, in 1482–1486, led the first European expeditions to penetrate the interior of Africa by sailing down the Atlantic Ocean coast, which he discovered to be a river.

4. Francisco de Almeida

Francisco de Almeida (c. 1450–1510) was a Portuguese nobleman, soldier, explorer and governor. He led the Portuguese conquest of North Africa, establishing the first Portuguese city on the North African coast.

5.Vasco Núñez de Balboa

Vasco Núñez de Balboa was a Spanish explorer who conquered the territory that is now known as Panama for Spain in 1501. He traveled around South America between 1501 and 1504.

Famous Spanish Explorers

1. Fransisco Pizarro (1478 – 1541)

Francisco Pizarro was a Spanish conquistador and the second of Francisco de Orellana’s brothers. He and his men defeated the Inca ruler Atahualpa at the Battle of Chupas in 1532 in present-day Peru, securing his place in history.

2.Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca 

Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca was a Spanish explorer who, along with Alonso de Ojeda, founded the expedition that became known as the Spanish conquest of Florida. If forced to sail due to a shipwreck, he would become the first documented person in North America to be stranded there on an unknown continent.

3. Juan Ponce de León (1460 – 1521)

Juan Ponce de León was a Spanish conquistador considered the first European to land in Florida. He landed near St. Augustine and decided to claim the land for Spain. In 1521 he searched for the Fountain of Youth as told by legends which he found in Florida

4. Pedro de Alvarado (1485-1541)

Pedro de Alvarado was a Spanish conquistador and one of the most noted soldiers and explorers of that era in Spain and Spanish America. Alvarado ordered the massacre of 3,000 of his fellow Spaniards in the village of Nochistlán to create California.

5. Hernando de Soto (1497 – 1542)

Hernando de Soto was a Spanish explorer and conquistador who led the first European expedition deep into the territory of the modern-day United States. De Soto’s North American expedition ranged throughout a vast area of southeastern United States, from Florida to what is now the mid-continent,

Famous Italian Explorers

1. Marco Polo

Marco Polo ( 1254 – January 8, 1324) was a Venetian merchant traveler from the Republic of Venice who described his travels in Il Milione, a book that introduced Europeans to Central Asia and China.

2. Amerigo Vespucci (1451-1512)

Amerigo Vespucci was an Italian merchant, explorer, and cartographer whose first voyage of discovery led to the “re-discovery” of the southern portion of the Americas for the Western world. The Americas were first discovered by Europeans when Christopher Columbus sailed to the Caribbean Islands on behalf of a Spanish Queen.

3. Cristoforo Colombo (1451-1506)

Cristoforo Colombo, an Italian navigator and explorer was the main proponent of the theory that South America was not the eastern Indies but a new continent, a bold idea in his time. He also was the first European to reach the shores of what is now Colombia, Panama, and Venezuela.

Famous Canadian Explorers 

1.  Robert Bylot (1682-1751)

Robert Bylot was a British explorer and cartographer active in the Arctic regions during the late 17th century. In 1616 he partnered with William Baffin, an English explorer, and mapmaker, to conduct an expedition to find a passage through the Arctic region to China.

2. Alexander Mackenzie ( 1764-1820)

Alexander Mackenzie was a Scottish explorer who, in 1789, led the first expedition to cross North America overland and became the first European to discover the Pacific Ocean. Mackenzie’s trip was notable for introducing canoes to aid travel and transport through rapids on the river, pioneered the exploration of the Northwest Passage, and forged trade routes with indigenous people.

3. David Thompson (1770-1857)

David Thompson was a Scottish-Canadian fur trader, mountain man, and explorer who was one of the first European Americans to travel overland into the Pacific Northwest of North America. With his knowledge of the territory and experience as a fur trading post manager between 1806 and 1812, Thompson became a pivotal figure in the westward expansion of British Columbia.

4. Lady Jane Franklin

Lady Jane Franklin (1786 – 1847) was an English aristocrat, explorer, writer, and botanist. She was the first woman to travel through Canada by canoe from coast to coast and the first to write a book about her travels.

5. Edward’s Hawaiian Explorer

Edward’s Hawaiian Explorer was an exploring group of Hawaiians who explored the islands in the early 1800s. The explorers were invited to establish a new mission on each island. They were tasked with exploring, charting, and naming the islands.

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Categories: History