Lagoon of Guatavita national park in Colombia
I don’t think many of you have heard about the legend of El Dorado, a spanish legend about a town of gold, so rich, that they could bathe and dress in gold. Well, its sort of true.
The Muiscas, a native group to Colombia, used gold so much, that their new chief (when they got one) was bathed in gold and offered gold sacrifices. And he would also be dressed in gold. I am not going to talk about the muisca religion in this blog post because it involves sex and gender stuff.
When the spanish learned about this town of people, they immediately did 2 things: searched the lagoon for gold, and took all of the gold they could from the town.
The weird thing is this: how come in this region, there is so much gold, but no gold mines? The answer is:trade. The muiscas had LOTS of salt, so they just traded the salt that they had for gold with neighbors from the south (possibly the incas) and to the north (with the Tairona natives). So they just traded their salt.
The lagoon called Guatavita is where the Cacique, as the chieftains were called, bathed.
Another legend says that the lagoon had no depth. It goes on forever. Some people tried to prove that legend wrong, but as soon as they got to 25 meters of depth, they still hadn’t found the bottom to the lagoon.
The lagoon has been emptied for gold three times: two by the spanish, and one by the english. The spanish took about 36,000 pieces of gold.
In 1819, the english, as part as helping the Colombian government in their independence, took lots of gold, and blasted the lagoon, making it significantly smaller.Would you like to go the Lagoon of Guatavita?