Cibola and Quivira - 1722

Two of the the Legendary Seven Cities of Gold

This map illustrates something that Europeans sought during the Age of Exploration: the cities of Cibola and Quivira, two of the legendary Seven Cities of Gold. On this map, Cibola and Quivira are placed in present-day Arizona and Colorado respectively.

Spanish lore has it that when the Moors invaded Spain in the eighth century, seven bishops fled to far away lands to protect treasured religious relics, and founded the cities of Cibola and Quivira. In the years that followed, the legend grew, indicating that each of the seven bishops had founded a city, and that these seven cities enjoyed incredible wealth.

Europeans, the Spanish in particular, actively searched for the Seven Cities of Gold as they began exploring North America. They did so though without an exact understanding of what they were looking for; their knowledge was unreliable, based on misinterpretation, speculation, or outright misinformation. Consequently, Cibola and Quivira are placed in various locations in the American Southwest on certain maps into the early 18th century.