History & Culture

The Coronado Expedition

The arrival of the entrada into "Tierra Nueva" in 1540, led by commander and captain general Francisco Vázquez de Coronado, set about a dramatic cultural and biological exchange. The armed expedition consisted of over 300 Europeans, over 1000 Aztec/Mexica allies, a handful of Franciscan priests, and scores of servants and slaves. Their arrival in northwest Mexico and the American Southwest irrevocably changed the lives and cultures of the indigenous peoples of the region, some who had lived here for centuries. This moment marks a period of cultural collapse, and sparked an era of cultural fusion, the result of which is still palpable in the region.

For a brief history of the Coronado Expedition, view the video below.
Para una breve historia de la Expedición ver el video.

Coronado National Memorial was established to interpret the Coronado Expedition. While there is no physical evidence of the expedition in the present memorial, the park offers a sweeping view of the San Pedro River which is widely regarded as the corridor that the expedition used on their way north to the mythical Cíbola.
A painting of men on horseback, overlooking a pueblo in the distance

The Seven Cities of Cíbola

A history of the Coronado entrada of 1540 - 1542

A robed priest prays before a wooden cross

People on the Expedition

It wasn't just Coronado and his captains on the journey. Many people made up the expedition - priests, Aztec allies, herders, and many more

A plate of eggs on tortillas with avocado, beans, onion, and tomato

Combining Cultures

Think of Italian food without tomato, Switzerland without chocolate, or Thai cuisine without peppers. These all came from the new world...

Artist rendering of Coronado expedition

The Route of the Coronado Entrada

What route did the Coronado Expedition take from Mexico to Kansas? This scholarly passage tracks the entrada through Sonora and Arizona

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9 minutes, 10 seconds

A brief history of the expedition of which Coronado National Memorial commemorates.

This is the old park film that used to play in the park visitor center. It was created in the 1980s. It is a dated, but the information is (mostly) good.

La versión española está abajo:

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9 minutes, 17 seconds

El video trata sobre la expedición de Francisco Vázquez de Coronado de 1540

Last updated: September 19, 2017

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