Legend of Belogradchik Rocks, Bulgaria
The Madonna – Once there were a monastery and nunnery amongst the Belogradchik Rocks. There lived a beautiful nun, who was secretly envied by all for her beauty. More than once, the old Mother Superior reminded the nun not to forget that even though she was young and pretty, that she had taken the veil and was vowed to God. During the Petrovden celebration, a young patrician came to the festival on his white horse. Immediately, when she saw him, the nun recognized the man of her dreams. She could not resist her heartache and secretly met him, but the nun’s illicit love was eventually discovered by the cries of her young child. The Mother Superior decided to severely punish the nun by all monastic canons, and even the monks from the monastery were summoned to pass judgment on her. It took a long time for the white bearded monks to draw a punishment, but at last they decided to expel her and her child out of the priory. The poor nun was doomed to a life worse than death itself. Ordinary people would treat her like a leper, and no one would dare talk to her, let alone give her shelter or food. The nun was ready to have her life taken rather than be chased out of the nunnery. As heartbreaking as her sincere plea for mercy was, it did not move the monks. As the nun was exiting the monastic gates, a miracle happened. The day became night and a frightening thunder was heard. The rocks opened up and the monastery and nunnery were both driven into the ground, and the Monks, on their retreat back to the cloister, the Madonna, bending over her child, and the Horseman, riding to his beloved on his white horse, were all turned to stone.
The Schoolgirl – Once there lived a schoolgirl in town, a student in the hunchback dervish’s school, known for her raving beauty. The schoolgirl fell in love with a young hammersmith, and they used to meet each other near Subashin’s spring, known for its delicious water. But the dervish was extremely envious of this pure love. One day, he waited for the schoolgirl near the spring when she was going for some water, and attacked her. She somehow managed to wrestle out of his hands and started running to the rocks, hoping to escape the fiend. She was running for a long time between the rocks and crags, but the dervish mercilessly pursued her. Suddenly a rapacious bear came in front of the schoolgirl. Shocked by fear and amazement, she fell to her knees. She would rather have been torn apart and eaten by the bear than to be ravished in the arms of the hateful dervish. At this moment, a miracle occurred. A loud thunder was heard and the day became night, and into the darkness, a scared cry of a girl, the frightening roar of a bear, and the terrified cry of a man rang out. Then a sinister silence fell around. And when it became light again, they all stood in stone – the Schoolgirl, the Bear in front of her, and the despicable Dervish behind her. And the sun was shining bright and peaceful as if nothing had happened.
Legend of Vardzia, Georgia
Tamar in the Church of the Dormition, with a model of the church; an aetiological myth has the young Tamar, when out hunting with Giorgi, lost in the caves; when called for, she replied "I am here, uncle" (Georgian: აქ ვარ ძია) "ac var dzia", giving the site its name
Legend of Gaztelugatxe, Spain
On the top of the island stands a hermitage (named Gaztelugatxeko Doniene in Basque; San Juan de Gaztelugatxe in Spanish), dedicated to John the Baptist, that dates from the 10th century, although discoveries indicate that the date might be the 9th century. Next to the hermitage there is a small shelter that lets people take refuge from the wind and picnic surrounded by the sea views. The hermitage is accessed by a narrow path, crossing the solid stone bridge, and going up 237 steps. According to legend, after the slightly strenuous climb to the top of the crag one should ring the bell three times and make a wish.
Legend of Peristera Fortress, Bulgaria
According to ancient legends the hill "Saint Petka" has a big energy force. In the center of the citadel was found sanctuary in one of the most powerful and famous in the history of Thracian tribes. The fortress wall is studied from Constantine Irechek.
Legend has it that the people of Peshtera wants to build a fortress in the glory of God. They do not know where, so they released doves to show them the place. Birds perched on the hill of St. Petka there they immediately began to build a fortress. Name it the dove - Peristera.
Legend about the name of the fortress is the following: When in 313 years of the Byzantine Empire Christianity was introduced, local residents had to choose which of the hills in the area to build their church. So from St. Petka hill flew a flock of doves. This bird is a symbol of Christ and the plan of the fortress is unique, as such, there were only two forts in the Balkans. The two eastern turrets, north and south, are shaped like churches and towers have the function to provided also spiritual protection of the fortress. The soldiers prayed before they go into battle and thanked God when defeated the enemy. Hill Petka was once a former bomb military unit, historians have found shell casings from bullets pentagram of soldier's cap and even gas-mask - fully preserved.
Legend of Monte Vettore (2476 m), Italy
Below the peak of Monte Vettore, in a small enclosed valley is one lake called the Lago di Pilato, at an altitude of 1,940 metres, where, according to the local medieval legend, the body of a remorseful Pontius Pilate was buried in the waters. A similar legend is told of Pilatus in Switzerland.
The local medieval tradition was that the Apennine Sibyl, a mysterious prophetess not counted among the Sibyls of Classical Antiquity, was condemned by God to dwell in a mountain cavern and await Judgement Day, having rebelled at the news that she had not been chosen Mother of God, but that some humble Judaean virgin had been favored. The peak of Monte Vettore, surrounded by reddish cliffs was recognized as the crown of Regina Sibilla.
Less stringently Christian legend set her in an underworld paradise entered through a grotto in the mountains of Norcia. Nearby the magical lake is fed by water from the cavern. Whoever stayed longer than a year could no longer leave, but remained deathless and ageless, feasting in abundance, amid revelry and voluptuous delights.
Locally the Sibilla was in some sense a beneficent fata whose retinue would descend from her mountain at times to teach the village girls all the secrets of spinning and weaving, and perhaps to dance the saltarello with the best of the young men. But if they weren't back in their mountain fastness by sunrise, they would be denied access and would become mere mortals. On one occasion, what with dancing and pleasure, the faterelle had not noticed the approach of dawn. Scrambling up the Vettore, their goatlike feet crushed the rock to fragments. They reached the safety of their grotto just before dawn, but the long slope of talus is still pointed out as the Path of the Fata.
Legend of Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia
Aymara legend tells that the mountains Tunupa, Kusku and Kusina, which surround the Salar, were giant people. Tunupa married Kusku, but Kusku ran away from her with Kusina. Grieving Tunupa started to cry while breast-feeding her son. Her tears mixed with milk and formed the Salar. Many locals consider the Tunupa an important deity and say that the place should be called Salar de Tunupa rather than Salar de Uyuni.
Legend of Adam Peak (2243 m), Sri Lanka
For Buddhists, the footprint mark is the left foot of the Buddha, left behind when Buddha visited Sri Lanka, as a symbol for worship at the invitation of Buddhist God Saman.
Tamil Hindus consider it as the footprint of Lord Shiva. It is also fabled that the mountain is the legendary mount Trikuta the capital of Ravana during the Ramayana times from where he ruled Lanka.
Muslims and Christians in Sri Lanka ascribe it to where Adam, the first Ancestor, set foot as he was exiled from the Garden of Eden. The legends of Adam are connected to the idea that Sri Lanka was the original Eden, and in the Muslim tradition that Adam was 30 ft tall.
A shrine to Saman, a Buddhist "deity" (People who have spent spiritual life during their life on earth and done pacificism service to regions are deified by Sri Lankan Buddhists) charged with protecting the mountain top, can be found near the footprint.
Legend of Mount Ngauruhoe (2291 m), New Zealand
The volcano was named by Ngātoro-i-rangi, an ancestor of the local Māori iwi, Ngāti Tūwharetoa. Local traditions say that Ngātoro-i-rangi called volcanic fire from his homeland Hawaiki which eventually emerged at Ngauruhoe. The name either commemorates his slave, who had died from the cold before the fire arrived, or refers to the insertions (ngā uru) of his hoe (paddle-like staff) into the ground.
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