Join Michael Wood as he sails back half a millennium to a time when the Americas were “new” and Spain was a superpower.
The Spanish conquest of the Americas in the sixteenth century was one of the most cataclysmic events in history.
Spanish expeditions had to endure the most unbelievable hardships to open up the lands of the New World.
Few stories, if any, in history match these for sheer drama, endurance and distance covered.
In Conquistadors, Michael Woods travels in the footsteps of some of the greatest of the Spanish adventures, from Amazonia to Lake Titicaca, and from the deserts of North Mexico to the heights of Macchu Picchu.
Episode 1: The Fall of the Aztecs
Episode 1 takes a look at famed Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes, a military leader who left Cuba in 1519 seeking riches to the west.
He found the gold he was looking for, but in the hands of an unknown indigenous civilization. A civilization containing millions of people he’d continue to conquer, kill and plunder.
Micheal Wood retraces this fateful expedition, documenting the Spanish eyewitness accounts that describe the conquistadors’ awe at the Aztec achievements and the lust for native treasure.
Michael will also take a look at the Aztec’ side of the story by scrolling trough pictographs that tell of the agonizing fall of the empire.
Episode 2: The Conquest of the Incas
Fancisco Pizarro hoped to find great riches in the land of the Inca when he set off on his third voyage to the new world in 1527.
Travel back in time with Michael Wood and learn how Pizarro ransomed the life of a king for a room full of gold and silver.
Trough letter and drawings from the 16th century and film from modern-day south America, discover this remarkable story of greed, faith, dishonor and valor.
Episode 3: The Search for El Dorado
Francisco de Orellana failed to find El Dorado, but discovered the amazon. Early in 1541, a rumor swept Quito that beyond the mountains, there lay a land richer than Mexico, or even Peru – a land of gold.
The ruler of this land was so rich that he covered himself with gold dust every day and washed it off every evening. He was “the golden man”, El Dorado.
They had tree goals: to find La Canela, the land of cinnamon: to assess new lands for colonization; and to find El Dorado. On march 1541, They marched eastwards with more that 200 Spanish troops and thousands of native servants.
Episode 4: All World is Human
Cabeza de Vaca was shipwrecked off the coast of Texas in 1528 and lived with Indians for eight years. Upon his return to Spain, he wrote a book based on his experiences.
His tale is one of empathy and respect for the Indians. Follow along as Michael Wood traces his journey.
- Release date2000
- Full runtime
- Director(s)David Wallace
- Production companyMaya Vision International