Pedro de Ursúa

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Pedro de Ursúa
Pedro de Ursua.jpg
Pedro de Ursúa
Cause of deathMurder
Years active1545–1561
EmployerSpanish Crown
Known forCo-founder of Pamplona
Failed conquest of the Muzo
Quest for El Dorado

Pedro de Ursúa (1526 – 1561) was a Spanish conquistador from Baztan in Navarre.[1][2] In Panama, Ursúa subdued a Cimarron (ex-slave) revolt by tricking Cimarron leader Bayano into coming unprepared to negotiate a truce, but then captured him and sent him back to King Philip II of Spain.

Together with Ortún Velázquez de Velasco, Pedro de Ursúa founded the city of Pamplona, Colombia, on November 1, 1549.[3]

Ursúa later searched the Amazon region for El Dorado with Lope de Aguirre. When Ursúa would not allow Aguirre's mistress on the expedition, Aguirre conspired with another officer, Fernando de Guzman, to use this rejection as a pretext to start a riot in which they assassinated Ursúa and seized power.[4]

Pedro de Ursúa in fiction[edit]

A fictional version of Ursúa and Aguirre's story is depicted in the Werner Herzog film, Aguirre, der Zorn Gottes and in the Carlos Saura film El Dorado.

The novel Ursúa by William Ospina has become one of the main references concerning Pedro de Ursúa. The book provides details about the life of Ursúa and makes a general account of the events happening in the New World during the mid 16th century.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ William A. Douglass; Jon Bilbao (2005). Amerikanuak: Basques in the New World. University of Nevada Press. p. 84. ISBN 978-0-87417-625-4.
  2. ^ Elena Mampel González; Neus Escandell Tur (1981). Lope de Aguirre: Crónicas, 1559-1561. Edicions Universitat Barcelona. p. 15. ISBN 978-84-85411-51-1.
  3. ^ (in Spanish) Official website Pamplona
  4. ^ Descendants of Juan de Ursúa

Further reading[edit]

  • Galster, Ingrid. 1996. Aguirre oder Die Willkür der Nachwelt. Die Rebellion des baskischen Konquistadors Lope de Aguirre in Historiographie und Geschichtsfiktion (1561–1992). Vervuert Verlag, Frankfurt am Main, ISBN 3-89354-075-X.
  • Galster, Ingrid. 2011. Aguirre o La posteridad arbitraria. La rebelión del conquistador vasco Lope de Aguirre en historiografía y ficción histórica (1561-1992). Universidad Javeriana and Universidad del Rosario, Bogotá, ISBN 978-958-738-204-4.

External links[edit]