Coronado National Memorial commemorates Francisco Vasquez de Coronado's Spanish expedition to the Americas to find gold.
It also interprets the significance of Coronado's expedition and the resulting cultural influences of 16th century Spanish colonial exploration in the Americas.
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".
On January 6, 1540, the Spanish government commissioned Francisco Vasquez de Coronado to command an expedition to find the rumored seven "large cities, with streets lined with goldsmith shops, houses of many stories, and doorways studded with emeralds and turquoise!"
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