Author Archives: Marco Ramerini

Capitani di Tidore (Fortezza di Santiago de los Caballeros). Le Fortezze Spagnole nell’isola di Tidore 1521-1663

Ternate and Tidore, Moluccas (1760), Indonesia. Author Bellin. No Copyright

1.0 Appendice: Isola di Puli Caballo Scritto da Marco Ramerini APPENDICE 2.0 CAPITANI DI TIDORE (Fortezza di Santiago de los Caballeros) A Tidore risiedeva un capitano spagnolo che comandava le truppe a guarnigione nei presidi dell’isola e che aveva sotto la sua giurisdizione anche i presidi di Payaye e Tafongo situati nell’isola di Halmahera e durante il periodo in cui ...

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San José de Chiquitos mission, Chiquitania, Bolivia

San José de Chiquitos mission (1697), Bolivia. Photo Copyright by Geoffrey A. P. Groesbeck

Written by Geoffrey A. P. Groesbeck  San José de Chiquitos, the third-oldest Jesuit mission in the Chiquitania and one of the prettiest, was founded in 1697 by Felipe Suárez (who later co-founded San Miguel de Velasco to the north) and Dionisio Avila. Relocated in 1706, it was its new location that made it the most important town in the region ...

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San Ignacio de Velasco mission, Chiquitania, Bolivia

San Ignacio de Velasco mission, Bolivia. Photo Copyright by Geoffrey A. P. Groesbeck

Written by Geoffrey A. P. Groesbeck  San Ignacio de Velasco was founded in 1748, primarily for the benefit of the local Ugaraño peoples, by Jesuits Miguel Areijer and Diego Contreras. It was settled in part by the inhabitants of a former reducción, San Ignacio de Zamucos, which was destroyed three years earlier. One of the few missions that was not ...

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Concepción mission, Chiquitania, Bolivia

Concepcion mission (1699), Bolivia. Photo Copyright by Geoffrey A. P. Groesbeck

Written by Geoffrey A. P. Groesbeck  Concepción was first established as the mission of La Inmaculada Concepción in 1699, although this settlement lasted only until 1704. It was re-established in 1709 (a date that some historians incorrectly claim as its founding), and incorporated the nearby ephemeral mission of San Ignacio de Boococas in 1712. Concepción was established by Jesuit missionaries ...

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San Javier mission, Chiquitania, Bolivia

San Xavier mission, Bolivia. Photo Copyright by Geoffrey A. P. Groesbeck.

Written by Geoffrey A. P. Groesbeck  San Javier (originally San Francisco Xavier de los Piñocas), the earliest permanent Jesuit mission in the Chiquitania, was founded by the missionaries José de Arce and Antonio de Rivas on 31 December 1691. It was rebuilt three times (in 1696, 1698, and 1705-6) before assuming its present form in 1708. Today it is a ...

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The Long Silence: The Jesuit Missions of Chiquitos after the Extrañamiento

San Xavier mission, Bolivia. Photo Copyright by Geoffrey A. P. Groesbeck.

Written by Geoffrey A P Groesbeck Introduction There is much still to discover regarding the early history of the Jesuit missions (reducciones1) of Chiquitos2 (1691-1767). By now it has been reasonably well documented3, albeit in greater detail in Spanish and German than in English. Over the last three decades, scholarly research on these missions’ individual and collective artistic, musical, and ...

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A Brief History of the Jesuit Missions of Chiquitos

Concepcion mission (1699), Bolivia. Photo Copyright by Geoffrey A. P. Groesbeck

Written by Geoffrey A P Groesbeck Introduction It is a simple fact that no comprehensive history of the Jesuit missions of Chiquitos1 exists in English.2 There are numerous accounts in Spanish, most of which rely primarily upon two secondary sources dating from the nineteenth century: D’Orbigny’s recollections of his travels in the region between 1831 and 18333, and René-Moreno’s numerous ...

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New book on the Spice islands: Spain and Moluccas in the 16th and 17th centuries

In the Spice islands. Spain and Moluccas in the 16th and 17th centuries

On the occasion of the celebrations of the 500th anniversary of Ferdinando Magellano’s first trip around the world. A new book about the Spice Islands has just been published by the Spanish publishing house Desperta-Ferro, specialized in Spanish military history. It is a large format book (384 pages, 189 x 246 mm), and includes old maps. I had the honor ...

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Arguin: A Portuguese Fortress in Mauritania 1445-1633

Written by Marco Ramerini. English text revision by Dietrich Köster. Situated on the Arguin island (today Mauritania), this was the first fort the Portuguese built in Africa. The fort remained under Portuguese control between 1445 and 1633. The Arguin area was explored by the Portuguese around the years 1442-1444 by Gonçalo de Sintra (1442), Dinis Dias (1442), Nuno Tristão (1443) and Lançarote ...

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The forts of the Saint-Martin island: Fort Amsterdam and Fort Louis

Fort Amsterdam, Sint Maarten. Author and Copyright Marco Ramerini

Written by Marco Ramerini. The island of Saint-Martin (Sint Maarten) is an island of the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean. The island is located between the islands of Anguilla and Saint-Barthélemy and has the distinction of being divided between France and the Netherlands. This division dates back to the treaty signed by the two countries in 1648 (Treaty of Concordia) ...

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The Forts of Fernando de Noronha

The view towards the Morro do Pico from the round tower of the Fortaleza de Nossa Senhora dos Remédios, Fernando de Noronha, Brazil. Author and Copyright Marco Ramerini

Written by Marco Ramerini. English text revision by Dietrich Köster. Fernando de Noronha was discovered by the Florentine Amerigo Vespucci in 1503. In 1504 the Crown granted the archipelago as a “capitania hereditária” to a Portuguese lord, Fernão de Noronha, from whom it takes its name. The archipelago was occupied by two other European nations (Dutch and French) during the ...

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Portuguese Malacca 1511-1641

Written by Marco Ramerini. English text revision by Dietrich Köster. THE PORTUGUESE CONQUEST At the time of the Portuguese arrival in the Asian seas, Malacca thanks to its strategic position on the strait bearing the same name, was a remarkable trading center for the trade and shunting of spices. At that time, Malacca was ruled by a Muslim Sultan. The ...

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