On a plaque at its base is the following inscription:
VIENDO IMPOSIBLE SV AMORAllowing for the Roman-icised Vs replacing Us, and the poetic language used, I believe the following translation pretty much captures the essence:
CEÑIDOS EN FVERTE ABRAZO
SE ARROJAROS LOS AMANTES
DESDE LO ALTO DE LA PEÑA
Lorenzo Valla (1445)
Since love was to be impossible,There is a free, English language, magazine 'Local Connections', available in the Costa del Sol district. In the regular 'Out & About in Antequera' column, of Edition 37, Aug-Sep 2007, Liz Partridge has written a piece titled Legends of Antequera. It goes:
as one in a strong embrace
the lovers threw themselves
from atop of the rock
The story begins sometime during the conquest of Antequera, when a young man, believed to be a christian, was captured and taken to Granada. There, he worked as a slave for a family of Moors in a beautiful house with a garden. But busy both in the house and in the city, it was sometime before he saw the daughter of his master. One day, as he was working in the garden, she came out walking with her maid. He politely urged her to take shelter from the sun under the pergola. She was instantly taken by his way of speaking and his good manners, while he fell in love with this gentle maiden. Dismissing her maid on some pretence, she was able to continue her discourse with the young man. They were irresistibly attracted to one another and, while discussing how they could possibly be together, decided to escape at the first opportunity, ignoring the obvious danger that entailed.
One night, while her parents were sleeping, they slipped out of the house and fled in the direction of the Rock. There, they rested awhile talking of what their life would be like together. Suddenly, they heard the sound of horses approaching at great speed and were horrified to see her father and his men drawing nearer.
The only refuge, under the circumstances, was the summit of the Rock, where they climbed breathlessly. Her father and his men dismounted and followed on foot. The maiden's father ordered her to return to her family and his men urged her to throw herself at his feet and beg forgiveness. The young man, hearing this , turned to her and said, "Go down, ask for his mercy and he will surely forgive you. As for me, I can no longer live." "Love of my soul," she replied, "if you die, then we will die together." Then, with their love declared, they embraced and threw themselves off the Rock, to their death.
There are various interpretations of this legend though they all end in the demise of the lovers. In one, it is said that the couple were found still entwined and were buried together. Another tells how, in the fall, they became separated and remained where they lay amongst inaccessible rocks. [I like the first version better - I reckon it is in keeping with the sentiment of the statue inscription.] Meanwhile, the Rock retains its mystery and its appearance of a face seeking the stars.
I am known far and wide as an old romantic, so I won't spoil that reputation by drawing any attention to the distance between Granada and the Rock outside Antequera. And I assume if she was to throw herself at her father's feet pleading forgiveness, she'd come down from the Rock first. No? Hey, it's a lovely story.
It's a lovely statue.