Myths history and folklore
The Galician nation has evolved over many centuries and has seen changes and external influences shape its culture, history and folklore. Now seen as one of the original Celtic nations, Galicia has a rich and colourful history of story telling, much of which combines fables and chronicles with the origin of the region and its cities to provide some legendary tales. These stories exist throughout the four provinces and offer an insight in to the people and legacy of Galicia. Here are a few of them.
La Reina Lupa (the return of saint James body to Galicia)
Whether myth or historic fact, there are many stories about saint James and his journeys to and through Galicia. This story, translated to English and known as La Reina Lupa (The Queen of the Manifying Glass), is one of the more colourful and mythical versions. Click on the link to read it.
Giants, la Coruna, Ireland and the Torre de Hercules
The tower of Hercules is actually the oldest lighthouse in the world and was built by the Romans in the city of la Coruna. There is however another tale about both la Coruna city and the lighthouse’s origin.
In the mythical tale, the legendary Hercules fought with and defeated a giant known as Geryon, eventually decapitating him and burying his disembodied head near the spot where the lighthouse now stands. On his victory, Hercules called for a town to be built on the spot to celebrate his triumph and so la Coruna was born.
Many tales also connect Galicia and la Coruna with the equally Celtic Republic of Ireland and all follow the theme of the Irish mainland being spotted from the top of the tower of Hercules and travelled to, and inhabited, by Galicians. The journey was made on foot and exploited a now absent land mass that enabled the trip to be made by dry land. Hence the connection that the Galicians feel they have with the Irish.
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Pontevedra’s Teucro square
This tale, whilst more credible than the former, follows the theme that a small but famous square in the old town of Pontevedra was named in honour of the Greek archer, Teucrus.
Teucrus was the brother of the mythical hero Ajax, who is famed for his role in the Trojan wars and the story follows that after these battles it was Teucrus who discovered Pontevedra on his travels and hence had the square named after him.