In 1419, Prince Henry founded a navigation school.- Mapmakers, instrument makers, shipbuilders, scientists, and sea captains came here to perfect their trades.
By 1460, the Portuguese had established a series of trading posts along the western African shores.- Traded for gold and ivory.- Eventually traded for African captives to be slaves.
Now that they had established their presence in Africa, the Portuguese set their sights on something new, finding a sea route to Asia.
Bartolomeu Dias and his crew reached the southern tip of Africa, but a storm came up and misguided them.
Almost 10 years later, Vasco de Gama began exploring the east African coast.- As he reached the port of Calicut, he and his crew were in awe of all the spices, rare silks, and precious gems they found.
Vasco de Gama had officially given Portugal a direct sea route to India.