An audiencia began as a judicial institution in medieval Spain, but in the 16th century, it was applied as the highest form of local government in key cities of the Spanish Empire. An audiencia had a panel of judges made responsible for the political administration of a city and certain criminal and civil legal matters concerning both settlers and indigenous peoples.

More about: Audiencia


  • 1511
    The audiencia is formed in Santo Domingo, the first in the Spanish empire.
  • 1527
    The audiencia is formed in Mexico City (formerly Tenochtitlan).