The lost City of the Caesars: the ‘invisible’ land of South AmericaAugust 10, 2018
The City of the Césares, also known as the Enchanted City of Patagonia, or Ciudad Errante, is a mythical and lost city in South America, which is supposed to be somewhere in the Southern Cone (it is said to exist in an Andean valley of Patagonia between Chile and Argentina).
The City of the Caesar was like Atlantis, Lemuria and Mu among others, a city that many explorers and adventurers were looking for. Although it only exists in legends, many people set out to search for this lost land during the colonization of South America. Those who set off in search of the city never found evidence that it ever existed, although reports of its existence circulated for more than two hundred years.
In 1766, a Jesuit, Father José García Alsue, explored the area now part of the Queulat National Park in the Region of Aysén, Chile, unsuccessfully seeking the City of Caesars. Stories about the city say it was full of incredible riches. The different versions emit different timelines and fundamental stories. Some say it was founded by Spaniards (shipwrecked or exiled) and / or by the Inca mitimaes; and that it was full of riches, mainly gold and silver. Its location, a mystery wrapped in more mystery.
At least one of the many descriptions indicates that the mysterious city was located between two mountains, somewhere in the mountains of the Andes, one of gold and one of diamonds. According to popular belief, the city remains to this day, surrounded by an impenetrable fog that keeps it hidden from the eyes of travelers, explorers and anyone looking to find it. It is said that he will remain hidden until the end of the times when he will appear revealing his presence to the unbelievers and skeptics.
One of the most popular legends about the City of the Caesars is based mainly on the merger of four independent stories. The first reference about its existence appears with the expedition carried out by Captain Francisco César in 1528, within the framework of a great advance directed by Sebastián Gaboto in search of the legendary Sierra de la Plata. Gaboto had left the old continent in 1526 with the original mission of reaching the Moluccas, crossing the Strait of Magellan. However, during its stopover in Pernambuco (Brazil), the expedition heard the first versions of a rich land in the interior of South America that could be accessed through a large estuary located further south.
GOLD AND INCALCULABLE RICHES, WHICH LED EXPLORERS TO MADNESS
In Santa Catarina, Gaboto got in touch with Melchor Ramírez and Enrique Montes, wrecked of the expedition of Juan Díaz de Solís to the Río de la Plata in 1516. They confirmed the rumors and showed Gaboto a quantity of precious metals. Ramirez and Montes talked about the saga of Alejo Garcia, another shipwrecked Solis expedition that supposedly had ventured into the depths of the continent to the lands of the White King (Inca Empire), where the alleged Sierra de la Plata (Cerro Rico de Potosí) was located.
According to this story, Garcia had found great riches in the current Bolivian altiplano, although he eventually ended up being killed by the Payaguas Indians on their way back to the Atlantic coast. All these stories (and precious metals) convinced Gaboto to abandon the original mission in search of the promising South American riches of the Sierra de la Plata. It is worth mentioning that by then the Spanish were unaware of the existence of the Inca Empire, which would only be discovered by Francisco Pizarro in 1528.
Discovering the impossible
When Gaboto entered the Río de la Plata, the expedition contacted a man named Francisco del Puerto, the only survivor of the crew who had set foot on solid ground with Solís in 1516. Del Puerto, who had established a link with the Indians, he confirmed the rumors about Sierra de la Plata and joined the Spanish advance as a guide and interpreter.
Upstream, at the junction of the Paraná with the Carcaraña rivers, Gaboto decided to erect the fort of Sancti Spiritu (1527), becoming the first European settlement in the Rio de la Plata basin that would serve as the basis for the conquest of the region. Sebastian Gaboto’s expedition to the Sierra de la Plata suffered its first setbacks when, at the height of the Paraguay River, the force of the river current prevented the expedition from continuing its journey. Finally, it was decided to send an advance under the command of Miguel de Rifos who was ambushed by the Indians at the height of the Pilcomayo River.
Faced with insoluble setbacks, Gaboto decided to return to Sancti Spiritu to reorganize his forces. While preparations were being made to return to the Paraná River to the north, Captain Francisco César requested and obtained authorization to conduct his own exploration, together with a few men, and traveled from Sancti Spiritu to the west, a trip that would mark the beginning of the Legend of the City of the Caesars. Finally, soon after, the natives of the region ended up destroying the Spanish fort, forcing Gaboto to accept his defeat and travel back to Spain.
Besides the fact that they learned about many legends that speak of innumerable riches in the southern lands, the expedition led by Gaboto served mainly to consolidate the legend of the Sierra de la Plata in Europe, as well as to consolidate the rumor that in some part, near there, there was a lost city full of riches known as the City of the Caesars. The myth of the City of the Caesars, similar to that of El Dorado and other legendary lost cities of South America, has been the subject of inspiration for literary works.
When several stories come together as one
Over the years, these different stories merged into one that featured fantastic elements of the European tradition. The mythical was recognized among many as an extremely rich city in which its inhabitants (who were called the Caesars) were descendants of Spaniards and natives (who accompanied their Spanish ancestors); who together founded this mythical city in an unknown place. Therefore, the fusion of several stories about a mythical city finally resulted in a legend of the mythical city located in an unknown area hidden in the cordilleran valley of Patagonia between Chile and Argentina.
This is how the legend of the mythical City of the Caesars would become part of the mythology of South America, and also give rise to other cities with countless riches such as “El Dorado” and “Paititi” … What do you think? Leave your comment below!