Ancient legends and myths of Portugal
Quick quiz: what do you know about Portugal? If the answer is, “not much”, or at least not much apart from its cultural and geographical proximity to Spain, the Atlantic Ocean and Fado music, you might be interested in enriching your knowledge with some of the Ancient legends and myths of Portugal.
Portuguese people are quite inclined to musing and imagination, and we wouldn’t blame them, seen that their country is very beautiful and retains a very romantic, melancholy air. Their stories talk of different mythical creatures.
Have you ever heard of the White Lady? The White Lady (or Mulher de Branco, as she is called by the locals) is a ghost which is said to appear in rural and desolate places and she is associated with a tragic tale of failed love. The White Lady was apparently betrayed by her fiance and, after her tragic death, she went on to become a harbinger of death.
However, don’t let such tales of tragedy put you off. Portugal is for the most part a happy sunny place. There are many joyful, happy tales as well.
And if the Irish and Scots have elves and goblins, why would the Spaniards and the Portuguese be found lacking in the mythical creatures department? As a matter of fact, the Portuguese do have similar fantastic creatures, called the Mouros. Working with silver and living under the earth (a bit like the dwarves), the Mouros sometimes also appear as enchanted warriors and giants.
A special Mouro – or Moura, the female equivalent – is the Moura Encantada. A nymph, a lost woman soul or the safekeeper of the treasures of the Mouros, the Moura seems similar to the leprechaun in that she will allegedly bestow riches upon whoever saves her from her spell.
If you wish to ascertain whether such myths do have a grain of truth somewhere, we suggest a Lisbon tour for your next Portuguese trip!