|Section of a huge modern painting|
Isabel waited those five years for Diego, yet never heard a word from him either good or ill. She turned down countless suitors and engaged in stalling tactics to prevent her father from marrying her off. Meanwhile, Diego was involved in wars against the Muslims to the south, be they inland or coastal battles. Yet he was too late, and failed to return to Teruel before the end of the fifth year. Don Pedro wasted no time in arranging a marriage for his daughter against her will, which was held the very next day.
The next day at the funeral, Isabel got up from her seat in the church and pushed back the coffin’s veil, kissing Diego and giving him in death the kiss she had denied him in life. Instantly she died, embracing the body of her deceased lover.
Moved by Isabel’s expression of love for Diego, the families decided to bury the two lovers together, side by side in the Church of San Pedro.
Did it really happen?
|Bas relief on the escalinata or grand staircase leading up from the train station|
|Chapel in the Church of San Pedro where the mummies were found|
Does it matter if it happened?
|Streets of Teruel|
Today you can go visit the Fundación Amantes de Teruel, which manages the mausoleum where the mummies are kept. You can listen to a dramatized version of the story in a variety of languages, read about the historical and cultural context of the age, appreciate paintings inspired by the legend, and see the mummies themselves, now honored side-by-side in beautiful, modern alabaster sarcophagi. If you get a guided tour, you can also explore the Church of San Pedro—starry Neo-Gothic on the inside, and unique, brick-based Mudéjar on the outside.
Had you ever heard of the Lovers of Teruel story before? Are you weeping in your seat now? Tell me what you think about this tale in the comments below!
For more pictures, check out my album on Flickr here.