"the armor of a Spanish conquistador"
Francisco de Montejo in typical 16th century conquistador amour
Public DomainFrancisco de Montejo in typical 16th century conquistador armour - Credit: Wikimedia Commons

The conquistadors (Spanish for conqueror) were Spanish and Portuguese soldiers, explorers, and adventurers who brought much of the Americas under the control of Spain and Portugal in the 15th and 16th centuries, following Christopher Columbus' 1492 discovery of the New World.

The two most famous conquistadors were undoubtedly Hernán Cortés, who conquered the Aztec Empire, and Francisco Pizarro, who led the conquest of the Incan Empire.