Legend of Schwerin Castle, Germany
The small impious ghost Petermännchen reportedly roams the halls of the Schwerin Castle. This little spirit is no more than a few feet high, and is often depicted in clothes from the 17th century, something resembling a cavalier. His existence may be in doubt, but he is a popular legend as ever.
Legend of Baba Vida Fortress, Bulgaria
The building of Baba Vida is tied to a legend, according to which a Danubian Bulgarian king who ruled at Vidin had three daughters: Vida, Kula and Gamza. Prior to his death, he divided his realm among the three. Vida, the eldest, was given Vidin and the lands north to the Carpathians, Kula was awarded Zaječar and the Timok Valley, and Gamza was to rule the lands west up to the Morava. Although Gamza and Kula married to drunkard and warlike nobles, Vida remained unmarried and built the fortress in her city. The name of the castle means "Granny Vida".
Legend of Taj Mahal, India
A longstanding myth holds that Shah Jahan planned a mausoleum to be built in black marble across the Yamuna river. The idea originates from fanciful writings of Jean-Baptiste Tavernier, a European traveller who visited Agra in 1665. It was suggested that Shah Jahan was overthrown by his son Aurangzeb before it could be built. Ruins of blackened marble across the river in Moonlight Garden, Mahtab Bagh, seemed to support this legend. However, excavations carried out in the 1990s found that they were discolored white stones that had turned black. A more credible theory for the origins of the black mausoleum was demonstrated in 2006 by archaeologists who reconstructed part of the pool in the Moonlight Garden. A dark reflection of the white mausoleum could clearly be seen, befitting Shah Jahan's obsession with symmetry and the positioning of the pool itself.
The present basilica was constructed nearby an earlier chapel which housed the statue found by three fishermen in the town of Guaratinguetá. According to local tradition, the group was attempting to catch a large amount of fish in the Paraíba River for a banquet honoring the visit of São Paulo Governor, Pedro de Almedida in 1717. Despite their prayers, their attempts were fruitless until late in the day, one of the fishermen cast his net and pulled it back to find the statue of the Virgin Mary. Upon his next cast, he found the head. The group cleaned the statue, wrapped it in cloth, and returned to their task to find their fortunes had changed and they were able to obtain all the fish they needed. The statue is believed to be the work of Frei Agostino de Jesus, a monk residing in São Paulo.
Legend of Saint Basil Cathedral, Russia
The identity of the architect is unknown. Tradition held that the church was built by two architects, Barma and Postnik: the official Russian cultural heritage register lists "Barma and Postnik Yakovlev". Researchers proposed that both names refer to the same person, Postnik Yakovlev or, alternatively, Ivan Yakovlevich Barma (Varfolomey). Legend held that Ivan the Terrible blinded the architect so that he could not re-create the masterpiece elsewhere, although the real Postnik Yakovlev remained active at least throughout the 1560s.
Legend of Half Dome, United States
Half Dome was originally called Tis-sa-ack, meaning Cleft Rock in the language of the local Native Americans. Tis-sa-ack is the name of a mother from a native legend. The face seen in Half Dome is supposed to be hers. Tis-sa-ack is the name of a Mono Lake Paiute Indian girl in the Yosemite Native American legend.
Legend of Crater Lake, United States
The Klamath tribe of Native Americans, who may have witnessed the collapse of Mount Mazama and the formation of Crater Lake, have long regarded the lake as a sacred site. Their legends tell of a battle between the sky god Skell and Llao, the god of the underworld. Mount Mazama was destroyed in the battle, creating Crater Lake. The Klamath people used Crater Lake in vision quests, which often involved climbing the caldera walls and other dangerous tasks. Those who were successful in such quests were often regarded as having more spiritual powers. The tribe still holds Crater Lake in high regard as a spiritual site.
Legend of Gocta Falls, Peru
The daily El Comercio said that the impressive waterfall had remained unknown to outsiders until now, because local people feared the curse of a beautiful blond mermaid who lived in its waters, if they revealed its whereabouts. The falls are supposed to be protected by a white haired mermaid like spirit whos hair can be seen flowing down the massive U shaped walls at the bottom of the falls.
Legend of Yosemite Falls, United States
The Ahwahneechee people called the Yosemite Falls - Cholock (the fall) and believed that the plunge pool at its base was inhabited by the spirits of several witches, called the Poloti. An Ahwaneechee folktale describes a woman going to fetch a pail of water from the pool, and drawing it out full of snakes. Later that night, after the woman had trespassed into their territory, the spirits caused the house of the woman to be sucked into the pool by a powerful wind, taking the woman and her newborn baby with it.
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