Juan de Cardeña’s journey to Santiago

As Juan de Cardeña’s place of birth is not recorded, I had him born in a typical villlage of Extremadura, that empoverished province of Spain which produced so many conquistadores.  Of necessity, the locus of his nativity will remain unmapped.  But from Sevilla on his route is the stuff of History, following that of the Spanish treasure ships to Panama…


Having crossed the Atlantic (stopping at the Azores), below is depicted Juan’s route through Panama to Callao, Peru.  (Note that the distance from Sevilla to Cuzco is 5500 miles–as the crow flies.)















And the following map gives an idea of his journey from Cuzco to Santiago–approximately 1800 miles on horseback.

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Images of Pedro de Valdivia

Although Valdivia had secretaries to record his words, he had no one to record his image.  Therefore, all we have are flights of the imagination fueled by words and, often, by misconceptions about the time.

Below is the iconic image (if Google Images is any judge) of Pedro de Valdivia.  It is most definitely retrospective, as the portrait was done in the nineteenth century.

















And here is  an equally retrospective version of Valdivia’s founding of Santiago, complete with a subservient Indian in imagined costume. Fundacion_de_Santiago