Manuel I, the Fortunate, 14th king of Portugal and the Algarves. Manuel would prove a worthy successor to his cousin King John II, supporting the Portuguese exploration of the Atlantic Ocean and the development of Portuguese commerce. During his reign, the following was achieved:
* 1498 Vasco da Gama discovers the maritime route to India
* 1500 Pedro Álvares Cabral discovers Brazil
* 1505 Francisco de Almeida becomes the first viceroy of India
* 1503-1515 Afonso de Albuquerque, an admiral, secures the monopoly of the Indian ocean and Persian Gulf maritime routes for Portugal
All these events made Portugal rich on foreign trade whilst formally establishing its empire. Manuel used the wealth to build a number of royal buildings (in the Manueline style) and to attract scientists and artists to his court. Commercial treaties and diplomatic alliances were forged with China and the Persian Empire. The Pope received a monumental embassy from Portugal during his reign, designed to be a show of the newly acquired riches to all Europe.