The Town Council of Ordizia is currently preparing various events to commemorate the V Centenary of the Birth of Andrés de Urdaneta, one of the most influential people to have been born and bred in Ordizia with regard to universal history, yet almost unknown, even in his own homeland.
The aim of the commemoration of the V Centenary of the Birth of Andrés de Urdaneta is to learn more about the life and works of this navigator.
To most people, Andrés de Urdaneta is completely unknown, to some he is just another vaguely famous Basque who took part in the voyages to the American continent. To others he was a missionary as depicted in the statue erected in his home town of Ordizia. But apart from being a sailor, astronomer and humanist, Andrés de Urdaneta played a vital role in the invaluable scientific and technical discovery known as “el tornaviaje” or the Return Voyage which describes the complex return route from the Philippines to the Americas via the Pacific.
This milestone discovery by Urdaneta in 1565 opened the door to one of the most important trading routes of the world, connecting the western Pacific and Asia to the Americas. This route would be in use for 250 years until the advent of motorised navigation.
Due to the later economic importance of this connecting route between The Philippines, The Americas and Europe piloted by the famous Manila Galleon, the relevance of Urdaneta’s discovery can be compared to the routes opened by Marco Polo and Columbus in their times. This opinion is confirmed by José Ramón de Miguel, one of Urdaneta’s leading biographers.
With this in mind, the commemoration of the Birth of Andrés Urdaneta, to be celebrated. Throughout 2007/2008 is a fantastic opportunity to reassess the life of this navigator, born in Ordizia, Guipúzcoa. This celebration will include high quality activities and international coverage which will, at last, grant Urdaneta the distinguished position in history he so deserves for the relevance and repercussions of his works and scientific and technical discoveries.
This presentation on the Internet, an open window to the world, is just one of the many acts included in the celebration of the V Centenary of his birth.