There is a controversy about the birth year of Pedro de Valdivia. Some say, he was born in 1497, while some believe that 1500 is his birth year. Although his early life is not meticulously documented, yet it is known that he was born in the city of Badajoz in Spain. He belonged to a family of noblemen, and enjoyed many facilities accorded to these sections of Spanish aristocrats in the late medieval age. As a Hidalgo, Pedro de Valdivia was committed to the cause of chivalry. He led the life of a soldier and a devout knight.
Career of Pedro de Valdivia as a Knight
In the early modern period, Spain emerged as a major power in Europe, particularly under the reign of Charles V. It started to play a significant role in almost every major war in Europe in this period, either as a mediator or as a direct participant. Spain's formidable army was feared and respected all throughout the continent. The military career of Pedro de Valdivia started as a knight in the service of Charles V. His first major expedition was in the battle of Flanders in 1521. After his successful campaign at Belgium and the Netherlands, Valdivia served in Italy between 1522 and 1528. After having been a part of these two monumental wars in the history of Spain, Pedro de Valdivia settled down and married in 1535.
However, Pedro de Valdivia was a man of undaunted spirit and soon after his marriage he left on an imperialist mission to the American shores. Pedro de Valdivia, the conquistador reached Venezuela and moved on to Chile from there. In 1541, Valdivia founded the city of Santiago in Chile. Other cities that he founded in Chile later include Concepcion in 1550 and Valdivia in 1544.