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Pope Julius II
Giuliano della Rovere
becomes Pope Julius II.
Afonso de Albuquerque
Afonso de Albuquerque discovers the island of Assunção .
Casa de Contratacíon
The Spanish trading house
Casa y Audiencia de Indias is established.
1503 in other calendars
Armenian calendar 951/952 (turn of the year July)
Ethiopian calendar 1495/96
Aztec calendar 10. Rabbit - Matlactli Tochtli (until the end of January / beginning of February: 9th house - Chicuhnahui Calli )
Buddhist calendar 2046/47 (southern Buddhism); 2045/46 (alternative calculation according to Buddhas Parinirvana )
Chinese calendar 69th (70th) cycle

Year of the Water Pig癸亥 ( at the beginning of the year Water Dog 壬戌)

Chula Sakarat (Siam, Myanmar) / Dai calendar (Vietnam) 865/866 (turn of the year April)
Dangun era (Korea) 3836/37 (October 2/3)
Iranian calendar 881/882
Islamic calendar 908/909 (turn of the year 25/26 June)
Jewish calendar 5263/64 (September 20-21)
Coptic calendar 1219/20
Malayalam calendar 678/679
Seleucid era Babylon: 1813/14 (turn of the year April)

Syria: 1814/15 (turn of the year October)

Spanish era 1541
Vikram Sambat (Nepalese Calendar) 1559/60 (turn of the year April)


Politics and world events

Russo-Lithuanian War


Battle of Garigliano 1503

Landshut War of Succession

Further events in the empire

Voyages of discovery and colonies

Columbus' fourth journey
  • May 10th : Christopher Columbus reaches the Cayman Islands on his fourth voyage , which he gives the name Las Tortugas because of the numerous sea ​​turtles he has encountered . Then he was shipwrecked off Jamaica when the Vizcaína caravel , which had been destroyed by the shipworm, had to be abandoned. 32 men then undertake a journey of around 400 nautical miles to Hispaniola in two canoes , only two of which survive, including Columbus' ship clerk and confidante Diego Méndez . However, Governor Nicolás de Ovando , whose relationship with Columbus is marked by deep enmity, does nothing until the end of the year to help the stranded, who in the meantime mainly survive through trade with the natives.
  • May 20 : The Portuguese navigator Afonso de Albuquerque rediscovered a forgotten island in the South Atlantic, which he now gives the name Assunção because it was sighted on the day of Ascension . It is known by the name, which is translated into English, Ascension . In the same year de Albuquerque rediscovered the Churiya-Muriya Islands in the Arabian Sea and gave them the name that is still used in Europe today.


science and technology

Title woodcut of the first edition
  • The encyclopedia Margarita Philosophica by Gregor Reisch , created between 1489 and 1496, was first printed in Freiburg by the Strasbourg printer Johann Schott . As Universitas literarum, the work contains the entire human knowledge of the late Middle Ages . The “ Seven Liberal Arts ” are dealt with in twelve books, followed by the principles and origin of natural things, physiology, psychology and moral philosophy. For 100 years the work became the most widespread textbook of philosophy and encyclopedic knowledge for the study of Artes liberales . It is considered the oldest printed encyclopedia . Numerous new editions and pirated prints appeared from the following year.
  • The Bolognese Ludovico de Varthema joins a caravan to Mecca and Medina in Damascus and later describes the holy places of Islam in his travelogue ( Itinerario ) in great detail and without bias.


The big piece of lawn


Bar trial and execution (Chronicle of Diebold Schilling )

After a bar test , a form of divine judgment , the former mercenary Hans Spiess is sentenced to death in Ettiswil for the murder of his wife and executed by wheels .



After more than ten years of pontificate , Pope Alexander VI dies . - probably from malaria - in Rome. Numerous myths soon grew up around the death of the Renaissance Pope on August 18th . The body of the deceased had swollen unnaturally within a very short time, had turned black and secreted foul-smelling liquids, which is viewed by the population as evidence of a poisoning. In addition, the soul of whether nephew was immediately taken by the devil.

Pinturicchio :
The Coronation of Pius III.

As his successor chooses the conclave on September 22 Francesco Todeschini Piccolomini, the name Pius III. accepts. After just 26 days in office, however, he too died on October 18 . In a one-day conclave on November 1st, Giuliano della Rovere was elected Pope, who was to serve under the name of Julius II in the following years . The enthronement will take place on November 26th . The new Pope, who himself came to the papal throne by prior arrangement, forbids the acquisition of the papal throne through simony for the future, subject to severe church penalties .


Ubosot of Wat Na Phra Men


First half of the year

Parmiagianino: Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror , 1524
Ferdinand I. as a child

Second half of the year

Michel de Nostredame

Exact date of birth unknown


January to April

Tomb of the Elizabeth of York
Friedrich Jagiellos grave plate

May to August

Tomb of Alexander VI.

September to December

Tomb of Pius III

Exact date of death unknown


This year served as the name template for the computer game Anno 1503 .

Web links

Commons : 1503  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files