ltwilliammowett: Galera “Real” ( Royal) repli…


Galera “Real” ( Royal) replica 1971

The Real was the flagship of Don Juan de Austria built in the Drassanes Reials de Barcelona in the Battle of the Sea of Lepanto in 1571, the largest galley battle in world history, in which the fleet of united Christian Mediterranean powers, the so-called Holy League, devastated an Ottoman fleet. The real and the galley Sultana, the flagship of the Turkish commander-in-chief Ali Pasha, were involved in direct on-board combat with each other soon after the beginning of the battle. Ali Pasha, hit by musket balls, fell wounded on deck and was beheaded by a Spanish mercenary. His head was put on a spit, which was not conducive to the morale of the Ottoman fighters. The Real captured the great flag of the Caliphs and became the symbol of the victory of Lepanto.

On the occasion of the four hundredth anniversary of the battle in 1971, the Real was faithfully reproduced in the Museu Marítim in Barcelona and has been exhibited there ever since. The ship was 60 m long and 6.2 m wide, had a draught of 2.1 m and two masts, and weighed 237 tons empty. It was moved by 290 rowers and had in the Battle of Lepanto about 400 sailors and soldiers on board. During the battle, 50 men were positioned on the upper platform of the foredeck, 50 on the midship ramp, 50 each along both sides of the bow, 50 on the boat platform, 50 on the hearth platform, 50 on the stern sides, and another 50 on the stern platform. In order to keep the huge ship in the battle order and to assist in manoeuvring, it was additionally pushed by two other galleys. (This made it possible to cover a number of oar benches in the foredeck of the Real with planks on which fighting soldiers were positioned. The superstructures were splendidly decorated, and the whole ship was in the Spanish colours of red and gold.