Voyages of discovery


1431 Portuguese navigator Gonçalo Velho sails on a voyage of exploration to the Azores.

1488 Bartolomeu Dias rounds the Cape of Good Hope, discovering the passage around southern Africa.

1492 King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain agree to sponsor Columbus’s voyage.


1498 Vasco da Gama’s fleet arrives in Calicut, India.

c.1499 Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci discovers the mouth of the Amazon.

1522 Ferdinand Magellan’s Spanish expedition to the East Indies, from 1519 to 1522 results in the first circumnavigation of the Earth.

Christopher Columbus (c.1451–1506), an Italian-born navigator and trader from ...

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