Vasco da Gama's fleet of 1497

Vasco da Gama's fleet of 1497

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Credit: PATRICK LANDMANN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Vasco da Gama's fleet of 1497. Historical artwork of the four ships that sailed from Europe round Africa to India, on the 1497-9 expedition led by the Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama (1460-1524). Clockwise from upper right, with commanders: Sao Rafael (Paulo da Gama); Berrio (Nicolau Coelho); storage ship (Goncalo Nunes); Sao Gabriel (flagship, Vasco da Gama). The storage ship was lost to this fire on the east coast of Africa. This expedition opened up a trading route that helped make Portugal a world power. This artwork is from the work 'Memorias das Armadas' (Memory of the Fleets), at the Sciences Academy of Lisbon.

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