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The legend of the Moorish maiden Salúquia

The legend of the Moorish maiden Salúquia
The legend of the moorish maiden Salúquia dates back to the time that the region of Moura was in the hands of the Moors, whilst the Christian kings of the Iberian Peninsula, most notably D. Afonso Henriques, the first king of Portugal, were doing all they could to reconquer the region for Christianity.

Salúquia, the daughter of the Muslim governor Abu Hassan, was engaged to be married to the young commander of the castle. Standing atop one of the towers, Salúquia awaited the arrival of her betrothed, who had set forth to fight the Portuguese. However, the Christian forces, who were advancing upon the town and preparing to conquer it, had already ambushed the young Moor and killed him, along with his companions. They then put on their enemy's clothes and tricked those inside the castle into opening the doors and letting them in.

On realising that she had been deceived, the beautiful maiden Salúquia preferred to die than to become the slave and prisoner of the Christians and threw herself from the tower. This legend is said to explain the origin of the town's name: Moura (meaning Moorish maiden).


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