Gonzalo Jimenez de Quesado

Spanish Conqueror of the
Chibcha civilization of Columbia

Born: c. 1509

Died: 1579

In 1536 Quesado headed an expedition to search for the legendary riches of El Dorado. They traveled up the Magdalena river, and in 1537, after much hardship, Quesada conquered the Chibcha Indians and called their newly acquired territory ‘New Granada’. Though he did collect some gold and Emeralds, he did not come across any great riches or wealth from the area, compared to that found previously in Mexico and Peru. He founded Santa Fe de Bogota, which later became the capital of Columbia. After a dispute with Sebastian de Belalcazar and Nikolaus Federman in 1539, all three were denied the governorship of New Granada.

In 1569, still in search of the fabled city of El Dorado, Quesada found the Guaviare River during an otherwise worthless mission to explore the upper Orinoco River.

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