A Sixteenth Century World View

The ‘Theatrum Orbis Terrarum’ is largely considered to be the world’s first atlas, and was designed by Abraham Ortelius in 1570. Though roughly half a century later than the voyage of the Nao Victoria (and so would not have been used during the expedition), the map is often considered to be a summary of sixteenth century cartography, and as such may not have been so far removed from the maps Magellan and Elcano used to circumnavigate the world. It is within this atlas, particularly the image of the Pacific, that the only known sixteenth century drawing of the Nao Victoria can be found (this drawing can be found on the About page). The Virtually Nao feature image is based upon this original drawing.

The image that you can see above utilises the technology behind Google maps to display interactive markers. We have created this so that you can follow the voyage of the Nao Victoria as the crew may have understood it, sea monsters and all! If you click here you will be able to view and interact with this map. Clicking on the markers will display the date that the ship anchored in these locations, as well as giving you the odd titbit of information about the voyage. Of course it was a little tricky to place the markers exactly, for as you can see, South America doesn’t look quite like we understand it today, but we have tried to be as accurate as possible. No one is really sure where the island of San Pablo is today, except that it was somewhere between Flint and Vostok Island. Perhaps it has sunk into the sea, only to be remembered upon Ortelius’ map. We hope you will enjoy your own interactive exploration.


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