World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Botafogo (galleon)

Article Id: WHEBN0021508539
Reproduction Date:

Title: Botafogo (galleon)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Galleon, Botafogo, List of ships of the Portuguese Navy, Infante Louis, Duke of Beja, Botafogo (disambiguation)
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Botafogo (galleon)

The São João Baptista (on the left of the image), opening fire in the conquest of Tunis
Career (Portugal)
Name: São João Baptista
Builder: Kingdom of Portugal
Launched: 1534
General characteristics
Class & type: Galleon
Displacement: 1,000 tons
Armament: 366 cannons

The São João Baptista (English: Saint John the Baptist), commonly known as the Botafogo, was a Portuguese galleon warship built in the 16th century, around 1534, considered the biggest and most powerful warship in the world at the time.[1]

This ship could carry 366 bronze cannons, and had an artillery power of 1,000 tons. For this reason, it became known as Botafogo, meaning literally fire maker or spitfire in popular Portuguese.


The Botafogo was used both in the Atlantic and in the Mediterranean, where it became famous during the conquest of Tunis. In that battle, the Botafogo was commanded by Infante Luís, Duke of Beja, brother of John III and brother-in-law of Charles V.

According to historians, it was the Botafogo spur ram that broke up the chains at La Goletta, which defended the port entrance of Tunis, allowing the Christian allied fleet to reach and conquer the city.

One member of the crew named João de Sousa Pereira, a noble from the city of Elvas, became famous because he was responsible for the ship's artillery, and he also got the nickname of Botafogo, which he later included in his family name. Later, he went to live in the Portuguese colony of Brazil, fighting against the French and the local Tupi Indians. As a reward, the Portuguese Crown granted him some lands known today as the Botafogo area.


External links

  • Foundations of the Portuguese empire, 1415-1580
  • Galeão São João Baptista - Botafogo (Portuguese)


  • "Batalhas e Combates da Marinha Portuguesa", Vol. II, pages 243/245 – from Saturnino Monteiro. Livraria Sá da Costa, 1st edition, 1991.
  • "Nobreza de Portugal e do Brasil" – Vol. I, pages 382/384. Published by Zairol Lda., Lisbon 1989.
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.