València is a city filled with urban myths and legends, with stories widely known that are generally acknowledged as being true, though some of them may sound far too imaginative. They form a cultural part of the city's legacy and in them there is a mixture of fantasy and reality. Feel like getting to know some of them? Keep reading!
1. The Holy Grail
Were you aware that the Authentic Holy Grail is found in València Cathedral? Its whereabouts it is one of the greatest mysteries in Christian history. It is believed that St. Peter took this relic to the City of Rome, it later went on to be guarded by the Kingdom of Aragon and it finally arrived in Valencia in 1432, under the orders of Alfonso V the Magnanimous, where it remains guarded today at the València Cathedral.
You can see it first-hand or if you would like to learn more about this legacy and the heritage of other Churches, you can book the guided tour of the Grail Route and religious art Grail Route and religious art . It runs every Friday at 10:00 a.m. from the tourist office on Carrer de la Pau.
2. The Patriarch's Cayman
Legend has it that a cayman used to live on the old riverbed of Turia, terrifying all those who approached the shore and turning into a ferocious dragon. Blasco Ibáñez portrayed the myth in a book called "The Dragon and the Patriarch" and to this day, the Patriarch's Church keeps the stuffed caiman as part of its display. To some historians, the cayman was a gift from the Viceroy of Peru to Patriarch Juan de Ribera.
But be assured! You can now walk quietly through the Turia Gardens without the sight of crocodiles, you will only find people exercising, walking and enjoying this wonderful urban natural park.
3. The Lady of Good Labour
It is not surprising to see many expectant mothers stroll through the Cathedral. In València there is a well-known tradition that assures the delivery of a pregnant lady with the Lady of Good Labour. There are 9 laps one per month of the pregnancy, within the València Cathedral . Mothers who are still devotees continue to perform this tradition, praying to the Virgin to deliver the baby smoothly.
Also, if one is going to perform this tradition, then one can visit the Cathedral without having to pay an admission fee.
4. The legend of Rat Penat
¿What do bats mean to Valencians? Why do they appear on the city's coat of arms?!
It all has a meaning! Legend has it that when James I was seeking to conquer the city of Valencia, a bat entered his chambers during the night, smashing itself with its armour and other belongings. This awakened him and warned him of a sudden raid they were about to encounter. As a result, they prevented the attack and were victorious. James I chose to honour this gesture by placing the 'Rat Penat' on the coat of arms of the city of Valencia. Legacy also remains the symbol of other institutions and bodies, such as the Valencia CF.
5. So what's inside Jaime I's horse?
Have you ever seen the James I's Horse Parterre sculpture? In València there are a number of myths about what could be inside the horse. According to legend, the 11-and-a-half ton sculpture conceals a treasure inside. When the owner of the horse, a Marxalenes carrier known as Rafael Martí, melted the brass over the piece, he threw his inseparable hat at the fluid metal to make it as eternal as the figure of the horse. The rumour has it that inside that hat were his life savings. Therefore, inside Jaime I's horse there might be an authentic treasure: the legacy of a modest man who was proud of what he had become.
Would you say that the city of Valencia is all the more fascinating? An endless fountain of myths and legends can be found among historical events, being part of the Valencian culture and striking the curious and visitors to the city. You can discover much more about the city in the most entertaining way through a cultural gymkhana that covers 2,000 years of the city's history. Visit Valencia and become enchanted by our legends!