The Legendary City of Gold & Riches: Quivira

Throughout history many tales are told and stories are share of mythical places around the world that have taken explorers deep into uncharted territory.  None is more famous that the legend of Quivira,

Spanish Conquistador Francisco Vazquez de Coronado first mentioned the mythical city of Quivira in 1541 when he was exploring parts of New Mexico and the eventual southwestern United States.  Driven by his desire to find the mythical Seven Cities of Gold or “Seven Cities of Cibola.”

The story of Quivira is based on Portuguese legend during the 8th century on a Catholic expedition on the island of Antilla.  New Spain (New Mexico/Mexico) was the place plotted for exploration to find Quivira.

Coronado heard from a local Indian called The Turk that a wealthy civilization called Quivira was located far to the east.  Coronado was told that “trees hung with golden bells and people whose pots and pans were beaten gold.” During the middle of 1541 Coronado lead an expedition of 30 with his army and priests (Franciscan friar named Juan de Padilla), along with local Indians through the Great Plains in search of Quivira.

Ultimately Quivira has been plotted to be in central Kansas, although obviously there is no city of gold.  Archaeologists have found several 16th century artifacts around the area that may have been part of the Coronado expedition.

Many maps of the North America region in the 16th and 17th century include the city of Quivira, although its location generally has moved with time.  In general, Quivira is places around Kansas, Oklahoma, southeastern Colorado, northeastern New Mexico and the Texas panhandle.

Remaining references to the cartographic region include Lake Quivira and the Quivira National Wildlife Refuge in the state of Kansas.

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