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Home > About Castile and Leon > Legends > Alfonso 1st of Avila

Alfonso 1st of Avila

The Legend of Alfonso the first, known as the king Herod of Ávila

If you have already booked accommodation in Ávila, get ready to know one the most famous legends of this city. To best learn Spanish, you also have to know the Spanish culture. This is why we think it is very important to know different legends and tales.

This legend is about Alfonso the First of Aragón, who married “Doña Urraca” of Castile. “Doña Urraca” was not very well treated by her husband, so she abandoned him taking their baby with her. She took shelter in Castile. King Alfonso wanted to finish with the Castilian heir, so he besieged the city. He then demanded to see the baby from one of the towers to prove he was still alive. To make sure that “abulenses” (Spanish name to designate people from Ávila) did not attack him, Alfonso’s army held 60 “abulenses” knights of noble descent as hostages. They were taken out of the city walls through the door “Puerta de la mala ventura” (or `Door of bad fortune´). When King Alfonso saw the baby, he asked the Castilian people to give the child to him. They refused, so the King ordered to boil the knights. This place is known with the Spanish name of the “Hervideras”.

This was the end of the siege. However, some of the most important nobles in Avila followed King Alfonso and his army until “Fontiveros”. They were killed too. “La Cruz del Reto” was then built in memory of their courage. Nowadays, in the shield of the city you can see the cathedral’s dome with a Baby King at the top, and the inscription “Avila del Rey”.

If you come to Ávila you will be able to discover many more legends about this city, meanwhile you enjoy excellent “tapas” food of this city together with Spanish wines of the area.

If you would like to come to Avila and take a Spanish class please request more information and contact a Spanish School in Ávila.