Milka [the Great{est} Dane]

sharing the colorful spots of my life…

Legends of love and hate between Christians and Moors January 7, 2012

Filed under: Portuguese Legends — Milka [the Great Dane] @ 1:43 pm

Hello my friends!
Here we are for more Portuguese legends…
Many centuries ago, the Portuguese lands witnessed countless wars and endless bloodshed between Christians, fighting to have their land back, and the invading Moors.
And, of course, many legends came to life on those times… Legends about extraordinary heroes, devout souls and legends of love between enemies.
Today I bring you 3 beautiful short legends about impossible love and the tragedies that follow.


1.      The monster in the Castle of Monforte



The castle of Monforte [in Chaves county] was once owned by the Moors, and there lived a young girl named Basília, in the company of her father and many servants. One day, news of a young warrior named D. Telmo began to reach the castle. D. Telmo was a Christian and fought the Moors to help his people.


As the deeds of this warrior were so heroic, young Basília fell in love without even knowing him. And despite knowing that he was a great enemy of his father, every day she felt more in love with him. Once the father learned of this love, he thought it was best to marry her to a rich Moor of the area. But she refused the marriage and locked herself in her chambers, where she never wanted to see anyone.


The father, angry at the attitude of his daughter, and to keep her from ever joining this D. Telmo, decided to enchant her, turning her into a hideous beast. And then people started talking about a monster dragging itself in the castle at certain nights. People say that, on nights of full moon, some people have heard sighs of lost loves coming from inside and those are the sighs of the young Basília.


2.      Almourol



In ancient times, around the IX and X centuries, the Castle of Almourol was owned by and old Gothic lord, D. Ramiro, married, and having an only daughter. He was a valiant soldier, but rude, proud and cruel, as were most of the Gothic lords.


D. Ramiro left to fight the Moors, leaving his heartbroken wife and daughter, both very beautiful.


Having committed a thousand atrocities during the campaign, we went back, proud of his achievements, and near the castle he found two moors, mother and daughter, both as beautiful as his wife and daughter who he had left in his manor.


The moor girl had a pitcher of water, and as D. Ramiro, devoured by thirst went to her, asking her to drink, the little girl became frightened and left the pitcher fall, breaking it. D. Ramiro, blinded by anger, smote the two wretches with his spear. They soon died, cursing him. At this moment, appeared a little Moor boy of 11 years, son and brother of the murdered, and the lord brought him captive to his castle.


The Moor, reaching Almourol, saw the wife and daughter of D. Ramiro, and swore that they would be soon victims of his vengeance. Years passed. The wife of D. Ramiro fell ill, and, little by little, she was languishing until she died as a result of a subtle poison that the Moor was giving her.


D. Ramiro, full of sorrow, went back to fight the infidels and left his daughter in the manor house with the new servant.


They loved each other, and this passion was a terrible struggle for the young man’s heart. One summer afternoon, D. Ramiro returned to the castle, accompanied by another lord, whom he had promised the hand of his daughter. It was a fatal blow to the two lovers, who shuddered. The Moor then, despaired and lost, told Beatriz everything: the cruelty of her father, the promise of revenge, her mother’s death, and the struggle being waged between his love and the oath he had made.


No one knows what followed this confession, but what the legend says is that Beatriz and the Moor vanished and that D. Ramiro, full of remorse and grief, died shortly after, leaving the castle abandoned and falling, little by little, into ruins. The legend says more… In the night of St. John you can see in the highest tower of the castle Beatriz and the Moor embraced, D. Ramiro cast at their feet and his wife by his side, pleading for clemency, every time the Moor speaks the word: Damnation!


3.      The enchanted Moorish



Legend has it that a Moorish King had a daughter who was destined to marry another King who lived in the lands beyond the Douro. She, however, oblivious to the combinations of her father, fell in love with a young man of her age, son of peasants and a Christian. So, on the first chance she got, she escaped from her palace to marry him.


When her father heard the news, he went in pursuit of his daughter and husband, finding them on top of S. Domingos (in Provezende, municipality of Sabrosa). Then he ordered the young man beheaded and cast a spell on his daughter, who was to endlessly wander in the mountain.


So people say that in the winter mornings when the fog from the river Douro hides the hills of S. Domingos, some have seen a figure of a woman wandering around there, and that is the enchanted Moor in search of her husband.

I just love these moorish legends! Hope you liked them. 🙂


Enchanted slobbers,



6 Responses to “Legends of love and hate between Christians and Moors”

  1. We love legends and we had never heard of these moorish legends thank you for sharing them.

  2. Excellent! Way back (probably centuries ago!) Mom studied medieval history, and got a Master’s degree in it – she was always fascinated with Spain and Portugal and the interactions (she focused on the intellectual interactions) between the Christians and the Moors – fascinating history!

    *kissey face*
    -Fiona and Abby the Hippobottomus

    • Wow! That’s great!

      I’m sure our mums would like each other… And they’d probably talk and talk and talk if they met… which would give us a chance to destroy something around the house! BOL

      Big slobbery smooch!!

  3. Bassas Blog Says:

    I love these legends of the old times. Keep them coming!

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