Route of Magellan. First around the World


Route of Magellan is part of the Tentative list of Portugal in order to qualify for inclusion in the World Heritage List.

The Route of Magellan is the sea route taken by the first circumnavigation around the world at the beginning of the 16th century. Ferdinand Magellan and his crew discovered the Strait of Magellan on this expedition and were the first Europeans to cross the Pacific Ocean. The locations included in the Magellan Route are in Portugal, Spain, Cabo Verde, South America, and Southeast Asia.

Map of Route of Magellan. First around the World

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The coordinates shown for all tentative sites were produced as a community effort. They are not official and may change on inscription.

Community Reviews

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Philippines - 29-Aug-19 -

Route of Magellan. First around the World (T) by GabLabCebu

First of all, I do believe in the OUV of Magellan's Route. I think it's one of the most historically significant itineraries in the world, and definitely the most significant that goes all the way around the world, being the first one. I think there are definitely sites in the world that still show the direct legacy of this voyage. All that said, I don't think this is the way to go.

The truth is that most of the places visited by the Magellan-Elcano (yes, credit Elcano with the first circumnavigation, not Magellan) voyage do not contain much if any remaining concrete evidence or legacy of it. Yes, the sites may be the same, but sites are not to be preserved simply for being part of a route if they don't show any direct legacy of the route. Here's my suggestion: Only the most relevant sites and those with preserved concrete legacy of the voyage should be inscribed (of course excluding the monuments put forward by Portugal, sorry), these being Sanlúcar de Barrameda in Spain, where the circumnavigation started and ended; Puerto San Julián in Argentina, where the crew overwintered and mutinied; the eponymous Strait of Magellan in Chile, the newly discovered passage to the Pacific; and Cebu in the Philippines, where Magellan died and more importantly, a cross and a statue of the child Jesus have been left, preserved, and have made a lasting cultural impact on. The last one, of course being my hometown, is the place I will discuss briefly.

The Basilica of Sto. Niño and the adjoining Magellan's Cross are top pilgrimage and tourism sites in Cebu City. I've brought many a visitor to these special places, and though modest, the legacy of Magellan is greatly apparent. While the existence of the authentic wooden cross encased in the visible one is a bit doubtful, it does accurately mark the spot of the voyage and its effort to convert the natives. The nearby basilica, with its 18th century coral stone structure, still contains the original image of the Sto. Niño that Magellan gifted to Queen Juana back in 1521. If the importance and legacy of just these few sites is looked into together, they tell the story of the circumnavigation well and would make a great historically significant site with its own unique OUV.

Kyle Magnuson

California - United States of America - 02-Sep-18 -

Route of Magellan. First around the World (T) by Kyle Magnuson

A cultural route that connects Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil, Cabo Verde, Chile, Indonesia, Philippines, Portugal, and Spain? This is an ambitious undertaking only comparable to the Silk Road and Qhapaq Ñan world heritage sites.

Based on numerous tangible and intangible elements, its still unclear which sites would make up this world circumnavigating route. One wonders will there actually be large natural marine areas from Africa to South America included as components? 

"A fascinating trail whose waterways, landscapes and geographical landmarks remains intact as they were seen by Magellan and his sailors 500 years ago." - UNESCO description

The picture above is from the Monument to the Discoveries (1960), located adjacent to the Tower of Belem. Will this route's tangible sites be based on commemorative crosses, monuments, and statues that are located in each country included? Or will this route include already inscribed sites? 

In 2022, we'll witness the 500 year anniversary of the completion of this journey, which changed the world. Could this be the year this nomination moves forward? With its complexity and transnational cooperation required, I doubt everything can be submitted by January 2021.

Read more from Kyle Magnuson here.

Full Name
Route of Magellan
Human activity - Transport and Trade
2017 Added to Tentative List

Unesco Website: Route of Magellan

The site has 3 locations

Route of Magellan. First around the World: Strait of Magellan (T)
Route of Magellan. First around the World: Arquivo Nacional Torre do Tombo (T)
Route of Magellan. First around the World: Discoveries Monument in Belem (T)
WHS 1997-2024