Charles of Habsburg’s first voyage to Spain and the sinking of the «Engelen»


This is a work by Francisco Javier López Martín, member of the scientific committee of our network of routes

1517. Prince Charles arrived in Spain to claim his right to the throne of Castile. He did so aboard the Engelen, a ship lent to him by Christian II, King of Denmark. Francisco Javier López Martín writes about this boat in «Charles of Habsburg’s first voyage to Spain and the sinking of the «Engelen», published by the Alvargonzález Foundation.

A fascinating book that reveals curious facts about the arrival of the Prince Charles to Spanish shores aboard the ‘Engelen’. Its author is Francisco Javier López Martín who, as well as being a member of the scientific committee of our network of routes, is an expert in modern-day naval artillery.


The great novelty of the work lies mainly in the fact that it brings to light the existence of this ship, the ‘Engelen’, which Francisco Javier López Martín was able to find from a bronze cannon deposited in the San Telmo Museum in San Sebastián.

The ‘Engelen’ was a ship owned by King Christian II of Denmark, married to the Infanta Isabella of Austria. A ship of 1,500 tons, 35 metres long and 13 metres wide, with three bridges and four masts.

A work in which Francisco Javier López Martín reveals details such as Charles’ choice of this ship to take his brother to Flanders, expelled so as not to allow the nobles who supported him to rebel; and how it caught fire and sank in the port of Pasajes while it was being caulked on 4 May 1518, which gives rise to all kinds of interpretations.

A book that we recommend you 😊

To buy the book In spanish), click here.