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The Tale of the River Gilão/Séqua

Lenda do Gilão e da Séqua

Legend has it that…

 

When the Algarve was under Moorish occupation, a Moorish king lived in Tavira whose daughter was called Séqua. The tale also goes that during the Christian conquest of the Kingdom of Algarve, among the ranks was a handsome knight named Gilão. Gilão met Séqua, and they fell madly in love, but they knew their love was forbidden. A Moorish princess and a Christian knight could never be together.

However, as their love was powerful, the lovers would meet in secret, late every night, on the bridge between the two banks of the river in Tavira. One night, as the knight and the princess met on the bridge, they were surprised by both sides; the Christian military lined one riverbank and the Moorish military the other.

The knight and the princess, terrified of having been discovered because they knew they would be accused of treason, decided to bring a dramatic end to both their lives. Princess Séqua threw herself over one side of the bridge (upstream) and Gilão over the other side (downstream). According to legend, they are still drifting down the river to this day.

This explains why the same river has two names: Séqua, for the side of the river closest to its source, and Gilão as it reaches the river mouth ião and Séqua are, in fact, the same waters and Tavira the fruit of their love.

 

Stories and tales told by mychoice.pt

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