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The legend of the Patriarch’s dragon

31 May, 2019 | CULTURE , VALENCIA

Do you know one of the most famous legends of Valencia? Do you know where to find the patriarch’s alligator? Come here to find it out!
Today I would like to explain you a curious legend that is part of the History of Valencia: the legend of Patriarch’s dragon!

If you walk down calle Universitat, where the great building of Nau is located , you will find the Real Colegio Seminario of Corpus Christi, also known as Patriarch’s church, in relation to Patriarchal San Juan de la Ribera.

If you would like to visit inside, you will see the remains of this terrible beast that has been the main character of stories in the past. Do you want to know who was it?

They say that in Turia river lived a terrible dragon that used to attack all the Valencians which went near it.

They faced the fear to be devoured or dismembered, so nobody went near the river and for this reason, no one could enjoy this important river in Valencia.

Once, a very brave young man, wanted to stop this threat and decided to face it.

He did it with an ingenious suit made of mirrors, and created by himself.

We have two versions to explain how the story continued and which effects the suit has provoked to the dragon: some think that it died due to the too much brilliant mirror’s flashes; others say that it died because it has been hypnotized by its reflection on the mirror, and this gave the young hero some time to throw a great spear that killed it.

Did you know that Spanish mothers use this alligator to frighten their children?

Following the legend, there was a popular saying: “si parleu, a la plancha vindreu”, that is “if you speak, you will come to the iron”. Mothers used to say it to their children as a threat because they wanted their children to keep in silent while there were celebrations in Patriarch’s Church.

Children, that were afraid of this terrible alligator, remained without saying a word during the whole act.

What is certain is that, if we consult Patriarch’s archives, we will find out that this alligator is a present sent by Viceroy of Peru, Marquis of Monterrey and San Juan de Ribera. The alligator, whose name was Lepanto thanks to the famous battle, lived until 1606, when it was dissected and hung in the temple to ask for silence.

However, even if the legend is not true and there is evidence of it, it doesn’t lose its value because its origin are recorded in a book published by the great Valencian writer Vicente Blasco Ibañez on 6th January, 1901 and it is called “El dragon del Patriarca”.

This story gives to the legend important details and symbols that have a relation with freemasonry, one of the institution in which the author was enrolled.

I hope you liked this story and that now you want to find out something more about legends belonged to this fantastic city.

If you would like to visit the wonderful Patriarch’s church, visit our website “Hispania, escuela de español “ and you can find interesting and curious activities to get to know the city, its stories and its legends.

 

Article written by Rita Rodríguez Varela for Hispania, escuela de español.

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