Legends of Granada. Spots in Granada, Spain are full of stories and legends. One famous legend of Granada is the Moor´s last Sigh.
Secret chambers, revengeful massacres, imprisoned princesses, palace ghosts, and fragrant gardens… many of Granada’s spots tell the story of legends and fables, turning it into a magical city.
The Moor’s Last Sigh
There is one popular legend that relates how Boabdil, a pacifist and the last king of the Moors, surrendered Granada without a fight to King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain in 1492. The Catholic monarchs exiled Boabdil and immediately hoisted the banner of Christian Spain above the Alhambra, marking the end of the last Moorish city of Spain. Boabdil began to weep as he handed King Ferdinand the keys to the city. His mother Ayesha, in disbelief and anger, reproached him for his tears by exclaiming: “You do well to weep like a woman for what you failed to defend as a man.” It is not at all difficult to understand why poor Boabdil wept. The tears he shed were his realization that he was going to abandon paradise on Earth. So when Boabdil paused at a mountain top to glance one last time at the beautiful city he had lost, he sighed.
Hall of the Abencerrages
The Hall's name derives from a tragic legend in which 36 members of the noble Abencerrage family were invited for a banquet at the Alhambra palace by the Sultan Abu Al-Hassan (Boabdil’s father). The Sultan wanted revenge after finding out that Hamet, the chief member of the Abencerrage family, was courting Zoraya - his own favourite concubine. During the banquet, he had his guards come into the intricately carved hall and cut the throats of every member of the family. Afterwards, the victims’ heads were thrown into the fountains. Legend holds that the stain visible at the bottom of the fountains today is the blood left behind as a permanent reminder of the horrible massacre.
The Enchanted Soldier
Don Vincent was a student in Salamanca, who enjoyed travelling around villages during the summer, playing his guitar and singing for money. He once arrived in Granada on the eve of St. John. Noticing a fully armed soldier standing guard who went unnoticed by everyone, Don Vincent asked him who he was. The soldier replied that he had been taken prisoner in an attack against the Moors 300 years earlier. A spell had been cast upon him to guard a Moorish treasure and keep it from falling into Christian hands.
He was only temporarily freed every 100 years, on the eve of St. John, when the spell allowed anyone to see him and free him. The desperate soldier promised Don Vincent half of the treasure in exchange for his help. His quest was to find a fasting priest to call off the spell and a pure maiden to open the treasure chest. Setting out and willing to help, Don Vincent found an unfortunate insatiable priest and a chaste girl. The priest did his best to ignore his insatiable appetite.
Once Don Vincent, the priest and the girl reached the foot of the tower, the vault appeared. Once inside, the spell seemed broken. As Don Vincent began to fill his pockets with gold, the gluttonous priest ate some fruit. In the glimpse of an eye, Don Vincent, the maiden and the priest found themselves outside of the tower. St. John’s Eve was over and the spell wasn’t undone… the priest had eaten too early!
So, the legend claims, the soldier remains imprisoned in the tower, where he can still be seen guarding the treasure of the Alhambra…