Five Legendary Lost Cities that have Never Been Found

Five Legendary Lost Cities that have Never Been Found

We are searching data for your request:

Forums and discussions:
Manuals and reference books:
Data from registers:
Wait the end of the search in all databases.
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.

The story of Atlantis is one of the most renowned and enduring tales of a lost city, said to have been swallowed up by the sea and lost forever. Yet, the story of Atlantis is not unique, as other cultures have similar legends of landmasses and cities that have disappeared under the waves, been lost beneath desert sands, or buried beneath centuries of vegetation. From the ancient homeland of the Aztecs, to jungle cities of gold and riches, we examine five legendary lost cities that have never been found.

Percy Fawcett and the Lost City of Z

Since Europeans first arrived in the New World, there have been stories of a legendary jungle city of gold, sometimes referred to as El Dorado. Spanish Conquistador, Francisco de Orellana was the first to venture along the Rio Negro in search of this fabled city. In 1925, at the age of 58, explorer Percy Fawcett headed into the jungles of Brazil to find a mysterious lost city he called “Z”. He and his team would vanish without a trace and the story would turn out be one of the biggest news stories of his day. Despite countless rescue missions, Fawcett was never found.

In 1906, the Royal Geographical Society, a British organization that sponsors scientific expeditions, invited Fawcett to survey part of the frontier between Brazil and Bolivia. He spent 18 months in the Mato Grosso area and it was during his various expeditions that Fawcett became obsessed with the idea of lost civilizations in this area. In 1920, Fawcett came across a document in the National Library of Rio De Janeiro called Manuscript 512. It was written by a Portuguese explorer in 1753, who claimed to have found a walled city deep in the Mato Grosso region of the Amazon rainforest, reminiscent of ancient Greece. The manuscript described a lost, silver laden city with multi-storied buildings, soaring stone arches, wide streets leading down towards a lake on which the explorer had seen two white Indians in a canoe. Fawcett called this the Lost City of Z.

In 1921, Fawcett set out on his first of many expeditions to find the Lost City of Z, but his team were frequently hindered by the hardships of the jungle, dangerous animals, and rampant diseases. Percy’s final search for Z culminated in his complete disappearance. In April 1925, he attempted one last time to find Z, this time better equipped and better financed by newspapers and societies including the Royal Geographic Society and the Rockefellers. In his final letter home, sent back via a team member, Fawcett sent a message to his wife Nina and proclaimed “We hope to get through this region in a few days.... You need have no fear of any failure.” It was to be the last anyone would ever hear from them again.

While Fawcett’s lost city of Z has never been found, numerous ancient cities and remains of religious sites have been uncovered in recent years in the jungles of Guatemala, Brazil, Bolivia and Honduras. With the advent of new scanning technology, it is possible that an ancient city that spurred the legends of Z, may one day be found.

The Lost City of Aztlan – Legendary Homeland of the Aztecs

The Aztec people of Mexico created one of the most powerful empires of the ancient Americas. While much is known about their empire located where today’s Mexico City can be found, less is known about the very start of the Aztec culture. Many consider the missing island of Aztlan to be the ancient homeland where the Aztec people began to form as a civilization prior to their migration to the Valley of Mexico. Some believe it is a mythical land, similar to Atlantis or Camelot, which will live on through legend but will never be found in physical existence. Others believe it to be a true, physical location that will someday be identified. Searches for the land of Aztlan have spanned from Western Mexico, all the way to the deserts of Utah, in hopes of finding the legendary island. However, these searches have been fruitless, as the location – and existence – of Aztlan remain a mystery.

The formation of civilization at Aztlan comes from legend. According to Nahuatl legend, there were seven tribes that once lived at Chicomoztoc – “the place of the seven caves.” These tribes represented the seven Nahua groups: Acolhua, Chalca, Mexica, Tepaneca, Tlahuica, Tlaxcalan, and Xochimilca (different sources provide variations on the names of the seven groups). The seven groups, being of similar linguistic groups, left their respective caves and settled as one group near Aztlan.

The word Aztlan means “the land to the north; the land from whence we, the Aztecs, came.” It is said that eventually, the people who inhabited Aztlan became known as the Aztecs, who then migrated from Aztlan to the Valley of Mexico. The Aztec migration from Aztlan to Tenochtitlán is a very important piece of Aztec history. It began on May 24, 1064, which was the first Aztec solar year.

To this day, the actual existence of an island known as Aztlan has not been confirmed. Many have searched for the land, in hopes of having a better understanding of where the Aztecs came from, and perhaps a better understanding of ancient Mexican history. However, like other lost cities, it is not clear whether Aztlan will ever be found.

The Lost Land of Lyonesse – Legendary City on the Bottom of the Sea

In Arthurian legend, Lyonesse is the home country of Tristan, from the legendary story of Tristan and Iseult. The mythical land of Lyonesse is now referred to as the “Lost Land of Lyonesse,” as it is ultimately said to have sunk into the sea. However, the legendary tale of Tristan and Iseult shows that Lyonesse is known for more than sinking into the ocean, and that it had a legendary presence while it remained above ground. While Lyonesse is mostly referred to in stories of legend and myth, there is some belief that it represents a very real city that sunk into the sea many years ago. With such a legendary location, it can be difficult to ascertain where the legend ends and reality begins.

There are some variations in the legends that surround the sinking of the land. Prior to its sinking, Lyonesse would have been quite large, containing one hundred and forty villages and churches. Lyonesse is said to have disappeared on November 11, 1099 (although some tales use the year 1089, and some date back to the 6th century). Very suddenly the land was flooded by the sea. Entire villages were swallowed, and the people and animals of the area drowned. Once it was covered in water, the land never reemerged. While the Arthurian tales are legendary, there is some belief that Lyonesse was once a very real place attached to the Scilly Isles in Cornwall, England. Evidence shows that sea levels were considerably lower in the past, so it is very possible that an area that once contained a human settlement above-ground is now beneath the sea level. Indeed, fisherman near the Scilly Isles tell tales of retrieving pieces of buildings and other structures from their fishing nets. These stories have never been substantiated, and are viewed by some as tall tales.

From the legendary tales of Tristan and Iseult, to Arthur’s final battle with Mordred, to the stories of a city being swallowed by the sea, the tales of Lyonesse invoke a vast array of thoughts and emotions by those who wish to know more about this legendary city, and who like to believe that it’s legendary tales are founded upon a very real lost city.

The Search for El Dorado – Lost City of Gold

For hundreds of years, treasure hunters and historians alike have searched for El Dorado, the lost city of gold. The idea of a city filled with gold and other riches has a natural appeal, drawing the attention of individuals from all over the world in hopes of discovering the ultimate treasure, and an ancient wonder. In spite of numerous expeditions around all of Latin America, the city of gold remains a legend, with no physical evidence to substantiate its existence.

The origins of El Dorado come from legendary tales of the Muisca tribe. Following two migrations – one in 1270 BC and one between 800 and 500 BC, the Muisca tribe occupied the Cundinamarca and Boyacá areas of Colombia. According to legend, as written in Juan Rodriguez Freyle’s “El Carnero,” the Muisca practiced a ritual for every newly appointed king that involved gold dust and other precious treasures.

When a new leader was appointed, many rituals would take place before he took his role as king. During one of these rituals, the new king would be brought to Lake Guatavita, where he would be stripped naked, and covered in gold dust. He would be placed upon a highly decorated raft, along with his attendants, and piles of gold and precious stones. The raft would be sent out to the center of the lake, where the king would wash the gold dust from his body, as his attendants would throw the pieces of gold and precious stones into the lake. This ritual was intended as a sacrifice to the Muisca's god. To the Muisca, “El Dorado” was not a city, but the king at the center of this ritual, also called “the Gilded One.” While El Dorado is meant to refer to the Gilded One, the name has now become synonymous with the lost city of gold, and any other place where one can quickly obtain wealth.

In 1545, Conquistadores Lázaro Fonte and Hernán Perez de Quesada attempted to drain Lake Guatavita. As they did so, they found gold along its shores, fueling their suspicion that the lake contained a treasure of riches. They worked for three months, with workers forming a bucket chain, but they were unable to drain the lake sufficiently to reach any treasures deep within the lake. In 1580, another attempt to drain the lake was made by business entrepreneur Antonio de Sepúlveda. Once again, various pieces of gold were found along the shores, but the treasure at the depths of the lake remained concealed. Other searches were conducted on Lake Guatavita, with estimates that the lake could contain up to $300 million in gold, with no luck in finding the treasures. All searches came to a halt when the Colombian government declared the lake a protected area in 1965. Nonetheless, the search for El Dorado continues, even without the ability to search Lake Guatavita. The legends of the Muisca tribe, the Gilded One and their ritualistic sacrifice of treasures have transformed over time into today’s tale of El Dorado, lost city of gold.

The Lost Desert Cities of Dubai: The Hidden History

Dubai cultivates an ultra-modern image of dazzling architecture and effortless wealth. Yet its deserts conceal forgotten cities and a hidden history which reveal how its early inhabitants adapted and overcame dramatic past climate change.

One of the most famous lost cities of Arabia – tantalizingly so because historians have known it existed from written records but simply could not find it – is the medieval city of Julfar. Home to the legendary Arabian seafarer Ahmed ibn Majid, as well as allegedly to the fictional Sindbad the Sailor, Julfar thrived for a thousand years before falling into ruin and disappearing from human memory for almost two centuries. Unlike other desert cities, Julfar was a thriving port, in fact the hub of southern Gulf Arabic trade in the Middle Ages.

Julfar was known to be somewhere on the Persian Gulf coast north of Dubai, but the actual site was only found by archaeologists in the 1960s. The earliest signs of settlement found on the site date from the 6th century, by which time its inhabitants were already trading as far afield as India and the Far East on a routine basis.

The 10th to 14th centuries were a golden age for Julfar and for long-distance Arab trading and seafaring, with Arab navigators routinely traveling halfway around the world. Arabs had sailed into European waters long before Europeans succeeded in navigating through the Indian Ocean and into the Persian Gulf, for instance. As the main base for these voyages and trade, Julfar was the largest and most important city in the southern Gulf for over a thousand years. Arab merchants routinely made the mammoth eighteen-month sea voyage as far as China, and traded almost everything imaginable.

Such a valuable commercial centre attracted constant attention from rival powers though. The Portuguese took control in the 16th century, by which time Julfar was a substantial city of around 70,000 people. A century later the Persians seized it, only to lose it in 1750 to the Qawasim tribe from Sharjah who established themselves next-door at Ras al-Khaimah, which they continue to rule to this day, leaving the old Julfar to gradually decay until its ruins became forgotten amongst the coastal sand dunes. Today most of Julfar in all likelihood remains still hidden beneath the sprawling dunes north of Ras al-Khaimah.” – courtesy David Millar

By: Joanna Gillan

Video: 5 Legendary ‘Lost’ Cities That Might Actually Be Real

As a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, this site may earn from qualifying purchases. We may also earn commissions on purchases from other retail websites.

A great video which examines 5 deeply discussed locations of lost and forgotten cities. ‘Shambala,’ ‘Lost City of Z,’ ‘White City’ or ‘Lost City of the Monkey God’… were these ancient sites only a legend? Or is it possible that they existed in the distant past?

Mainstream history is filled with incredible stories of lost cities and forgotten civilizations that existed before written history. However, are these civilizations and mighty empires product of myth and legends? Or is there a possibility that some of them might have actually existed on Earth?

For centuries, archaeologists around the world have searched for these lost empires and civilizations around the globe, from South America, Central America, Africa to Asia. Numerous tales speak of lost cities that bear exotic names such as ‘Shambala,’ ‘Atlantis,’ ‘Lemuria,’ ‘El Dorado’ and the ‘City of the Monkey God’ among many others.

For centuries, tales of these lost empires have been dismissed as mythology by mainstream scholars, but in recent decades, there are many indications which suggest that their existence might not be just folklore.

In the last decade alone, so many archaeological discoveries have been made that we are forced to start rewriting our history books. The discovery of the ancient city of Heraklion (submerged off the coast of modern-day Egypt) proves alone that many ‘mythological’ cities of the past have turned out to be a reality.

However, similar discoveries go back hundreds of years. According to historians, the Kingdom of Saguenay was revealed to French colonial forces by captured Iroquois chief who spoke of a city in modern-day Canada ruled by extremely wealthy Nordic-like people. This story was believed to be a lie, fabricated by the imprisoned Native America. However, in 1960 researchers discovered a Viking settlement in Newfoundland, which according to analysis, was constructed some 500 years before Columbus ‘discovered’ the continent. The finding of 1960 proved that the stories of Native Americans were correct.

Numerous tales speak of lost cities that bear exotic names such as ‘Shambala,’ ‘Atlantis,’ ‘Lemuria,’ ‘El Dorado’ and the ‘City of the Monkey God’ among many others. Image Credit

However, as we mentioned previously, a significant number of lost cities and cultures are beginning to resurface from the shadows, mainly thanks to the technology of the 21st century.

The ‘Lost City of Z’ is another ‘mythical’ city said to exist somewhere in the vast regions of the Amazon. Not long ago, satellite images revealed mysterious and previously unknown structures that started emerging, —mainly due to deforestation— on the border between Brazil and Bolivia.

Recently another +lost civilization’ has been discovered in the Honduran jungle. Currently, researchers are excavating the archaeological site with earthen pyramids, plazas, and a cache of stone artifacts located in the remote Mosquitia region in eastern Honduras. Researchers have even considered the possibility that this archaeological site might be connected to the ‘White City’ or ‘Lost City of the Monkey God.’

However, many more incredible sites on our planet are waiting to be discovered and studied by archaeologists. Many of them will offer insight into lost periods of our history, piece together our gigantic puzzle mainstream scholars refer to as modern history.

The following video created by YouTube user Dark5 looks at five deeply-discussed locations and examines whether or not there are more mysteries waiting to be uncovered, that will help us piece together our past and understand the true origin of our civilization.

5 Lost Legendary Cities That Have Never Been Found

As a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, this site may earn from qualifying purchases. We may also earn commissions on purchases from other retail websites.

Who doesn’t love a good adventure story? And who doesn’t love Indiana Jones Movies, right? And wouldn’t’ it be awesome to find Atlantis one day?

Despite the fact that Atlantis may be one of the most well-known ‘lost’ ancient cities, there are many other places as mysterious and stunning as Atlantis.

In this article, I invite to join me as we explore five of lost legendary ancient cities that have eluded experts for centuries.

The Lost City of Z

In April of 1925 when Percy Fawcett, a British explorer, and archaeologist, was introduced to an adventure in the Brazilian jungle from which he would never return.

Fawcett set out to find a lost city, which he named Z, somewhere in Mato Grosso, Brazil.

Fawcett never returned from the trip, and nothing was heard from him or his companions who from Cuiabá went to Alto Xingu, a southeastern tributary of the Amazon River.

The source on which he built the dream of finding a legendary city in the Brazilian jungle, a kind of El Dorado, was Manuscript 512 housed at the National Library of Rio de Janeiro.

Manuscript 512 was a document written by a Portuguese explorer in 1753 in which he had discovered a walled city in the confines of the Mato Grosso region reminiscent of design to cities of Ancient Greece.

It was not the first time that Fawcett embarked on an expedition to find the Lost City of Z but this was his definitive one.

To date, just as Atlantis, the Legendary Lost City of Z remains a profound mystery, and many experts argue it only exists in legend.

More than just a lost city, Shambala is to be a powerful kingdom.

Sometimes called Shangri-La, Shambala holds an important place in both Hindu and Tibetan Buddhist Traditions.

The kingdom is said to be laid out in precisely the same form as an eight-petalled lotus blossom enclosed by a series of snow mountains. At the center lies the palace of the King of Shambala who governed from the city called Kalapa. Shambhala is also often-called Shangri-La in some texts.

Hindu texts such as the Vishnu Purana (4.24) mention the village Shambhala as the birthplace of Kalki, the final incarnation of Vishnu, who will usher in a new Golden Age (Satya Yuga).

Fall of the ancients – Bluesky images. Image Credit: Leon Tukker. Posted with Permission.

The legendary home place of one of the most prominent ancient civilizations from the American Continent, the Aztecs, has never been found.

Aztlan is like an American Atlantis, and some authors have even ventured out and said it might be the Atlantis we are looking for.

Aztlan was the homeland of the Aztecs, from where they left to build their mighty empire with capital in what is now Mexico City.

According to different theories, this lost city is located somewhere in North America, with some authors claiming that Aztlan existed in modern-day Utah.

Aztlan, whose name means “the land to the North” or ‘the place of whiteness,’ has never been found. But the Annals of Tlatelolco place the migration of the Aztecs from Aztlan to Tenochtitlan on May 24, 1064, the first year of the Aztec solar calendar.

The Lost City of El Dorado

After Atlantis, I think the legend of El Dorado is one of the best known today.

In fact, the search for the lost city of gold was what motivated many Conquistadores to travel thousands of kilometers through inhospitable terrains in South America, searching for a city that according to accounts, was made entirely of Gold.

The myth of El Dorado was associated with a ruler who bathed in gold every morning and washed at night in a sacred lake, the lake of Guatavita, in which all wealth was deposited.

Although in reality the myth was actually a ceremony of the Colombian Muisca people, carried out since ancient times.

In 1541 Francisco de Orellana was the first European conqueror to cross the Amazon River, flogged by the search for El Dorado.

Later, Sir Walter Raleigh, in 1594, left for the first time in his search and in two of his trips he failed.

No one has found the legendary city, and, just as Atlantis and Aztlan, many believe it is nothing more than a Myth.

Image Credit: Leon Tukker. Posted with permission.

Camelot is the name of the fortress and kingdom of the legendary King Arthur, from where he fought many of the battles that marked his life.

Just as with other famous cities and places, the exact location of Camelot remains a mystery, and many scholars have argued that Camelot is entirely a work of fiction, and not real.

The stories locate it somewhere in Great Britain and sometimes associate it with real cities, although its exact location is not revealed.

The city was introduced for the first time in French romances of the twelfth century. Arthur’s court at Camelot is mentioned for the first time in Chrétien’s poem Lancelot, the Knight of the Cart, dating to the 1170s, though it does not appear in all the manuscripts.

Camelot eventually came to be described as the fantastic capital of Arthur’s realm and a symbol of the Arthurian world.

Since the location of Camelot remains a mystery, the truth about it, if it existed, remains an enigma.

Featured image credit: Leon Tukker. Posted with Permission.

Top 10 Legendary Lost Worlds

For millennia, travelers have told tales of fabulous lost worlds, and legends of hidden kingdoms. Many of these stories survive to this day. The first tales of unbelievable excursions to never before seen kingdoms and civilizations developed in an era when much was unknown, and all things seemed possible. From Plato&rsquos story of Atlantis, to Mandeville&rsquos tales of dog-headed men, the societies who ingested these legends found no good reasons to doubt their truth.

Even when Gulliver&rsquos Travels was published in 1726, many parts of the world &ndash such as Australia, Africa, South America and much of Asia &ndash remained partly uncharted. As late as the mid-nineteenth century, &ldquolost world&rdquo romances exploded via the tales of Jules Verne, H. Rider Haggard, Arthur Conan Doyle and H. G. Wells &ndash even as it became clear that the locations in their stories never existed. Today, sadly, the allure of these romances have faded &ndash but the attractive pull of these legends, though dormant, remains in our hearts and our collective psyche, ready to draw another generation towards a life of adventure.

Lemuria, or Mu, is a continent said to have been swallowed by the sea, and to now lie under the Indian or Pacific Ocean. The famous Theosophist Madame Blavatsky claimed that the Lemurians were ape-like giants that had the gift of telepathy. In a book called &ldquoThe Lost Continent of Mu&rdquo, one writer claimed that all of mankind has its origins in Mu, which once extended from Hawaii to Easter Island and Fiji. Supposedly, it was completely destroyed 12,000 years ago by an enormous earthquake, and sank into the sea.

Today, the Stelle group in the USA claims to be descended from the Lemurians. According to this group, the Lemurians escaped from earth following the catastrophe, and they have since been guiding the destinies of chosen groups such as themselves.

The 16th century Spanish conquistadores searched the North Americas for the legendary seven Cities of Cibola &ndash fabled for their wealth and brilliance. Cibola was possibly related to Aztlan, the land of seven caves from which the Aztecs reportedly emigrated to Mexico. Antonio de Mendoza, Viceroy of New Spain, sent the first expedition to find these lost cities in 1539, after a certain friar claimed to have glimpsed them on the horizon.

In 1540, a second expeditionary force was sent, under the command of Francisco de Coronado. Encountering the Hopi people, the Spaniards were told that the tribe had for centuries been awaiting the return of the White Brother, Pahana. The group of Spaniards explored as far as Texas, but could not find any of the fabled, golden cities. This legend is comparable to the one of El Dorado.

&ldquoShambala&rdquo is the Sanskrit name for a mystical land, located between snowy mountains, with a golden city at its centre. It has been sought nearly everywhere. From the Gobi Desert to Tibet, Afghanistan to the Kun Lun Mountains of China, explorers have scoured &ndash but in vain. Expeditions have sometimes disappeared without a trace. Apparently, one can fly over Shambala in an aircraft and still miss it, as its frontiers are carefully guarded and protected from being seen.

In 1928, Nicholas Roerich, the designer of Stravinsky&rsquos Rite of Spring ballet, was told by a lama that Shambala belongs to another dimension, and that only those who are spiritually prepared will be able to find it &ndash as it is lost, and found, entirely in the mind. Roerich also met a mysterious lama on the Darjeeling-Ghum road in India, and was later told by monks that this lama hailed from Shambala.

Legends tell us that Agharti is an underground world, linked to the four corners of the earth via an intricate tunnel-network. Describing a land inhabited by peace-loving and gentle people, who try to alleviate the exuberance of the people living above-ground, the myth appears to be very old.

Plato spoke of broad and narrow tunnels located underneath the earth, governed by a marvelous ruler who sits at the earth&rsquos centre. A few hundred years later, Pliny mentioned people who fled underground after Atlantis was ruined. Some esoteric traditionalists still claim that Agharti really exists. According to these believers, the Atlanteans fled to Asia, where they tunneled under the Himalayas, waiting patiently for the day when they might once again emerge to rule the world.

Europeans nurtured a long-held fascination over a mythical country, said to be located somewhere over the impassable Western Ocean. An Irish legend tells us of Hy-Brasil, an island covered in mist, which can only be seen once every seven years &ndash but never reached. Expeditions left Bristol in the 1480s, but they always came back without proof of the fabled island.

In 1674, a captain by the name of John Nisbet claimed that he had seen the island during a journey between Ireland and France. He stated that the island was inhabited by large black rabbits, and a magician who lived in a stone castle. In recent times, however, it has been suggested that Hy-Brasil is actually Porcupine Bank, a shoal that actually exists, and can be found 200 kilometers west of Ireland.

The home of Sir Tristan, one of King Arthur&rsquos fabled round table knights, Lyonesse is a country in Arthurian legend said to be located close to Cornwall &ndash although its exact location has never been specified. It is said to have sunk beneath the sea, just like the city of Ys according to Celtic tales. Lord Tennyson described Lyonesse as the site of Arthur&rsquos final battle, in which he was mortally wounded.

As the legend of Lyonesse&rsquos sinking appears both in Cornish and Breton mythology, it has been suggested that the story represents an extraordinary example of folk memory and the tradition of oral history it is thought that the story might have its origins in the historical flooding of the Isles of Sicily and Mount&rsquos Bay, near Penzance. Today, Lyonesse is firmly rooted to Cornwall&rsquos traditions, so linking it to the Isles of Scilly seems the most logical step. Around the mainland, one can still find the fossilized remains an ancient forest, where beech trees still bearing nuts can also be found.

Cantre&rsquor Gwaelod &ndash the Welsh Atlantis &ndash is a legendary ancient sunken kingdom said to have been located in the area between Ramsey Island and Bardsley Island, to the west of Wales. This kingdom features in folklore, literature, and song, and is believed to lie beneath the waters of Cardigan Bay. The most popular myth states that the land was fortified against the sea by a dyke. A prince called Seithenyn, described as a drunkard and a womanizer, was in charge of the dyke, and due to his negligence the sea swept through the gates and ruined the land. Even though there is no reliable physical evidence that Cantre&rsquor Gwaelod lies under the bay, there have been several reported sightings of sunken human habitations, stone walls and causeways.

When the Spanish invaded Mexico in the 16th century, they heard rumor of a fabulous city paved with gold, ruled over by a priest-king called El-Dorado, or the Gilded King, whose body was said to be covered with powdered gold. Francisco Pizarro invaded Peru, and famously overwhelmed the Inca civilization with a series of murders, deceits, and dishonesties. He did find some gold in the end, but it did him no good &ndash he was assassinated in 1541.

Even though there are some facts supporting this legend, no actual proof exists of &ldquothe&rdquo El Dorado, and in later years it settled into mythical tradition as a place in the Americas where a city of gold lay. Centuries later, the New World was still being plundered, and its inhabitants murdered, as the Europeans continued their search for the fabled city. Even today, many still believe that the city exists, waiting to be found by the right adventurer at the right time.

Most researchers believe Avalon was derived from the Welsh word afal, meaning apple. It is a legendary island, the place where King Arthur&rsquos sword Excalibur (Caliburnus) was forged, and where Arthur was later taken after the Battle of Camlann to recuperate. In Welsh, Cornish and Breton legends, Arthur never died &ndash and according to these traditions, he will return to lead his people once again. Avalon became associated with Glastonbury in 1190, when monks at Glastonbury Abbey claimed to have found the remains of Arthur and his queen. The writings of Gerald of Wales claimed that Glastonbury was in ancient times called the Isle of Avalon. Centuries ago, the area was also called Ynys Gutrin, which in Welsh means &ldquoIsland of Glass&rdquo &ndash and from these words, the invading Saxons later provided us with the place-name &lsquoGlastingebury&rsquo.

Perhaps the most famous lost city on this list, we all know of Atlantis&rsquos demise 10,000 years ago, destroyed in one night by earthquakes and a flood. Several researchers claim that Atlantis really existed &ndash that the empire embraced parts of Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas. Others firmly believe the Atlantean survivors were responsible for the construction of Stonehenge and the pyramids. According to Plato, Atlantis was ruled by ten kings the royal palace had hot and cold running water and the largest temple on the central island was dedicated to Poseidon and Cleito.

Most believers claim that proof lies in the island Antilia, which can be seen on 15th century Portuguese charts &ndash supposedly the actual Atlantis that disappeared beneath the sea. Others believe that Plato mythologized what was actually a real event: that the historical eruption of Thera, which destroyed the Minoan culture of Crete, is the genuine basis for the Atlantis myth. Since each researcher firmly holds on to their own theory, all we can hope to do is study the material on the subject, and come to our own conclusions about this riveting topic &ndash until Atlantis itself is found.

10 Legendary Lost Cities That Have Actually Been Found

There are many tales of lost cities and forgotten civilizations. Everyone knows the story of Atlantis – the advanced civilization that disappeared in the ocean. But not everyone is aware of the similar legends other cultures tell of their own lost cities – ones that were buried under the desert sand, or overgrown by dense vegetation in the jungle. While many of these stories were considered fiction, an increasing number of archeological discoveries have revealed these legends were more than mere myths- leaving us wondering how many more lost cities might just be awaiting discovery. We may never find the underwater grave of Atlantis, the golden streets of El Dorado, or the peaceful mountains of Shangri-La, but we have found the following 10 lost cities. Starting the countdown with number 10, here are the most spectacular lost cities archaeologists have uncovered.

5. Bonhomme Richard

Bonhomme Richard battling Serapis.

Few Continental Navy ships chalked up a more distinguished combat record than Bonhomme Richard. A French donation to the Patriot cause, the aging frigate set sail in 1779 under Captain John Paul Jones and proceeded to capture 16 British vessels in a matter of weeks. On September 23, it squared off against the HMS Serapis in a ferocious battle off the northeast coast of England. Brushing off an early call to surrender with the immortal words “I have not yet begun to fight,” Jones rallied his men and successfully captured Serapis after several hours of combat. Unfortunately, his victory came too late for Bonhomme Richard, which had caught fire during the exchange and taken several shots below its waterline. After spending 36 hours trying to keep it afloat, Jones and his crew reluctantly abandoned the ship and let it sink in the choppy waters of the North Sea. Its wreckage has since become the target of expeditions by everyone from British locals to professional salvage companies, the U.S. Navy and even author and adventurer Clive Cussler. A few of the teams have found wrecks matching the Bonhomme Richard’s description, but none of them has yet been positively identified as the missing ship.

FACT CHECK: We strive for accuracy and fairness. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us! HISTORY reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it is complete and accurate.

The 5 Legendary “Lost Cities” That Remain Lost

There are few things in human history more fascinating than lost civilizations—ghost-like imprints of human cities and past lives that have inspired the minds of explorers for centuries. Here are five of the most legendary lost cities to spark your imagination.


Atlantis was first referenced by Greek philosopher Plato in 260 BC and has since become the most famous of lost cities. The island is believed to be the former home to a powerful and technologically advanced kingdom. According to Plato, the entire region was devastated “one terrible night of fire and earthquakes” sometime around 9,600 BC.

Despite countless expeditions to find Atlantis, no explorer has been able to prove (or disprove!) its existence. The closest we’ve come was a discovery by Canadian-Israeli journalist Simcha Jacobovici, who used clues in Plato’s writings and advanced technology to scour the sea floors. In his search, he found six bronze-age stone anchors in the Strait of Gibraltar—signs of some kind of major trading civilization 4,000 years ago.

Lost City of Z

In 1925, a three-man team led by British surveyor Col. Percy Harrison Fawcett set out on an expedition through the jungles of Mato Grosso, Brazil in hopes of finding what he called “The Lost City of Z.” Many believe the city was based on legends surrounding Kuhikugu. Sadly, the three men were never seen again and the decades since, more than 100 people have either died or vanished in a similar fate.

El Dorado

The legend of the golden city first surfaced in the 16th century—a time when Europeans were obsessed with the riches rumored to be in South America. It was rumored that El Dorado, a kingdom of gold, existed high in the Andes mountains. Though dozens of people have attempted to find the lost city, it remains a hopeful legend.

The Kingdom of Lyonesse

The Kingdom of Lyonesse

According to legend, the kingdom of Lyonesse existed in Britain’s Isles of Scilly until it was engulfed by the ocean of the course of a single day. There is speculation that the 140 islands that exist today are just leftover hilltops of a lost world. According to 14th-century author William of Worcester, the lost kingdom contained “woods and fields and 140 parochial churches, all now submerged, between the Mount and the Isles of Scilly.”

While no underwater civilization has ever been discovered, geologists do concur that the region has experienced significant submergence over the last 3,000 years.

Lost City of the Kalahari

Lost City of the Kalahari

In 1885, Guillermo Farini, the famous adventurer, became the first westerner to cross the Kalahari Desert in southern Africa. When he returned from his journey, he wrote a paper about the ruins of a lost civilization he discovered buried in the sands.

“We traced the remains for nearly a mile,” he wrote, “mostly a heap of huge stones, but all flat-sided, and here and there with the cement perfect and plainly visible between the layers.”

The search for the city remains, including more than a dozen searches by the grandparents of Elon Musk.

Video: 5 Legendary Lost Cities That May Really Exist

History is replete with legends of lavish cities that have been lost to the sands of time, but some of these sites could be more than mere myths.

A compilation by YouTube user Dark5 looks at five of these much-discussed locations and examines the possibility that they could someday be discovered or may have even already been found.

Bearing exotic names like 'Shambhala' and the 'City of the Monkey God,' these alleged splendorous sites often proved to be the downfall of ambitious explorers who went looking for treasure, but found only their own demise.

And although these tales of lost cities are often dismissed as folklore, there appear to be indications that perhaps they are more deeply rooted in fact rather than fiction.

For instance, the Kingdom of Sangueney was revealed to French colonialists by a captured Iroquois chief, who told them that there was a city in Canada ruled by Nordic-looking people and rich with gold.

Over the years, experts argued that the story of the city was probably misinformation fabricated by the imprisoned Native American.

However the discovery in 1960 of a Viking city in Newfoundland, believed to have been constructed an astounding 500 years before Columbus arrived on the continent, lent credence to the possibility that Sangueney was real.

Modern technology allowing for unprecedented exploration of otherwise inaccessible locations has also provided newfound hope that these sites could someday be found.

This may prove to be the case for the infamous 'Lost City of Z,' said to exist somewhere in the Amazon, after aerial images appeared to show a mysterious and undiscovered complex of buildings on the border between Brazil and Bolivia.

Advocates for the reality of these lost locations need only point to the famed city of Troy which once would have been included in the list, but was proven to exist by archaeologists in the 1800's.

Check out the complete video to learn more about these sites you can't visit on your summer vacation but perhaps your ancestors did.

Coast Insiders looking to learn even more about these lost cities can listen to author Dr. Bob Curran discuss his book Lost Lands & Forgotten Realms on the 7/25/2008 edition of C2C.

4. Camelot

The legend of King Arthur has always been a fascinating, important part of English folklore. The existence of this king who was said to have fought back the Saxon forces in the early 6th century has been debated back and forth between historians for centuries. Some maintain that a leader called Arthur may have existed and fought in deciding battles during this period, but the most popular school of thought states that the historical evidence is too scarce to say with any certainty that he did exist (after all, the first mention of him is from manuscripts which are dated from the 9th century). Nevertheless, Arthurian legend survived over the years and tales written in the 12th and 13th centuries gave his legend a fanciful twist as they wrote about his magical sword, the wizard Merlin, dragons and the Knights of the Round Table. Arthur’s court was said to be at Camelot – a romantic, ideal depiction of English architecture and countryside. However, a precise location of Camelot was never actually given and places like Carlisle, Winchester, Somerset and Essex are just some of the many spots in England where it is thought that historical writers may have depicted Arthur’s fictional centre of power.

9 Legendary Lost Cities That Have Actually Been Found

At this point we’ll probably never find the actual city of Atlantis from the ancient myths, or the City of Gold – El Dorado, but nobody can tell us not to look for them, right?

Sure, maybe all these places are just myths and legends, that some bright soul dreamed up and wrote a novel about. They were just flights of our imaginations, thoughts of what wonders the world could hold.

But there are real places poor soul made up to make their adventures in a faraway land seem more exciting, and that’s fine, but some of the stuff that the modern explorers have uncovered really makes you question if those were real locations. Some of those “lost cities” have been found!

So if they were real, it might mean that all other legends had at least some truth in them.

Let’s set out to explore 5 lost cities that have actually been found!

1. Helike

Could this be the legendary Atlantis? Sure looks like it is, but who said Atlantis was the only sunken city in the Greek mythos? The city of Helike went down under in a single night, and according to Greek myths, Helike was destroyed by the wrath of Poseidon – the god of the sea.

Helike was destroyed in 373 BC, and for hundreds of years it remained an old tale… until it was found in the late 1980s. According to the archaeologists, the disaster that destroyed it was a huge earthquake that liquefied the ground, turning the very earth into water. On second thought, that’s exactly what Poseidon would have done.

2. Xanadu

Xanadu (or Shangdu) was Kubla Khan’s pleasure dome where he spent those hot summers days. When Marco Polo visited in 1275, here’s what he said: “a very fine marble palace, the rooms of which are all gilt and painted with figures of men and beasts and birds…”

Sadly, today not much of that old shine remains. It was a real paradise on Earth… before the Ming army destroyed it in 1369.

3. Sigiriya

Way way back in 5th century Sri Lanka, King Kassapa thought of the best place to build his royal palace – just put it on top of a 200 meters tall boulder!

According to the legends, it was one of the most incredible castles in the world. As of today, UNESCO declared Sigiriya the Eighth Wonder of the world, but for quite some time, it was nothing more than the forgotten ruins of a deposed tyrant.

Watch the video: Five Legendary Lost Cities that have Never Been Found (May 2022).