Seville, Spain’s Guadalquivir River and Triana Bridge
© Zu Sanchez Photography/Getty Image
A bridge to the past. Seville celebrates first world tour
On this day in 1519, Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan departed from Seville on his quest for a western passage to the Spice Islands. He sailed five ships and a crew of more than 230 men down the Guadalquivir, the Spanish river in today's image. The Triana Bridge, the oldest in Seville, was built 330 years after the expedition's return to the city in 1522. While successful in finding a western route to the Pacific Ocean and returning with valuable spices, the voyage came at great cost. Only one ship, under the command of Juan Sebastián Elcano, completed the global circumnavigation. Magellan didn't. He was killed on 27 April 1521, at the Battle of Mactan in the Philippines.Seville and other Andalusian cities will celebrate these milestone anniversaries as part of the 'V Centenario'. For the next three years, the same amount of time it took Magellan's fleet to sail around the world, there will be exhibitions, nautical tours, educational events and other activities to celebrate this historic voyage.