Get swept away to these legendary locales on your next city break!
The Lost City of Gold
Where: Lake Guatavita, Bogota, Columbia
When: 13th-16th century
The Legend: “Local people told tales of a rich king who plastered his body with gold dust and then dived into a sacred lake to wash it off. Afterward, he would toss gold into the lake as an offering to the gods. The Spanish called the king El Dorado—The Gilded One—because his body was gilded, or covered, in gold. As the tale spread, the city he ruled came to be called El Dorado. Eventually, the meaning of the name changed to include any mythical region that contained great riches”. – (from Myth Encyclopedia)
The Forgotten Continent
Where: Indian and Pacific Oceans
When: 4,500,000BC – 12,000BC
The Legend: “In our journey westward across the Atlantic we shall pass in sight of that spot where once existed the pride and life of the ocean, the Land of Mu, which, at the epoch that we have been considering, had not yet been visited by the wrath of Human, that lord of volcanic fires to whose fury it afterward fell a victim. The description of that land given to Solon by Sonchis, priest at Sais; its destruction by earthquakes, and submergence, recorded by Plato in hisTimaeus, have been told and retold so many times that it is useless to encumber these pages with a repetition of it”. – (from Queen M’oo and the Egyptian Sphinx)
The Legendary Shangri-La
Where: Somewhere in Inner Asia
The Legend: “Shambhala, which is a Sanskrit word meaning “place of peace” or “place of silence”, is a mythical paradise spoken of in ancient texts, including the Kalachakra Tantra and the ancient scriptures of the Zhang Zhung culture which predated Tibetan Buddhism in western Tibet. According to legend, it is a land where only the pure of heart can live, a place where love and wisdom reigns and where people are immune to suffering, want or old age.
Shambhala is said to be the land of a thousand names. It has been called the Forbidden Land, the Land of White Waters, Land of Radiant Spirits, Land of Living Fire, Land of the Living Gods and Land of Wonders. The Hindus call it Aryavartha (‘The Land of the Worthy Ones); the Chinese know it as Hsi Tien, the Western Paradise of Hsi Wang Mu; and to the Russian Old Believers, it is known as Belovoyde. But throughout Asia, it is best known by its Sanskrit name, Shambhala, Shamballa, or Shangri-la”. – (from Ancient Origins)
The Lost Island
Where: Atlantic Ocean
When: 9,600 B.C.
The Legend: “Atlantis, a likely mythical island nation mentioned in Plato’s dialogues “Timaeus” and “Critias,” has been an object of fascination among western philosophers and historians for nearly 2,400 years. Plato (c.424–328 B.C.) describes it as a powerful and advanced kingdom that sank, in a night and a day, into the ocean around 9,600 B.C. The ancient Greeks were divided as to whether Plato’s story was to be taken as history or mere metaphor. Since the 19th century there has been renewed interest in linking Plato’s Atlantis to historical locations, most commonly the Greek island of Santorini, which was destroyed by a volcanic eruption around 1,600 B.C.” – (from History)
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