• Montezuma Peak

    Coronado

    National Memorial Arizona

Stories

Historic painting of Coronado

Oil painting of Coronado

NPS / Nevin Kempthorne

Coronado's Seven Cities

Early in the 16th century, Spain established a rich colonial empire in the New World. From Mexico to Peru, gold poured into her treasury and new lands were opened for settlement. The northern frontier lay only a few hundred miles north of Mexico City; and beyond that was a land unknown. Tales of unimaginable riches in this land had fired the Spanish imagination ever since Spain's discovery of the "New World". They lured Hernando Cortéz to Mexico in 1519, followed shortly thereafter by Parfilo de Narváez to Florida and Francisco Pizarro to Peru. Many expeditions ended in failure, but there were enough successes to keep alive the dream that great wealth lay within the grasp of anyone with the opportunity to seize it.
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Did You Know?

Montezuma Canyon in the snow, Coronado National Memorial

Coronado was searching for the ‘Seven Cities of Cibola’ when he began is expedition in 1540. What does Cibola mean? It is most likely a Spanish corruption of (She Wo No)- Land of the Zuni.