Lope de Aguirre was a Spanish conquistador who lived and worked in South America. Dubbed the Madman, Aguirre is best remembered for his final expedition in search of Omagua and a mythical golden Kingdom known as El Dorado. Lope de Aguirre was killed during his last expedition down the Amazon River. Over the years, he has been antagonized in arts.
José Sanjurjo was a Spanish general best remembered for his involvement in the July 1936 coup d'etat which led to the Spanish Civil War. He was killed in a plane crash while returning to Spain from Portugal in 1936. Sanjurjo was featured in Harry Turtledove's novel Hitler's War, which was part of his six-novel series The War That Came Early.
Military adventurer, conquistador, and colonist settler Bernal Díaz del Castillo is best known for his participation in the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire under Hernán Cortés and for his memoirs, The True History of the Conquest of New Spain. He was part of three Mexican expeditions, that of Francisco Hernández de Córdoba, Juan de Grijalva and Cortés respectively.
Panfilo de Narváez was a Spanish soldier and conquistador in the Americas. He is best remembered for his role in the conquest of Cuba where he led an expedition to Camagüey while escorting the famed historian and social reformer Bartolomé de las Casas. Panfilo de Narváez is also remembered for leading two failed expeditions in the 1520s.
Blas de Lezo was a Spanish navy officer remembered for his role in the Battle of Cartagena de Indias where he commanded the Spanish imperial forces to a decisive victory against the British invasion fleet under Edward Vernon. Considered one of the most heroic figures in Spanish history, Lezo is also counted among the greatest strategists in naval warfare history.
Antonio Tejero is a Spanish former army man best known for his service in the Guardia Civil. Tejero was involved in the failed coup d'état against the Spanish government in 1981, for which he was jailed for 15 years at the Alcalá de Henares military prison. He currently works as a painter.
Diego de Almagro was a Spanish conquistador best remembered for his role in the Spanish conquest of Peru alongside fellow conquistador Francisco Pizarro. Diego is also credited with laying the foundation for cities like Trujillo and Quito in present-day Peru and Ecuador, respectively.
Gonzalo Pizarro was a Spanish conquistador best remembered as the paternal half-brother of another popular conquistador Francisco Pizarro, who conquered the Inca Empire. Gonzalo Pizarro and his brothers, who were collectively known as the Pizarro brothers, were also involved in the search of a mythical golden Kingdom known as El Dorado.
Francesc Macià was a Spanish politician who served as the president of the Government of Catalonia from 1932 to 1933. An influential politician, Francesc Macià established the Nationalist Democratic Federation in 1919 before founding the pro-independence nationalist political party Estat Català in 1922. He is also remembered for his service in the Spanish Army.
Sebastián de Belalcázar was a Spanish conquistador best remembered for founding some of the most prominent early colonial cities in South America. He is credited with founding important cities like Quito, Cali, Popayán, and Pasto. Sebastián de Belalcázar is also remembered for leading expeditions in present-day Colombia and Ecuador.
Pedro de Mendoza was a Spanish conquistador, explorer, and soldier who served as the first adelantado of New Andalusia. He is best remembered for exploring South America at his own expense and founding the city of Buenos Aires in 1536. Pedro de Mendoza suffered from syphilis throughout his life which made him ineffective as a leader.
Agustina de Aragon was a Spanish warrior best remembered for her valiant effort while defending Spain during the Peninsular War. Nicknamed the Spanish Joan of Arc, Agustina served in the Spanish Army. Regarded as a heroine in Spain, Agustina de Aragón has been the subject of several stories, folklore, and artwork. Her life inspired the 1929 film Agustina of Aragon.
Nicolás de Ovando was a Spanish soldier who served as the Governor of the Indies from 1502 to 1509. He was born into a noble family and went on to become a Knight of the Order of Alcántara. Nicolás de Ovando’s administration is remembered for overpowering rebellious Spaniards and completing the pacification of the Taíno population of Hispaniola.
Alonso de Ercilla had penned the most popular Castilian Renaissance epic poem ever, La Araucana. He claimed to have fought as a soldier in Chile, against the Araucanians, where he is said to have begun writing his epic. The poem also showed his skills in the complex octava real stanza.
Spanish diplomat Baltazar de Zúñiga was patronized by King Philip III and was a prominent figure in Spain’s participation in the Thirty Years War and renewed the conflict against the Dutch, resulting in the decline of Spain’s resources. He had also been made the Spanish ambassador to the Viennese imperial court.
Gómez Manrique was a Spanish soldier, dramatist, poet, and politician. He served as a corregidor of Toledo where he played a key role in protecting several Jews from popular resentment. One of the most famous poets of his generation, Gómez Manrique was renowned for his songs, satires, and elegies. He is also remembered for his skills as a dramatist.
Born to a soldier, Diego Duque de Estrada was orphaned as a child and was raised by his cousin. Later accused of the murder of his cousin’s daughter, who was his fiancée, he escaped prison and joined the army of the Duke of Osuna. He later joined the order of San Juan de Dios.