the legend of the rose of turaida

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When we travel, we are always fascinated by the different tales, folklores and legends from different countries and places we visit.

Have you heard about the legend of the Rose of Turaida?

If you ever visit Turaida Castle in Latvia, you will be sure to pass by and see the grave of Maija – the Rose of Turaida.

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The legend goes a little like this:

In early 17th Century (1601), the Swedish troops captured Turaida Castle. There was a young orphan girl discovered by the clerk of the castle, who adopted her as his own daughter and named her Maija.

Maija grew up to be beautiful young woman and the people named her the Rose of Turaida. She was engaged to a gardener by the name of Victor, who lived at Sigulda Castle. In the evenings, they would secretly meet each other at Gutmanis Cave.

A man named Adam who worked at Turaida Castle was interested in Maija and proposed to her. She rejected his proposal and Adam decided to win her over by deceit. He wrote a note to Maija inviting her to meet at Gutmanis Cave, as if the note were from Victor.

Maija turned up to the cave wearing a red silk scarf and realised she had been tricked, and chose to die rather than be unfaithful to her fiancé, Victor. She told Adam that the scarf would protect her neck from any sword and that he should attempt to cut her neck. Adam tried and Maija’s lifeless body fell down at his feet.

It was Victor that discovered his love murdered. In despair, he raced off to find help but in the meantime had dropped his axe. Suspicion arose and he was arrested and tried for her murder. It was only after a comrade-in-arms to Adam testified of the truth, which resulted in Victor being freed. Maija is now buried at the edge of Turaida graveyard, where Victor planted a linden tree on her grave.

What a tragic love story!

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Where have you been that has a similar historical tale behind it?

Share with us your thoughts.

And remember, if you want to how we are getting on during our Camino, we are posting daily videos on our Facebook Page.

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14 thoughts on “the legend of the rose of turaida

    […] healer who would use the water to treat the towns’ people. The best things about the cave are the Story of Rose of Turaida and the many inscriptions of love on the cave, some dating back to the 17th century. Don’t put […]

    radioukacz said:
    March 6, 2016 at 12:58 am

    Lovely legend, based on a fragment of Ludovico Ariosto’s “Orlando Furioso”, later versioned by Jack London. http://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/615/pg615.html (CANTO 29)

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      March 7, 2016 at 9:26 am

      Wow – had no idea it was based on that! Cool thanks for sharing 🙂

    […] healer who would use the water to treat the towns’ people. The best things about the cave are the Story of Rose of Turaida and the many inscriptions of love on the cave, some dating back to the 17th century. Don’t put […]

    Pork Hock - Southern Kissed said:
    September 26, 2014 at 10:00 pm

    […] can check your answer by clicking here, where you can also read about the Legend of the Rose of […]

    Globalresidence said:
    September 19, 2014 at 9:40 pm

    A beautiful and poignant little tale. Enjoyed this very much. Many thanks for sharing! Wishing a great weekend ahead!

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      September 19, 2014 at 10:58 pm

      Thank you for reading and glad to hear you enjoyed it! It is our wedding anniversary tomorrow and we will be walking 19 km or so before a rest day! So it should be an interesting weekend 🙂

        Globalresidence said:
        September 19, 2014 at 11:00 pm

        Wishing you a happy anniversary! 🙂 & may you have many more to come! 😄

    Curt Mekemson said:
    September 12, 2014 at 3:57 am

    Like the old folk tales and folk songs: tragic. At least Victor was eventually proven innocent.

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      September 12, 2014 at 6:15 am

      Yes, Victor was very lucky to have bee cleared… and you are right, it is tragic like other old folk tales… they are all seem a little dramatically tragic but so fascinating all the same 🙂 Thanks for reading!

    prior said:
    September 11, 2014 at 9:06 pm

    thanks for sharing – and discovering the history tales can be so fun – none come to mind right now but enjoyed this – and love the stone at the site.

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      September 11, 2014 at 11:19 pm

      Glad you enjoyed the post – thanks for reading. Hope you have been well.

    the eternal traveller said:
    September 11, 2014 at 7:58 pm

    Poor Maija. Such a sad ending to a beautiful story. I have a very sad shipwreck story to share. http://theeternaltraveller.wordpress.com/2013/01/01/suffer-the-little-children/

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      September 11, 2014 at 11:20 pm

      It is such a sad story, isn’t it?! Thanks for sharing for your post. Will duck on over to your story now!!

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