San Felipe

The San Felipe, built in 1690, was one of the finest Spanish warships of the 17th century, richly adorned with beautiful wood carvings and of graceful design. Partly due to the widespread sails she was highly manoeuvrable and fast, which was of great advantage compared to the somewhat more unwieldy and consequently less manoeuvrable English and French warships. Armed with 108 cannons she was therefore the flagship of the Spanish Armada under the command of Commodor Enrique Mac Domell.
In the second half of the 17th century Spain was a country of great prosperity, especially by its dominance of many rich overseas colonies. The sea battles with England and France took place largely in the territorial waters of the Caribean and South Africa, also the terrain of many pirates.
The role of the San Felipe was therefore to protect the trading ships with their precious cargoes on the way to Cadiz or one of the other Spanish ports. In one of the fiercest battles in 1705, in which 12 Spanish ships fought against 35 English ships, she was so heavily damaged that she sank to the bottom of the sea cargo and all. Fortunately, she could therefore not be triumphantly taken to England as a defeated ship.