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

Plan of the fortress at the island of Arguin in 1721. Originaly plublished by Jean-Baptist Labat (1663-1728).

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

Portuguese Malacca (1600s), Malaysia. Livro das Plantas das Fortalezas, Cidades e Povoaçoes do Estado da India Oriental 1600s.

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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Dutch Malacca 1641-1795, 1818-1825

Dutch Malacca (1750), Malaysia. Histoire générale des voyages, Paris, Didot, 1750

Written by Marco Ramerini. English text revision by Dietrich Köster. On 14 January 1641 the Dutch took possession from the Portuguese of the fortress of Malacca with the help of their ally the Sultan of Johore. The Dutch had treaties with the Johore Sultans to get rid of the Portuguese. The Malays were confident of a victory with the help ...

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Book: Spice Islands Forts by Simon Pratt

Spice Islands Forts by Simon Pratt

Written by Marco Ramerini. On this page I want to write about an interesting book that has just been published. The book tells the story of the spice islands and focuses on the fortifications that Europeans built on these islands to control their trade. The story narrated in Simon Pratt’s book begins with the first contacts with Europeans and reaches ...

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Letter by General Luis Jose Orbegoso y Moncada, 1834

Letter from Luis Jose de Orbegoso to Peruvian People 1834

Written by Randy Shaw. General Luis José de Orbegoso y Moncada, scion of an aristocratic criollo family from Trujillo, in northern Peru, was Provisional President of the country between 1833 and 1834, and was named in 1837-1838 President of the short-lived Republic of North Peru, set up by the Peru-Bolivia Confederacy after the invasion of the country by Bolivian strongman ...

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I primi contatti degli spagnoli con le Isole Molucche, 1521-1602

CAPITOLO PRIMO: I PRIMI CONTATTI DEGLI SPAGNOLI CON LE ISOLE MOLUCCHE

Gli spagnoli nelle Isole Molucche: 1606-1663/1671-1677. La storia della presenza spagnola nelle isole delle spezie Scritto da Marco Ramerini. INTRODUZIONE All’inizio degli anni 2000 avevo iniziato a fare ricerche nei documenti dell’Archivio delle Indie di Siviglia sulla presenza spagnola nelle isole delle Spezie. Alcune delle mie ricerche sono state pubblicate in quegli anni. La più vasta invece è rimasta incompiuta ...

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