The battles between Judeo-Converts and old Christians were so important and bloody in Toledo that they gave of themselves to write an entire chapter of our history and of course from there arose several legends like the one we now bring you on this page.In Toledo there is a story related to those internal struggles that is called ‘The Legend of the Green Cross’ and is perhaps one of the least known in our city.
They were times of the reign of Enrique IV and the brawls in the city for the power as we already know by other legends, they were frequent and they could occur in any place of our city, but mainly around the cathedral, in what was the Alcaná, or principal market of the Hebrews before being constructed in these lands the cloister of the primate temple, promoted by the archbishop Tenorio.
It would not be surprising that in a market full of people where everyone came to get supplies of food, utensils, equipment, etc.. to the first change spark jumped and some skirmish arose more or less important and so it happened in this legend.
I have to remember that in Toledo, in this historical stage, the struggles between clans were the protagonists of the Ayala and Silva.
The Plaza de la Cruz Verde is located in Toledo in the cornice area at the end of the Plegadero and Vida Pobre streets. It is a splendid viewpoint from where you can observe the surroundings of the Tagus and the entire Valley area.
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In this square there was a large stone cross, beside which every evening Mary of the Tabernacle (daughter of a Silva follower) and her boyfriend Peter went to talk and swear their love.
But one afternoon Pedro is the bearer of a sad news: the father of his girlfriend has died in a brawl in the Alcaná at the hands of the Ayala. This is something that the girl, also a mother’s orphan, is unable to overcome and soon after falls ill and dies in a few weeks of melancholy (depression), according to neighbors.
Legend has it that every evening at sunset, when the daily tasks were finished, Peter would come to the feet of the great Cross to weep for the death of his beloved and for his lost illusion. It didn’t take long for Pedro to disappear from Toledo and never to be heard from again. There were those who said that he had taken his own life, others who had entered a convent. His whereabouts were never known.
The neighbors observed that from then on some climbing grasses began to grow and that in a short space of time they reached the arms of the Cross. This prodigy had never been seen in the square and it did not take long for the neighborhood to attribute this phenomenon to Peter’s tears with which he had watered the base of the Cross each evening. From then on, the stone humilladero was called La Cruz Verde.
The French troops during the War of Independence, destroyed the Cross as soon as they entered Toledo and today we only have the name of the square and the legend that will live as long as there is someone who wants to hear it.
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I visit our cemetery frequently and every time I go, I see an older man who is always leaning on the cross of a grave, I have found out that it is that of his son who died very young a few years ago. I know it has nothing to do with it, but when I see this man, he reminds me of the legend of THE GREEN CROSS.
(Dedicated to the memory of Mrs. Paula)
CARLOS DUEÑAS REY.