Biography of Gabriel de Castilla (ca. 1577-ca. 1625)

Navigator, Explorer and Spanish military, born about the year 1577 in the city of Palencia and died in a place unknown to 1625. It is considered by many the real discoverer of the Antarctic Lands since after a storm arrived until the domains coming to the Islands South Shetland, located at approximately 64 ° latitude S.

He was the son of Alonso de Castilla y Cárdenas and of Leonor de la Mata. He soon began his military career and joined the service of the new Spain as a captain of artillery. In 1589 he left on Board of the San Francisco company of Hernando Lamero and Gallego de Andrade in order to explore the territory of Chile. In 1596 he was appointed general of the Callao and shortly after went in support of Governor Martín García Óñez de Loyola, in serious difficulties during the Arauco war. As a reward, this his master's field, named him forcing him to fight the Indians and built several fortifications as the San Salvador of Coya. Also he faced during his tour of the Chilean coast many pirates and privateers, primarily of Dutch origin.

After the disappearance at sea of Juan Velasco neighborhood, nephew of the viceroy, Gabriel de Castilla assumed the position of highest authority within the southern Navy and headed the main mission of protecting the coasts of Chile against foreign attacks. Thus, sailed in the year 1603 of Valparaíso to the S with three vessels: Jesús María, our Lady of the visitation and Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes. On this journey, and during a heavy storm, the expedition of Castile reached 64 ° S latitude, after which he managed to return to their place of departure; This latitude was not surpassed until the year 1773 by James Cook. The fact of having reached that position at the beginning of the 17TH century has become the potential discoverer of Antarctic Lands, although various historians claim that the true discoverer was the Dutchman Dirck Gerritsz.

In the year 1605 Gabriel de Castilla, married Genevieve de Espinosa and Lugo de Villasante in Lima, with whom he had a total of six children: Diego, Lorenzo, Isabel, Ana, María and Jusepe Lazarus. Date and place of death's general Castilla is unknown; the historians date his death during the 1620. The Spanish Antarctic base located in deception island bears the name of Gabriel de Castilla in his honor.