Based in Spain since 2006

Jules Verne, the Camino Portugués and the Spanish War of Secession

On October 23rd of 1702 an important naval battle, known as the Battle of Rande, was fought in the Vigo estuary, just off the Camino Portugués near Redondela, between Anglo-Dutch forces and Franco-Spanish ones. This battle was just one of several that were fought during the Spanish War of Secession, which led to the end of the Habsburg dynasty in Spain and the crowning of the first Spanish Bourbon, Felipe V.

A painful defeat was inflicted on the Franco-Spanish fleet, which was completely destroyed or captured. However, apart from their pride and several captured ships, the Anglo-Dutch left Vigo empty handed. The cargo of silver that was on the Spanish ships had either been previously unloaded before the battle, or sunk to the bottom of the estuary.

A hundred and seventy years later Jules Verne would use this event to explain how Captain Nemo finances his operations by pillaging the sunken wrecks in his novel Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. There are two wonderful monuments commemorating Jules Verne and his book on the Camino Portugués.

The first is in the city of Vigo (Camino Portugués de la Costa), and it features Jules Verne sitting on a giant octopus. The second is just off the island of San Simón and near the town of Arcade (Camino Portugués), and it features Captain Nemo and two divers.