Myths & Legends of Barcelona!
Barcelona holds many myths and legends that contribute to making the city even more charming and fascinating. Various legends are above all about the “Barrio Gótico”, let’s discover some of them:
The 13 Geese of the Cathedral Patio
If you go to visit the cloister of the Cathedral of Barcelona you will find a small pond with 13 geese, also depicted in some bas-reliefs. Why own 13? The number is not a coincidence, they represent the 13 years of Santa Eulalia, age of his death, and also the number of torture to which the martyr was subjected by the Romans. Santa Eulalia is the Patron Saint of Barcelona, and the Cathedral indeed bears his name. Geese guard his grave.
Casa de l’Ardiaca: the mailbox with swallows and turtle
Also in the Gothic Quarter, on the facade of the Casa de l’ Ardiaca, you will notice a unique mailbox, a particular modernist with respect to the Gothic style of the building. This box, made at the end of 800, was dedicated by its creator to justice and depicts a turtle, ivy leaves, a scale and five swallows.
It seems that the turtle represents the slowness of justice. The leaves of ivy would represent the difficulties encountered by justice along its path. The emblem depicting the scale is a symbol of fairness. Finally we have the swallows, three fly to the right, the right sense, while the others the opposite sense of justice.
Sant Jordi and the Dragon
This is certainly the most famous legend in Catalonia. Legend has it that Cappadocia, a Spanish city, had been attacked by a dragon, so the inhabitants, frightened, managed for a while to keep the dragon at bay by feeding him two lambs a day, but when the animals began to run low, the Inhabitants had to give to the dragon a person, drawn by lot. The unfortunate was just the princess of the kingdom. But Sant Jordi, a brave knight known for his reputation as a “killer of dragons,” managed to save the princess from the clutches and killed the dragon with his sword. From the blood that flowed, a beautiful red rose came out. Precisely for this reason in Catalonia (but also in the Balearics and in the Valencian Community), during the celebration of Sant Jordi on 23rd of April, the streets are decorated with red roses and the men give a rose to their companions. In return, women give a book.
Fuente de Canaletes
Walking along the Rambla, towards Plaça de Catalunya, we find the Canaletes fountain. According to the legend, those who drink a sip of water from the fountain will fall in love with the city and can not help but return. The bronze plate above the fountain reads verbatim:
“Si beveu aigua de la Font de Canaletes sempre mes sereu uns enamorats de Barcelona. I per llunt que us n’aneu, tornareu sempre”.
The name Canaletes instead derives from the reference to a spring whose water flowed in a “canal” in the XIV century.
On the fountain we also find the symbol of Barça. Around this fountain gathered the fans of the football team to know the results of the matches. Right there, in fact, there was the editorial office of the newspaper “La Rambla”, which showed the results on a blackboard.
The Spitting Gargoyles
There are several gargoyles protruding from the walls of the cathedral, including lions, unicorns, elephants – and some who are allegedly petrified witches as monstrous figures for eternity because of their evil behavior.
That behavior was spitting on the Corpus Christi processions as they passed. As appropriate punishment, these haunted figures now serve as tubes for the cathedral. In reality, they “spit” today, in a certain sense. On rainy days, they serve like whirlwinds and showering to unsuspecting pedestrians with streams of water – so watch out!
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