Myths and Legends Surrounding Sevilla
NO∞DO, the symbol you cannot go a day in Sevilla without seeing, was created by King Alfonso X to honor Sevilla’s support for him during the struggle for possession of the city. The symbol, which is spoken as “No me ha dejado,” translates to “he who did not leave me.” When spoken in a Sevillian accent, the phrase sounds like “no madeja-do,” which explains the NO∞DO symbol, as majeda can mean looped thread, an image easily represented by the ∞ symbol.
Carmen is a gypsy from Triana who worked in the Tobacco Factory and is known to have had passionate affairs with a bullfighter named Escamillo, as well as a French soldier. Her story has been turned into a novel by Prosper Merimee and later a popular opera by French composer Georges Bizet. The story is set in Sevilla, specifically in Triana, the Maestranza Building and the Tobacco Factory.
Cabeza del Rey Don Pedro
King Don Pedro, nicknamed The Just or The Cruel, is quite legendary around Sevilla. The most famous myth surrounding the monarch is that about the day he was recognized by an old lady as he fought a duel and killed an important nobleman. When the man’s family demanded justice for the slaying, the king promised that the head of the murderer would be placed at the sight of the murder. The following day, the king presented the bailiff with a wooden box, claiming it contained the head of the murderer. Upon the death of King Don Pedro, the box was opened to reveal a clay model of the king’s head, which is still displayed on the corner of Calle Cabeza del Rey Don Pedro.
Cristo del Cachorro
Cristo del Cachorro, the famous sculpture of Christ also known as Cristo de la Expiración, was created by Sevillian artist Ruiz de Gijon. The legend surrounding the creation of this sculpture says that Ruiz de Gijon went walking in search of inspiration and came across a fight between gypsies, which resulted in the death of a well-known and dangerous criminal named El Cachorro. Ruiz de Gijon created the sculpture with this man’s face in mind in order to portray true agony. When the sculpture was finished, the people immediately recognized the face as that of El Cachorro, and the sculpture of Christ thus became known as Cristo del Cachorro.
Have fun exploring the myths and legends of Seville!
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