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Johann III.
Johann III. after his father's death I. Manuel
king of Portugal .
Sebastian de Elcano
Juan Sebastián Elcano
takes command of the Victoria after the death of
Ferdinand Magellan .
Reichstag in Worms
Martin Luther defends his teaching at the Diet in Worms .
Siege of Stockholm
The siege of Stockholm by Gustav Wasa
ends for the time being without success.
1521 in other calendars
Armenian calendar 969/970 (turn of the year July)
Ethiopian calendar 1513/14
Aztec calendar 2. Feuerstein - Ome Tecpatl (until the end of January / beginning of February: 1st tubes - Ce Acatl )
Buddhist calendar 2064/65 (southern Buddhism); 2063/64 (alternative calculation according to Buddhas Parinirvana )
Chinese calendar 70th (71st) cycle

Year of the Metal Snake辛巳 ( at the beginning of the year Metal Dragon 庚辰)

Chula Sakarat (Siam, Myanmar) / Dai calendar (Vietnam) 883/884 (turn of the year April)
Dangun era (Korea) 3854/55 (October 2/3)
Iranian calendar 899/900
Islamic calendar 927/928 (turn of the year November 30th / December 1st)
Jewish calendar 5281/82 (September 1st and 2nd)
Coptic calendar 1237/38
Malayalam calendar 696/697
Seleucid era Babylon: 1831/32 (turn of the year April)

Syria: 1832/33 (turn of the year October)

Vikram Sambat (Nepalese Calendar) 1577/78 (turn of the year April)


Politics and world events


Execution of the Comuneros , Antonio Gisbert , historical painting from 1860
  • February: The rebels of the Comuneros uprising in Castile under Juan de Padilla win against the troops of the Spanish King Charles I at Torrelobaton , but this does not endanger his military superiority, as he draws reinforcements from the rest of the Habsburg Empire.
  • April 23 : In the Battle of Villalar succeeds Charles I of Spain a decisive victory. Juan de Padilla and other leaders of the Comuneros uprising , which began in Spain in 1520 , are executed the day after their defeat.
  • October 25 : Maria Pacheco, the widow of Juan de Padilla, who was executed in April, negotiates the surrender of the city of Toledo with King Charles I , in which the lives of the insurgents who are in the city are to be spared.


Italian wars

Antonio Grimani

Holy Roman Empire


Nydala Monastery after the pillage

As a result of last November by King Christian II. And Archbishop Gustav Trolle damage done Stockholm bloodbath at the Swedish nobility begins at Gustav Vasa of Dalarna in the Swedish war of liberation . The anti-Danish propaganda is still fired when Christian II allegedly plundered the Nydala monastery on his way back from Stockholm to Denmark in February and drowned the abbot and the monks in the lake.

  • Beginning of April: The rebels under Gustav Wasa achieve their first victory over Christian's troops at Brunnbäck . At the end of April Gustav Wasa is the master of Dalarna , Gästrikland , Västmanland and Närke . In June he stands with his peasant army in front of Stockholm , but storming the city is out of the question, as he lacks the people and material suitable for warfare.
  • August 23 : After Gustav Wasa succeeded in bringing large parts of Sweden under his control, he was proclaimed imperial administrator.

Eastern Europe

  • June 28 : A surprise advance by the Krimkhan across the Oka hits the units deployed to defend Moscow's southern border unprepared and triggers a panic-like escape. The Tatars penetrated almost to the walls of Moscow, but withdrew just as surprisingly on August 12th.
  • June 29 : In connection with the incursion of the Crimean Tatars succeeds the Ryazan prince Ivan Ivanovich, who on the orders of Vasilis III. was imprisoned, fleeing to Lithuania. The Principality of Ryazan is then finally incorporated into the Grand Duchy of Moscow .
Woodcut of the Siege of Belgrade


Magellan's circumnavigation

Ferdinand Magellan

The crossing of the Pacific by the expedition under Ferdinand Magellan, which began at the end of the previous year after crossing the Allerheiligenstrasse , takes three months and 20 days, during which no land can be seen except for two tiny, uninhabited islands. A large part of the team fell ill with scurvy ; there is nothing left to eat on board the ships except rusks streaked with worms and rat droppings. Seafarers therefore begin to eat leather that has been steamed and roasted in salt water or soup made from sawdust. Rats, which the sailors sell for half a ducat, are particularly popular. At least 19 men die.

  • January 24th : Magellan's circumnavigation of the world reaches an island he baptizes San Pablo . It is probably identical to the island of Puka-Puka in Polynesia . According to the logbook of Francisco Albo, the navigator of the Victoria , the uninhabited island is tree-lined and full of birds.
  • March 6th : Ferdinand Magellan's expedition reaches the Mariana Islands . When the fleet anchors off one of the islands, probably Guam , the locals try to board one of the dinghies. Magellan then has some of the aborigines killed and their houses burned down. He calls the islands Islas de los Ladrones (Islands of Thieves).
  • After taking in the urgently needed supplies, the fleet sails on and reaches the Philippines on March 16, landing on Homonhon Island . At this point in time, around 150 of the original 237 men were still alive. With the help of his slave Enrique as an interpreter, Magellan can exchange gifts with the prince of Limasawa .
  • April 7 : Ferdinand Magellan reaches Cebu , where he succeeds in converting the local prince and many of his subjects to Christianity. Chief Lapu-Lapu on the neighboring island of Mactan rejects Spanish supremacy and proselytizing . Magellan then tries to subjugate Lapu-Lapu and his village militarily.
Magellan's death.
Woodcut, 16th century
  • April 27th : An attempt to convert the inhabitants of the island of Mactan to Christianity by force leads to a skirmish with chief Lapu-Lapu , in which several Spaniards are killed. Admiral Ferdinand Magellan is among the dead. According to the reports of his chronicler Antonio Pigafetta , he is still standing in the water and one of the last to fight to cover the retreat of his people. Soon after the attack, the prince of Cebu also renounced Christianity.
  • May 1 : The Malay slave and translator Enrique Melaka escapes a banquet in Cebu where 35 Spanish participants are murdered. The remainder narrowly managed to escape, but they are now so few that they sink the Concepción and distribute the survivors to the Trinidad and Victoria . The helmsman João Lopes Carvalho is elected as the new captain general. With the two remaining ships, the survivors sail on to Borneo , where they spend 35 days in Brunei . After a hasty escape, João Lopes Carvalho is relegated as captain general and Gómez de Espinosa is installed in his place. The former master of the Concepción, Juan Sebastián Elcano , is elected captain of the Victoria .
  • November 6th : The expedition reaches the Moluccan island of Tidore , where it can pick up spices. The residents there know Europeans because the Portuguese have already got there via Africa and India.
  • December 21 : The main ship Victoria sets off for home while the Trinidad is still undergoing repairs.

City rights and first documentary mentions



Architecture and fine arts

Belém Tower

The Torre de Belém near Lisbon will be completed after six years of construction. The structure serves as a lighthouse, together with a second tower on the other bank of the Tagus river, as a bulwark against enemy ships and as a prison and arsenal. It is one of the last completed Manueline architecture . With the death of King Manuel I on December 13th, this architectural style, which is only found in Portugal , is coming to an end.

Hans Holbein: The body of Christ in the grave , oil and tempera on limewood




Original text in Cyrillic from Neacșus letter

Neacșu's letter is the oldest known document in Romanian . The letter will bewrittenin Cyrillic script on June 29th / 30th by the merchant Neacșu Lupu in Câmpulung (Langenau)and addressed to Johannes Benkner, city judge of Kronstadt (Brașov). It contains information about an impending Ottoman attack on Wallachia and possibly also on Transylvania .

The game of Patolli is banned in Mexico . The Roman Catholic Church in the country attaches religious importance to the game and suspects “pagan atrocities” in it.


Catholic Church

Ignatius of Loyola as a young officer
  • May 20 : The Basque nobleman Ignatius of Loyola is seriously injured by a cannonball while defending Pamplona against French troops during the Italian wars . As he will later report in his autobiography, instead of reading his favorite chivalric romances on the sickbed, he reads a collection of legends of saints and a description of Christ's life and therefore comes to reflect on his way of life. During his convalescence in the Montserrat monastery , he made his life confession, which, according to tradition, lasts three days.

Pope Leo X dies on December 1st in Rome. The conclave to elect his successor will be convened on December 27, but will not be able to agree on a successor by the end of the year.

Luther and the Reformation

Letter of invitation to Martin Luther to the Reichstag
Place of encounter between Emperor Karl V and Luther: The Bishop's Court in Worms


Date of birth saved

Exact date of birth unknown

Born around 1521


Date of death secured

Leonardo Loredan's tomb in San Zanipolo in Venice
Tomb of Leo X in Rome

Exact date of death unknown

Web links

Commons : 1521  - Collection of Images, Videos, and Audio Files