Just a week ago we were still lucky enough to have the possibility to move freely without any restrictions due to coronavirus situation… and we decided to visit a little village nearby in Priorat region: Siurana.
Siurana is a village of officially 27 inhabitants. Yes, 27. ☺️ It lies 737 meters high, surrounded by cliffs from all around. This tiny, cute historical village of the municipality of the Cornudella de Montsant is located in the comarca of Priorat, Tarragona, Catalonia.
It is often visited by tourists for its historical relevance, rock climbing conditions, and excellent views on the surrounding valley. The cliffs around the village are popular among climbers too due to the abundance of excellent climbs up. Next to the endless rocks and cliffs you can find in this tale village many medieval houses, villas out of stones, cobblestones narrow streets everywhere. Also a tiny shop with local goods and two restaurants are welcoming the tourists, out of one is functioning as a bar too with a big terrace in a cute square among the medieval stone walls.
The most important building of Siurana is the church, that built in Romanesque style, with a doorway which has a tympanum, framed by three archivolts resting on columns with capitels decorated with various motifs.
“La Siurana is the Christian name for the town. Originally, it was known by the Latin name of La Seviriana, but was changed to Xibrana after being conquered by the Umayyads. A memorial cross was erected in 1953 to commemorate the reconquest of Siurana 800 years before in 1153, as the last Muslim enclave to fall to the Christians in Catalonia.”
Before the year of 1153, Siurana – the last standing Muslim village – was the ultimate and most strategic place needed by the Christians in order to reconquer whole Catalonia. That time the village was occupied and lead by the Moorish Queen Abdelazia, who – according to the legend – was a woman of great beauty.
For more than 3 centuries the Christians were incapable of taking the territory of Siurana, since all the surrounding mountains were also occupied by Muslims and the geographical conditions didn’t help either. But once they reached the village, the Queen openly swore that she would die before being caught by barbaric Christians who killed most of the Muslim population…
Honestly, if you look the cliffs, and down into the valley, you will be able to guess why it was not conquered in three hundred years. As well as why the end was so tragic…
As the legend says, the Queen, rather than be captured and killed (or worse, forcibly converted to Christianity), blindfolded her white horse and galloped toward the cliff’s edge, willing to jump and die.
The animal literally dug his heals into the rocks just before the precipice, trying saving himself but catapulting the Queen to her death. Even though the horse stopped (and left his famous mark on the rock), but then it was spurred on by her and finally they both fell down. 😕
Today when we are locked in our houses, and looking back that just one week ago, when we could make freely such an excursion to this picturesque historical tiny village, having a nice time out there… and knowing now that for a while we don’t and won’t have the possibility to do it again, or to go anywhere else, makes me incredibly sad.
But as always, I’m trying to look into the future with hope and for the time being dedicating time to relive the memories based on the beautiful pictures we took, and being grateful for all the travels and all the amazing destinations that we had the chance to visit till now in our life. 🙏