Francisco Pizarro

Francisco Pizarro González was one of the first and leading Spanish conquistadors who was able to conquer the South American empire of the Incas with the help of a few soldiers and thus laid the foundation for the later Spanish Empire.


Origin and youth:

Pizarro was probably born between 1476 or 1478 in Trujillo, Extremadura. Accurate dating is not possible today due to missing documents. Likewise, almost nothing is known about his youth, but it is believed that he comes from poor conditions due to his birthplace.




The first trips to South America:

The first trips to South America: After the discovery of the new continent in 1492 by Christopher Columbus, also Pizarro was seized by the urge to adventure. So his first journey to the new world took him from 1502 to 1509 to today's Haiti, to the island of Hispaniola. From there he also took part in a trip to Urabá 1510, 1513 he joined again a reconnaissance trip of Vasco Núñez de Balboas there, which concerned the area around Isthmus of Panama.


Francisco Pizarro

Francisco Pizarro




Pizarro's conquest of the Inca Empire:

In 1519 Pizarro moved his seat from Hispaniola to Panama City, where he was able to build up a certain fortune through his activities as mayor and judge. In 1522 he also received news of the conquests of Hernán Cortés on the Aztec empire. Incited by this message and the desire to make such conquests himself, he committed himself in 1524 in a contract with Diego de Almagro (also Spanish Konqistadore) and the priest Hernando de Luque to find the legendary Eldorado.

His first two attempts in 1524 and 1525 failed, only from 1526 to 1528 he reached the Peruvian coast and was able to return with gold, lamas and Native American translators. With this success he made his way to Spain to audition with the local King Charles I of Spain. This appointed him on July 26, 1529 General Captain of Peru and allowed him by a Capitulación (a kind of public contract) the conquest of areas 600 miles south of Panama.

In 1531, Pizarro began with a several hundred -strong army to depart the Pacific coast. In August 1532 he founded today's Piura, the first Spanish city in the area of today's Peru. Then in September he began to scout the interior, where the small army reached the Inca empire after the lossy marches through the jungle and the crossing of the Cordilleras.




The beginning of the conquests:
On November 15, 1532, the troops reached the city Cajamarca, where already the Inka ruler Atahualpa waited with his 20,000 to 80,000 -strong army on the Spaniards. After negotiations by de Soto and Hernando Pizarro the small army could advance into the cleared city. After further negotiations Atahualpa decided to visit Pizarro with a retinue of 4,000 to 5,000 men. Arriving in Cajamarca, the trap set by the Spaniards snapped. The Dominican Vicente de Valverde then joined with a cross and a Bible to the Inca rulers to bring him the words of God. After Atahualpa misunderstood the call and discarded the Bible, this action was considered sacrilege and the assault on Atahualpa's followers was ordered and the ruler captured.

The Spanish soldiers made a veritable massacre among the followers of the Inca ruler through their cannons and arquebuses. Further, the capture of Atahualpa made the chief army of the Inca rulers unable to act, as the soldiers were accustomed to accepting orders only from their ruler.

In the following months Atahualpa had to pay a high ransom for his capture. Some historians spoke of 1 room full of gold and 2 rooms full of silver. Despite the payments Atahualpa, in the absence of Pizarro, later on suspicion of rebellion was sentenced to death and strangled on August 29, 1533 in Cajamarca.



Francisco Pizarro

Francisco Pizarro




The Inca capital Cuzco:
Shortly thereafter, on 15 November 1533, Pizarro could take the capital of the Inca Empire Cuzco without resistance. He then read this and plunder it on fire. To consolidate his power, he sat as the new ruler and successor of Atahualpa his confidant Manco Cápac II. A re-founding of the capital led Pizarro 1535 by the coast. The city he called Ciudad de los Reyes, later it was renamed Lima and is now the capital of Peru.

Already in 1536 Manco Cápac II. Announced the alliance with Pizarro and began to besiege the city of Cuzco. It then took until 1572 for the Spaniards to finally crush the rebellion of the Incas.




Pizarro's death:

Pizarro's death was the result of the emerging internal strife of the Spanish conquerors. The disputes began when Pizarro in 1535 had promised his comrade Diego de Almagro the rule over the still unexplored southern areas of South America. He went with his followers on an expedition, but returned without gold or other treasures again. Then he felt disadvantaged by Pizarro and demanded the city Cuzco. There was then a military conflict between the followers of Almagro and Pizarro, which ended with the Battle of Las Salinas with the capture of Almagro. During Pizarro's stay in Jauja, on August 8, 1538 Almagro was pronounced the death sentence by Hernando Pizarro and executed in Cuzco by strangling or behaving.

Powered by revenge, Almagro's son and followers attacked Pizarro at his palace in Lima on June 26, 1541, and killed him there.

Today, Francisco Pizarro's mummified corpse can be seen in Lima in the Catedral de Lima. A statue of him and of Atahualpa stand on the facade of the Royal Palace in Madrid, next to those of Hernán Cortés and Moctezuma II.



Francisco Pizarro Statue

Francisco Pizarro statue






You can find the right literature here:


Legendary Explorers: The Life and Legacy of Francisco Pizarro

Legendary Explorers: The Life and Legacy of Francisco Pizarro Paperback – November 20, 2013

*Includes pictures of Pizarro and important people, places, and events in his life.
*Describes the Inca Empire and Pizarro's conquest of it.

Click here!



Francisco Pizarro: Journeys Through Peru and South America

Francisco Pizarro: Journeys Through Peru and South America (In the Footsteps of Explorers) Paperback – March 1, 2005

Details the Spanish conquistador's sixteenth-century experiences in the New World, including the quest for riches, life aboard ship, and the destruction of the Inca empire.

Click here!



Pizarro: The Blood Of The Sun-God

Pizarro: The Blood Of The Sun-God

In 1532, Francisco de Pizarro defeated the great Inca emperor Atahualpa's army of 30,000 warriors with just 180 men. Who was this man who brought the powerful empire to its knees? What drove him to pioneer his way to the elevated plains of the Andes, and with a force of just a few men, take on the powerful Inca army?

Click here!





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