El Dorado

South American myth

La Ciudad del Dorado (Spanish for "The City of the Golden One"), otherwise referred to as simply El Dorado ("The Golden One"), is a mythical city in South America. A story of the same name first referred to a deity El Dorado was called after named "El Hombre Dorado" ("The Golden Man"), "El Rey Dorado" ("The Golden King") or "El Dorado" for short. Later, it was used for a city, and in the end, for a whole country. When the Spanish came to South America, they were greedy and tried to find El Dorado.

Legend change

Golden raft of El Dorado, Gold Museum, Bogotá

According to the legend, the new king had to sacrifice things to the sun god. This happened at Lake Guatavita, a small lake near modern-day Bogotá. At night, fires were lit, and the naked torsos of the noblemen were covered in a paste made of gold dust. With the noblemen, the ruler used a raft to navigate to the middle of the lake. There, they sacrificed the valuables, made of gold or precious stones. The king then jumped into the lake, and the gold paste, as well as the other sacrifices went to the bottom of the lake.