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Bernal Díaz del Castillo

  • Bernal Díaz del Castillo © J. Bedmar/Iberfoto

    Bernal Díaz del Castillo © J. Bedmar/Iberfoto






Date of birth


Date of death


" Spanish conqueror and chronicler in the Indies. He took part in many of the events that he tells in his chronicles."

He was born in Medina del Campo, in 1496. Since he was young he decided to pursue a military career. In 1514 he travelled to the Indies as a soldier with Pedro Aria Dávila, and settled in Cuba. He took part in the three large expeditions to Mexico that left from that island: the discovery expedition led by Francisco Hernández de Córdoba (1517), the exploring one led by Juan de Grijalva (1518) and the conquering one by Hernán Cortés (1519). He experienced many events in the conquest and also in Guatemala and Honduras, which he wrote about later on. He was in charge of the land of Chamula and Micapa, in the province of Chiapas, as well as of Teapa, in Tabasco. He was the alderman of the village of Espíritu Santo. He settled in Santiago de Guatemala, where he spent the rest of his days living humbly until he died in 1584.

Essential works

  • Work of culture - Generic image

    Historia verdadera de la conquista de la Nueva España

    Chronicle by Bernal Díaz del Castillo narrating the main episodes in the Spanish conquest of the Americas.

    More info
  • ‘True history of the conquest of New Spain’. Madrid © Biblioteca Nacional de España

    Copy of ‘The true history of the conquest of New Spain’

    This is an essential source for scholars of the conquest of Mexico, Mexican society and the Aztec empire. The writer offers a collection of episodes narrated by Hernán Cortés.

    Spanish National Library (Madrid)

    More info

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