Today (June 7) marks the 525th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Tordesillas, between Spain and Portugal in 1494.
The treaty was drawn up in complex historical times and was designed to divide the newly discovered lands outside of Europe between the Portuguese Empire and the Crown of Castile (Spain). The land divided formed a strip west of the Cape Verde Islands off the west coast of Africa and stretched to what is now known as Cuba and Hispaniola.
The landmark event is still celebrated as an example to show that two leading powers can peacefully reach agreements over potentially treacherous subjects, and serves as a reminder and inspiration to what is possible during the country’s current political position.
Minister of Culture, Jose Guirao, stated that “It continues to have the validity and interest to be set as an example.”
The Spanish documents from the historic signing spent many years in the Archivo General de Indias (Seville) but have been transferred are being exhibited for the first time in the place they were originally signed in an exhibition in Tordesillas to mark the anniversary.