Anyone who has been to Valencia city doesn’t doubt its beauty. Emblematic buildings like the Central Market, the City of Arts and Sciences and the Silk Exchange coexist with beautiful flowers in the Turia Gardens. Also, Valencia has places that are unheard of, legends and unsettling stories that undoubtedly awaken the curiosity of many, and which are an attraction for those who wish to visit them.
Enchanted Valencia: The street of the witches
In the old town of the city we find one of the streets that still preserves the oldest paving in the city. It is the street Angosta del Almudín which previously was known as the street of the witches. The story tells that back then women involved in the dark arts lived there. In fact, at night the street was closed at both ends so that nobody could go in search of any kind of spell.
Today, there isn’t an alley in the centre of Valencia. Only these small pleasant streets that surround the old town. The street of the witches, for those of us who know its history, becomes mysterious when night falls, a dark alley with an aura of mystery.
Romantic Valencia: Love that transcends time
In the most remote places in Valencia, stories of amazing love also survive. One of these stories can be found in the cemetery of the city, specifically in niche 1501, where a love that transcends all time rests. It is the story of Vicente and Emilia.
The facts are told by Rafael Solaz in “Pages from the Past”, a book that tells the memories of the protagonist of the story, Vicente García Valero. The young man lost his wife because of a fever, and as the family couldn’t afford a funeral, Vicente’s wife, Emilia, was buried in a mass grave. The devastated husband managed to bribe a priest to recover the body of his love, and he took her body to lay her to rest in niche 1501 of the cemetery.
For many years, Emilia’s widow brought flowers and cleaned the niche every 1 November. His obsession reached such a degree that Vicente married the sister of Emilia and when she died, he married the remaining sister, all to conserve the memory of his beloved wife.
The culmination of the story is when the lover had to stop sending money to the niche, as his financial situation declined. One day, Vicente was passing by a lottery retailer when he saw a ticket ending in 1501 and he decided to buy it with such luck that it was the winning number of the Christmas Lottery Jackpot. This is why it’s said that Emilia also watched over her widow, giving him back his luck and bringing his love beyond the earthly plane.
Warrior Valencia: Dragons of Turia
One of the most famous Valencian legends can be found in the vestibule of the Church of the Patriarch. In the vestibule, a stuffed crocodile is found, which can be admired by anyone who goes there, but you’ll enjoy the view more if you know the legend, which is the following: it is said that in the past there was a dragon in the Turia river that terrorized the inhabitants of Valencia, attacking anyone who approached the river. A brave young man confronted the dragon with a suit made of mirrors, and having blinded the beast with his suit, he managed to kill it. Today this beast is exhibited in the vestibule and the story is told by Blasco Ibañez in his story entitled “The dragon of the Patriarch”.
Lunar Valencia: Ramparts and curfews
Who doesn’t know the phrase to remain under the moon of Valencia? But, where exactly does this expression come from? Although there are several theories, the truth is that there is one that is more popular than the others. When we say that we remain under the moon of Valencia we are saying that our hopes have been dashed, that we didn’t get what we wanted. To discover the origin, we go back to the era when Valencia was a walled city. At that time, every night the doors were closed and whoever didn’t arrive in time had to spend the night outside the city, “under the moon of Valencia”. The doors closed at 10 pm, and didn’t open again until sunrise. Out of all the doors, today only two remain, the Torres de Quart and the Torres de Serrano.
Innocent Valencia: The bird of Saint Joan
Perhaps one of the saddest stories is found in the Church of Saint Johns. We’re talking about the bird of Saint Joan. This church is located in the heart of Valencia, close to the Central Market. The church is crowned with a bird which turns around. The legend tells that parents who couldn’t maintain their children brought them to see the bird, and when the child looked up the father sneaked away, abandoning his child to his fate. The parents who abandoned their children did so with a clean conscience, as the bird brought luck to the children so that someone would take care of them, giving them a better life.
As we have seen, Valencia has many myths and legends that give the city an exciting mysticism that invites us to keep discovering this old city. Do you know any other legends, myths or mysteries of Valencia? Share them with us!
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