Lovers of Teruel

I have been very busy this week, but I don’t want to lose the opportunity to participate in Lens-artists challenge this week, Tina has invited us to show our Shadows….  I love shadows, in fact, I have a series about it…  “I’m a shadow in a world of shadows“.

Only in the shadows both hands can join.

But today it’s not about my shadow, on St Valentine’s Day, I am going to introduce you  the “Lovers of Teruel”…

It is a romantic legend that could have taken place in the 13th century – in a small town called Teruel.

There was two important and wealthy families in the city, the Marcillas’ and Seguras’. Diego was a Marcilla and Isabel a Segura. The two fell in love as childhood playmates but when they were at an eligible age to get married, Diego’s family had fallen on hard times. Isabel’s father, being the most wealthy man in all of Teruel, forbid the marriage. Diego, however, was able to make an agreement with the father in which he would leave Teruel for five years to try and build up his fortune. If Diego was able to gain wealth within those five years he would be able to marry his beloved, Isabel.

Diego was not heard from in five years and on the day of the fifth year past, Isabel’s father married her to Don Pedro de Azagra.

Right after the wedding ceremony Diego Marcilla returned with great riches and with the intent of marrying Isabel. Diego ran to the feet of Isabel and pleaded her to marry him. Isabel refused, for it was impossible; she had already gotten married. Then Diego pleaded for just one kiss so that at least he could go on in the world, but Isabel refused.

Upon hearing this Diego could not bear the separation between himself and his love, and with a sigh he died on the feet of his beloved Isabel. The next day, during the funeral for Diego Marcilla, Isabel showed up dressed in her wedding dress. She proceeded to walk to the front of the church and place a kiss on the man whom she had refused but in doing so Isabel died, falling prostrate on the body of the man whom she loved.

The legend grew when two mummies were found in San Peter’s Church (Teruel, Aragón, Spain), in 1555; and it was believed that they were Diego Marcilla and Isabel Segura, the lovers.  Since many people came across to see the Lovers of Teruel, the mummies were exhumed and put into two new tombs. The tombs are carved out of marble and bear the family shields of Marcilla and Segura, but the most attractive part of the tombs are the lids. The lids are exquisitely carved: one features the strong and handsome Diego, his one arm outstretched, reaching for his love Isabel – his hand comes close to touching her, but they do not touch (since Isabel was married). The lid for Isabel is radiant and most beautiful.

During February the city of Teruel re-lives the tragedy of The Lovers. In his streets it is recreated the medieval environment of the epoch as well as the different scenes of the history of The Lovers that immerses the visitor in the 13th century.

Posted as part of Lens-Artists: Shadows

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