The lovers of Teruel – Los amantes de Teruel
A great bit of Spanish Valentines Day folklore from our Good Luck Gift Shop !
In eastern Spain – to the northwest of Valencia, there is a small city famous for its lovers – Los Amantes de Teruel, the lovers of the city of: Teruel:
Many people visiting this part of eastern Spain want to see the “Lovers of Teruel” But what are they? And what is their story? It’s worth a look because it’s wonderful stories like these that lie behind much of the jewellery in our online shop – whether based on fables, or folklore or religious beliefs.
It all supposedly happened in the year 1217 in the city of Teruel, in Aragón, in eastern Spain, where a young boy, Juan Martinez, of the Marcilla family, and a girl, Isabel (of the Segura family), who had grown up playing together, suddenly fell in love.
Of course, they wanted to marry. But, even though the Marcilla family was important, they were not as important as the Segura family, and Juan was the second son, meaning that he would inherit nada (nothing). There was no way he could marry the only daughter and heiress of the great Segura family. So he struck a deal with her father: He’d go to war (meaning la Reconquista against the Moorish arabs who had occupied a large part of Spain), fight hard, rise in rank and earn great wealth . . in five years. If in that time he returned rich, he’d marry Isabel. So, on that promise, he left Teruel to travel and make his fortune.
Some years passed, and Isabel’s father started insisting that Isabel get married. But, she refused, on the basis that she had to remain a maiden until she was 20, because no woman should get married before she learned how to manage a household. And her father, as any good father, that loved and respected his daughter, agreed with her.
However, when the five years passed and Juan didn’t return, Isabel believed him dead and agreed to marry Don Pedro of Azagra. But . . right after the ceremony, Juan returned . . and with great riches! Too late though!! His beloved was already married.
So one night, Juan sneaked up into her and her husband’s bedroom and asked her for a kiss: “Kiss me”, he pleaded, “for I am dying!”. But she refused on the basis that she would be acting unfaithfully to her husband. He asked her again, and again she refused.
So Juan just dropped dead!
Isabel woke her husband Don Pedro and told him what had happened. He was like: “But why didn’t you kiss him?!” So she told him that she hadn’t wanted to betray him. He retorted: “You are truly a woman worthy of praise!”
So the matrimónio (married couple) sneaked Juan’s body out of their home in the middle of the night and left it in a local churchyard, so the husband wouldn’t get blamed for the death.
The next day the funeral ceremony took place and Isabel came, dressed in her wedding gown, and leaning over Juan’s body gave him the kiss that she had refused him in life.
And then she too dropped dead.
Don Pedro then told everyone in the church his story and the town agreed to bury the couple together in the churchyard, so at least in death they would be side by side . . the lovers of Teruel.
Their remains were re-discovered in 1555 during repair works at the San Pedro church in Teruel. And since then, they have been moved into two marble tombs on prominent display in the church. And this is what everyone visits. And since that time, the fame of this story has spread around Spain and around the world.
Every February, Teruel pays tribute to its famous lovers and remembers this most famous romantic tragedy . .
. . just as we do with our Valentine’s Day gifts and lover’s jewellery in our Good Luck Gift shop
Jewellery gifts with real meaning! That’ll be us!