Alonzo de Santa Cruz

  (Redirected from Alonso de Santa Cruz)

Alonzo de Santa Cruz (or Alonso, Alfonso) (1505 – 1567) was a Spanish cartographer, mapmaker, instrument maker, historian and teacher. He was born about 1505, and died in November 1567. His maps were inventoried in 1572.[1][2]

Alonzo de Santa Cruz
Alonso de Santa Cruz (MUNCYT, Eulogia Merle).jpg
Sketch of Alonso de Santa Cruz, from the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology
Known forFirst map of magnetic variations from true north, new nautical instruments
ChildrenAntonio Ponce de Santa Cruz
Scientific career
FieldsCartography, astronomy, cosmography, history, education, scientific instruments, navigation

Alonzo de Santa Cruz was a renowned cartographer on the Consejo de Indias (Council of the Indies) and a cosmographer at the Casa de Contratación (House of Trade). There, he worked on the Padrón Real, a Spanish map documenting the discoveries in the New World.[3]

Alonzo de Santa Cruz, described cosmography as a way of making a painting of the earth, "because (gra)phia is the same as painting and cosmos is world"[4][5]

In 1530, Alonzo de Santa Cruz produced the first map of magnetic variations from true north. He believed it would be of use in finding the correct longitude. Alonso de Santa Cruz designed new nautical instruments,[6] was interested in navigational methods, and wrote about John Cabot's method for finding longitude which made use of the declination of the sun, observed with the quadrant.[7]

Alonzo also taught astronomy and cosmography in the court of Charles V. Alonzo then wrote a five-volume biography about Charles V which described some of the Spanish atrocities in the New World. This upset Charles' son, Phillip II, and so Phillip removed three chapters of the biography.[8]

He also produced the Islario general de todas las islas del mundo (sometimes called the Islario General), a map and document describing the world's islands, at the request of King Philip II in 1542. He also continued Hernando del Pulgar's work titled, History of the Catholic Monarchs.

See alsoEdit

Further readingEdit

  • Cuesta Domingo, Mariano. Alonso de Santa Cruz y su obra cosmográfica. Madrid: Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas 1983.
  • Dahlgrn, E.W. Map of the World by Alonzo de Santa Cruz. Stockholm: Royal Printing Office 1892.
  • Lamb, Ursula. "The Spanish Cosmographic Juntas of the Sixteenth Century." Terrae Incognitae 6:51-62.
  • Pulido Rubio, José. El piloto mayor de la casa de contratación de Sevila. Seville: Tipógrafo Zarzuela 1923.


  1. ^[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ "Biblioteca Virtual Ignacio Larramendi". Archived from the original on 2007-02-17. Retrieved 2006-10-19.
  3. ^ "The European Library 2.2.0", Koninklijke Bibliotheek, with "World map in the form of globe gores" (subsection), 2009, TEL-41.
  4. ^ "Apuntes y Borrador para el Prologo al Yslario General de Alonso de Santa Cruz," Seccion de Patronato, Legajo 260, No. 2, Ramo 6, folio 8, Archive of the Indies, Seville (n.d.).
  5. ^ A Simultaneous View of History: The Creation of A Hypermedia Database, Lily Díaz
  6. ^ Alonso de Santa Cruz, cartógrafo y fabricante de instrumentos náuticos de la Casa de Contratación, Mariano Cuesta Domingo, Revista Complutense de Historia de América, Vol 30, pages 7-40, 2004.
  7. ^ Dictionary of Canadian Biography
  8. ^ "Confesionario: Avisos y Reglas Para Confesores by Bartolomé de Las Casas: A Translation and Introduction to Its Historical Context and Legal Teaching, a thesis by David Thomas Orique, O.P." Archived from the original on 2006-11-14. Retrieved 2006-10-19.