Turaida

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.

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