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Galleon San José: Found in the deepest abyss. The Spanish ship sank 300 years ago off the coast of Colombia, carrying one of the largest loaded with gold and precious stones of history.

Galleon San José: Found in the deepest abyss.

The naval battle of Cartagena in 1708 in an oil of the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich. The silhouette of a dolphin emerges from the darkness for a moment of underwater shooting. Then another and another, to adorn unmistakably the gun tube of a 16-caliber gun. The “Holy Grail” of the wrecks lying off the Colombian peninsula Barú, sunk 300 meters into the Caribbean Sea.

Galleon San José: Found in the deepest abyss.

Built in the shipyard of Usúrbil in 1696, when the San José launch was intended to reaffirm, along with sister San Joaquín, the supremacy of the Spanish navy overseas. Although the eighteenth century see the sunset of the time of the galleons, replaced by more modern and fast ships, the San Jose and San Joaquín were designed by the Basque Pedro de Arostegui with a tonnage doubled and an allocation of considerable cannons to face the dangers of Ocean. After almost ten years of changes to the hull structure that resulted imperfect, in March of 1706 the two galleons left Cadiz with destination Cartagena de Indias, Colombia’s main port of the Spanish. Here they remained for two years, waiting for the precious cargo that was supposed to finance Philip of Bourbon in the war of succession to the Spanish crown.

Galleon San José: Found in the deepest abyss.

Despite the explicit testamentary disposition in which it designated his nephew Philip of Bourbon as his successor, the lack of heirs of the deceased Charles II of Habsburg in 1701 sparked a bloody war between the major European powers that lasted for thirteen years. The fear that Philip could unite the crowns of Spain and France pushed fact England, Austria and the Holy Roman Empire to support the candidacy of Charles VI, who also boasted of blood ties to the dead king. The conflict expanded soon to the Caribbean Sea, in which the British navy was committed to attack and plunder the Spanish ships to prevent the influx of gold and raw materials from the colonies. The holds of San José and San Joaquin, full of Peruvian silver, emeralds, amethysts and diamonds Andean and fifteen million gold pesos, then became the primary objective of Commodore Charles Wager.

Galleon San José: Found in the deepest abyss.

At dawn on 8 June 1708, returning from the Panamanian city of Portobelo where the galleons had loaded the treasure, the Spanish fleet was attacked by the squadron of Wager 30 miles from Cartagena. While the San Joaquín found shelter in the fortified port of the city, the San José remained isolated from the rest of the convoy, waging a close battle with the flagship British Expedition. After an hour and a half of intense fighting, around seven in the morning the San José was suddenly torn by an internal explosion; the galleon sank instantly, carrying 578 souls including that of the captain José Fernández. In the incident only eleven crew members found salvation. For three centuries the discovery of the wreck of the San José has fed the fantasies of the sea hunter or hunters sunk treasures.At least until 1981 when the Sea Search Armada, a US recovery company hired by the Colombian government, announced the identification of a ship full of gold and precious stones.

Galleon San José: Found in the deepest abyss.

The Colombian refusal to comply with the contract – which provided for the sale of a third of the load to the SSA – halted recovery operations for over thirty years, bringing the dispute to court. Although already speculated that the wreckage could belong to the legendary Spanish galleon, only last month the Colombian Institute of Anthropology and History has unequivocally confirmed the identity, following an operation led by the Colombian navy.

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Galleon San José Found in the deepest abyss.