Close to the road joining Sevilla with Granada, a historically important route in Andalucia, travelers will come across a rock formation outside Antequera on the Archidona side of the city with the look of a human face staring up into the heavens.
Known the Peña de los Enamorados, or in English either Lover’s Rock or Lover’s Leap, the rock has been immortalized by the likes of Cervantes, Washington Irving, and Lorenzo Valla to name just a few. The rock dominates the horizon and due to the legend of the doomed lovers has become an instantly recognizable symbol of the city.
Legend has it that during the time of the Christian reconquest, and before Antequera had fallen to Ferdinand’s army, the beautiful daughter of the Moorish mayor of the city Tazgona one day visited her father’s dungeons to witness for herself the handsome Christian warrior Tello who had been captured in a raid.
At first glance the two fell head over heels in love with each other and couldn’t bear the thought of ever being separated. Tazgona pleaded with her father to set Tello free and allow her to marry him, but in those times it was forbidden for anyone to marry outside their faith.
Falling into a fit of despair they decided they had no choice but to flea the city and try to find a place outside of Spain where they could be together. Tazgona sneaked into the dungeon with the keys, and together they crept out of the castle, being spotted on the road below.
Tazgona’s father called out his troops to chase them, vowing to execute Tello and lock his daughter away in the palace. Reaching the rock they climbed to the top hoping to escape down the other side, but with arrows coming from all directions they were forced to hide behind a boulder.
Realizing the futility of their position and knowing it was only a matter of time until the troops came for them the lovers chose to leap to their deaths holding hands. With a final passionate kiss, they ran for the edge and jumped.
From that day on the rock as been named in their honour as the Peña de los Enamorados.
To really understand the Peña de los Enamorados make sure to see it from both sides, notice how one side looks male, and the other side looks female. The two faces are Tello and Tazgona joined together forever.