Friday, March 26, 2010

The legend of Gates of Rodão

The Tejo (Tagus) river divides Portugal in half, separating North from South. This photo was taken close to the Spanish border, at a place called Portas de Rodão (Gates of Rodão), because of the way those two mountains rise on each margin, resembling a gate passage. The rain storms have made the water muddy.

Pentax K10D + Zeiss Distagon 25/2.8

After the fall of the Roman Empire, the Iberian Peninsula (at the time called Hispania) was taken by North European barbarian tribes and North African Moors. According to the legend, this particular portion of the river was the border between a Visigoth and a Moorish kingdom. Tragically, the Visigoth queen fell in love with the Moorish king, who attempted to abduct her by building a tunnel underneath the river. But his efforts were discovered by Wamba, the last Visigoth king and a man of fierce character. Realizing his wife's betrayal, he decided to offer her to the Moorish king, by rolling her down the mountain into the Tejo river, tied to a millstone. It is said that along the path where the stone touched the ground no vegetation has ever grown again.

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