TravelFeedTravelFeed Logo
The Secret of Benidorm Island, Spain

The Secret of Benidorm Island, Spain

November 2019 · 4 min read · Valencian Community

Prelude

The key feature of Puig Campana is a small gash, located just next to the peak of the mountain. Interestingly, a rock of a similar shape could be seen, from the beaches of Benidorm, in the Mediterranean Sea.

This coincidence has stimulated the imagination of local people for ages. Perhaps, for as long since the death of the protagonist in these stories – Roland, the Foremost of Charlemagne’s Paladins. Later on, many legends have been told regarding the origins of the gap in Puig Campana. The most popular one is the romantic one…

Roland’s Cut in Puig Campana. Photo by Alis Monte [CC BY-SA 4.0], via ctdots.eu
Roland’s Cut in Puig Campana. Photo by Alis Monte [CC BY-SA 4.0], via ctdots.eu

The Romantic Version

During those days, Frankish warriors were common visitors in these lands. The fierce battle between Moors and Franks went back and forth without any decisive victory. During one of those raids, a prodigy Frankish Commander Roland fell in love with a local maiden. Their love didn’t last long because one day Roland learned that the girl is cursed, and she would die when the last ray of sun will touch her skin. A desperate Roland climbed Puig Campana to cut out a piece out of it to prolong the life of her love. When the Sun set behind the Puig Campana, the girl died. Mad with grief, Roland grabbed the piece of the mountain and threw it to the Mediterranean Sea, creating the Island of Benidorm.

Ad Meskens [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]
Ad Meskens [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]

The Other Version

…Skipping all the boring parts… and the battle has finally reached its grande finale. The fierce fighting took to the top Puig Campana. People from afar could hear the swinging swords of two nearly evenly matched warriors. Roland was about to get the upper hand against the Moorish leader, he lifted his sword, Durendal, to finish his enemy but the opponent proved to be a worthy one and evaded the final blow. Roland hit the ground instead and cut a piece out of the mountain which fell into the sea…

It is not like we need proof to deny this but the origins of Benidorm’s island differ from Puig Campana by somewhere within 64 million years.

garrulus at https://www.flickr.com. [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]
garrulus at https://www.flickr.com. [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]

Roland’s Breach (La Brèche de Roland)

Roland’s Cut is not the only feature of the kind in Spain left by the Frankish Commander. Roland must have been a truly talented mountain slasher because he cut Pyrenees as well. This formation is better known as Roland’s Breach, and the story behind it is no less tragic than the one before.

The legend tells that Moors were fiercely chasing Roland to the edge of their territory. Unfortunately, his horse has died when he attempted to escape his pursuers by jumping over a chasm. Roland didn’t give up and continued on foot. Just before his last moment, Roland smote the Pyrenees with his sword to make a breach so he could see his beloved Francia for one last time.

Falk2 [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)]
Falk2 [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)]

History behind the Legends

Like in many legends, some parts of them are true. Roland was an actual Commander who died in the area during the Battle of Roncevaux Pass against Basques. That doesn’t mean that he could cut the mountains, but after his death Roland was turned into something as the role-model of all knights. This probably explains why so many legends surround his name ergo making him a legend on its own right.

All of these battles, wrapped with legends, ended up in 795 when Frankish Empire established a military buffer zone – Marca Hispanica. Roughly, the territory included Aragon, Catalonia, and Basque Country. You can read more about Marca Hispanica and following events here.

by Alis Monte

Don't Forget: Get Travel Health Insurance!

To make your trip a worry-free experience, TravelFeed recommends SafetyWing Nomad Insurance. It provides comprehensive health coverage while you travel, so you can focus on exploring, not the unexpected. Get a quote here

Originally published at https://ctdots.eu on November 13, 2019.

Newsletter Subscription

As some of you might have noticed, I don't post very often and my blog might be a bit hard to follow. Fort this reason, I created a subscription lst for anyone who is willing to get a notice once I publish a new blog post. You can subscribe to it by clicking here

Want more of this?

Any given post entry of any given place takes me around 20h to complete. This includes writing, researching, photo editing, creation of graphics and actual post. Nobody pays me to do it, therefore I must do it on my free time. I have many interesting ideas of how to put an interesting information into an easy way to digest it, like maps, infographics and other cool stuff, but what I lack is time. If you appreciate my work and happened to be in a position where it wouldn't hurt you, it would mean a world to me if you could gift me an extra hour on Patreon.

Become a Patron!

Travel Resources for your trip to Spain

Recommended by TravelFeed

Flights: We recommend checking Kiwi.com to find the best and cheapest flights to Spain.

Accomodation: Explore the best places to stay in Spain on Booking.com, Agoda and Hostelworld.

Travel Insurance: Medical emergencies abroad can be pricey, but travel health insurance is not. We always use SafetyWing for affordable and reliable coverage.

Transportation: Use 12go and Omio to find detailed bus and train schedules, making travel planning easier.

Car Rental: For hassle-free car hiring, DiscoverCars is our trusted choice with a wide selection of vehicles.

Internet: Got an eSIM compatible phone? Airalo is perfect for reliable internet access during your trip. Just install it before you go, and you're set!

Day Trips & Tours: We recommend GetYourGuide for a variety of well-organized and enjoyable activities.

Tickets: Save on entrance fees in Spain with Klook and Tiquets.

Travel Planner: Need a hand planning? Our free travel planner chatbot is your personal guide to Spain. Chat now.

Disclosure: Posts on TravelFeed may contain affiliate links. See affiliate disclosure.


Share this post