Pedro Tafur

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Reproduction of Tafur's signature.

Pedro Tafur (or Pero Tafur) (c. 1410 – c. 1484[1]) was a Spanish traveler, historian and writer. Born in Córdoba,[2] to a branch of the noble house of Guzmán,[3] Tafur traveled across three continents during the years 1436 to 1439. During the voyage, he participated in various battles, visited shrines, and rendered diplomatic services for Juan II of Castile. He visited the Moroccan coast, southern France, the Holy Land, Egypt, Rhodes, Cyprus, Tenedos, Trebizond, and Constantinople. He also visited the Sinai Peninsula, where he met Niccolò Da Conti, who shared with Tafur information about southeastern Asia. Before returning to Spain, Tafur crossed central Europe and Italy.

Between 1453 and 1454, to judge from interior evidence in the single surviving manuscript, he wrote a book called Andanças e viajes de Pero Tafur por diversas partes del mundo avidos (unpublished until 1874, when it was published by Marcos Jiménez de la Espada). It is one of the few books written by a Spanish traveler during the medieval period (that of Ruy González de Clavijo is another example). Tafur dedicated his book to a member of the Guzmán family, the same family to which Saint Dominic belonged. He thus provides biographical information regarding this saint.

He provides valuable details concerning the Baths of Zeuxippus, the Hagia Sophia, the Holy doors in Rome, and the obelisks in Rome.

Having returned to Spain in 1439, some time before 1452 Tafur married Doña Juana de Horozco. A son appears to have predeceased his father, but three daughters are mentioned in Doña Juana's will. He played a prominent role in local affairs: he and his son both held office as aldermen in 1479.


  1. Dates and further biographical notes are in D. Rafael Ramirez de Arellano in Boletin de la Real academia de la Historia, xli, pt. iv (1902)
  2. He found it expedient to tell the Sultan's chief interpreter at Cairo that he had been born in a less sensitive site, Seville.
  3. He dedicated his manuscript to Don Fernando de Guzmn, Chief Commander of the Order of Calatrava, "being of your house and lineage,".

External links


  • TAFUR, Pero: Travels and Adventures 1435-1439, Routledge, 2004.
  • LÓPEZ ESTRADA, Francisco: Libros de viajeros hispánicos medievales Madrid, Ediciones Laberinto, 2002. ISBN 84-8483-066-7.
  • RAMÍREZ DE ARELLANO, Rafael: Estudios biográficos: Pero Tafur. Boletín de la Real Academia de la Historia.41: 278-98.
  • VIVES GATELL, José: Andanças e viajes de un higaldo español (Pero Tafur, 1436-1439),con una descripción de Roma. Analecta Sacra Tarraconensia 19 (1949): 127-207.
  • CARTELLIERI, Otto: Pero Tafur, ein spanischer Weltreisender des 15. Jahrhunderts, in: Festschrift Alexander Cartellieri zu seinem sechzigsten Geburtstag dargebracht von Freunden und Schülern, Weimar 1927.
  • STEHLIN, Karl & THOMMEN, Rudolf: Aus der Reisebeschreibung des Pero Tafur, 1438 und 1439.