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The sad ending of the lovers of Teruel

Published: 2016.02.11 - 14:18:19   /  /  Ruth Soto Falcón

The sad ending of the lovers of Teruel

They say that this story, which occurred in Teruel, is very similar to that of Romeo and Juliet, and although the seed of the tragedy is the hatred that moves the lovers' family, there are certain differences with the work of Shakespeare and many reasons for it to be considered one of the most popular legends in Spain. There are even those who think that perhaps Shakespeare was inspired by this Aragonese legend, dating from the thirteenth century, to write his play later.

It is said that long ago in Teruel, there lived two young people called Diego Martínez de Marcilla and Isabel de Segura. Ever since childhood, they always swore love to each other and both held the promise to marry someday. She was from a very wealthy family, but he had no more fortune than the love of his parents.

Against the will of both families, the lovers decided to break the hatred and make their love last forever through marriage. Diego went to talk to Isabel's father in order to ask for her hand, but he was told that without any wealth he would not be a worthy suitor for his daughter.

Then the young man decided to undertake a long journey by land and sea in search of his own fortune and vowed to return after 5 years to make Isabel the happiest woman in the world.

She promised to wait for him, but her family pressure was stronger. The father forced her to marry the aristocrat Fernando de Gamboa, brother of the Lord of Albarracín.

As a divine prophecy, Diego returned the day of the ceremony, but this time he owned a small fortune he had earned fighting against the Moors.

The young man posing in wedding and just before the bride and groom said yes, he stepped forward and in front of everyone asked Isabel to give him a kiss. However, she replied with a pleading phrase: "For Christ's sake I beg you to look for another, and forget about me, because if God is not pleased, I'm not either". Diego insisted once more, but Isabel once again denied out of respect for her husband.

Following the refusal of his beloved, the young man did not resist. After a fit of rage, he hit the ground and his heart stopped instantly.

Her conscience repeatedly weighed on Isabel, because despite everything she still loved him like the first day. Therefore, she challenged her husband and went to the Church of San Pedro where Diego's coffin was, to give him the coveted kiss.

Everyone was amazed at the woman who suddenly entered covered by a veil and who approached the body to whisper something. She kissed him hard and remained there for several minutes. Time passed and everyone was surprised that Isabel did not move. Then when they went to ask her to retire, she was found dead at the side of the body of her beloved.

The citizens of Teruel agreed to bury them together in what they called the Mausoleum of the Lovers, in that same Church of San Pedro. Today the sculpted marble figures of the lovers of Teruel, Isabel and Diego, lie on the cover of their tombs. Both have an arm extended toward each other between the tombs, their hands touching for eternity.

The passion of the lovers of Teruel was so great that not even death could separate them. So every year there are many young lovers who like to visit their grave to rediscover this love story whose strength has helped revive the passion of many lovers of Spain and the world.

Translated by Luis E. Amador Dominguez

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