Friday, 12 May 2006

Terra Australis Incognita

Today I'm off to Barcelona.

This fella dressed in the Shakespearean outfit is Pedro Fernandez de Quiros (1565-1615). Portuguese-born, in the service of Spain, who some claim discovered Australia (highly disputed). He did reach one island of the New Hebrides (Vanuatu) and call it La Austrialia del Espiritu Santo. . . the name "Australia" was apparently coined by his translator. He took it to be part of the mythical Great Southern land (Terra Australis Incognita). What Wikipedia says.

This statue is in an untidy little square called the Plaza Iberoamericana near Central railway station. I often wondered what these statues were about and stopped to have a look. The plaza was established as part of Australia's 1988 Bicentennial celebrations to recognise the contribution of Spanish speaking people to Australia.

1 comment:

  1. I like these ideas that change assumptions we have had. Maybe it the Chinese in 1410, or did the aborigines 'discover' Australia first?

    Enjoy Barcelona- you may meet Bob!