There is no doubt that the Galleon is one of the most prominent types of ships between the 15th and the 16th century. Their immense size and firepower proved to be a big deterrent against pirate ships and other attacks in their time. They also had the ability to haul in large amounts of cargo making them ideal choices in transporting gold and other treasures in the past.
Here are some of the most famous Galleons that has ever sailed out in the open seas.
This Galleon was mainly used in the spice trade sometime in 1628 by Amsterdam. The ship has somewhat of a short-lived voyage. The Batavia is known to shipwrecked at the Wallabi Group of islands. This is part of the Houtman Abrolhos, a chain of 122 islands on the West Coast of Australia. The Batavia shipwrecked at the northwest side on the Morning Reef near Beacon Island around 1629. What is unique is that this was the maiden voyage of this Galleon. However, the Batavia has another claim to fame. The ship had a gruesome mutiny and massacre just after they took on over a month-long journey to Jakarta. At present, the National Maritime Museum in Sydney has a replica of the Batavia as part of their exhibit.
The Ark Royal
This Galleon was originally constructed for Sir Walter Raleigh when he commissioned shipbuilder R. Chapman for his use. He originally had the Galleon named Ark but convention at the time ordered names of ships must bear the owners name as well which is why it was later named to Ark Raleigh. Not long after when the Crown bought the ship from him where he got only a tally. This was because the amount of the ship was simply written off what Sir Raleigh owed the Queen at that time. It was then renamed as Ark Royal as it was used by the Royal Navy.
This Galleon was a flagship for the whole Navy and played a crucial role in the defeat of the Spanish Armada at that time. The ship proved to be a worthy part of the navy up until 1636. The Ark Royal struck her own anchor and sustained damages that were far too extensive to be repaired. The ship was left to sink after that incident.
Nuestra Señora De Santisima Trinidad
The Spanish Armada also had their own Galleons and one of the most powerful was the Nuestra Señora De Santisima Trinidad. The ship was a sight to behold as it was considered one of the first-rate types of fighters the Spanish fleet had. It was mostly used during the American War of Independence.
At the time that it was heaviest armed, it proudly displayed about 140 guns on board. The sheer number of the guns needed a whole new deck just for it. This made the Nuestra Señora De Santisima Trinidad one of the most intimidating figures in the open sea and brought much prestige to the Spanish fleet.
The Golden Hind
This Galleon was primarily built for exploration by England in 1577 and was captained by the famous Sir Francis Drake. His exploits made him a hero for the English but a pirate for the Spaniards as he was second-in-command of the English fleet during the fight against the Spanish fleet. He used the Golden Hind to circumnavigate the world which was the second of its kind being accomplished with a single expedition.
These ships lorded it over the spice trade for the Spaniards for about 250 years. It was visible between 1565 to 1815 as it traversed the route from the Philippines to Mexico – a route discovered by Andrés de Urdaneta who was a navigator as well as a friar from the Augustinian order. These Galleons carried goods and even slaves for the Spaniards.