Portuguese Myths and Legends

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The Sea ... the unknown ...

Many Portuguese sailed across the Atlantic with bravery, enthusiasm, courage and embarked on the adventure of the Discoveries.But...the "Sea of Darkness was too scary!

Sea monsters...The Abyss...

Fear... Superstition!

The legends and myths never left the sailors mind. Cabo Bojador was believed to be "the end of the world" ... "many passed and did not return ...

Boiling water ... Dragons ... Green Lakes ... Mermaids ...

Enchanted Islands


Legend of the island of the seven cities, land of Atlantis and GodsIt is told that seven christian bishops from Porto discovered the Azores islands. There they founded seven cities, each one with its own government. Their life was fantastic, with golden palaces and everyone lived happily. But no one could find the island because one of the bishops cast a spell on the island and it disappeared into the fog.

Another legend related to Azores: the famous Atlantis One day the earth shook and the water took everything. The nine islands are thought to be the mountain tops of this mysterious land.

The Azores are also the land of ancient Gods: there lived Euphemia, daughter of Atlas and Jupiter's granddaughter. She was very beautiful, with a pure heart and refused to marry to a son of Neptune.

Neptune went to war with Atlas and during the conflict the princess died. In the other world, the princess converted to christianity and returned to Earth to spread the good.

Even today, many people from So Miguel, Azores, believe that Euphemia lives in the "boiler" of the volcano that gave birth to the Valley of the Seven Cities. The valley appears and disappears amidst the clouds and fog...

The Azores

Here the sea swallowed men and boats ... the "monster" did not let anyone escape! Cape of Good Hope and the Giant Adamastor


Terrifying aspect;Large and misshapenblack face;Sunken eyes;Black mouth and yellow dirty teeth;Beard and curly hair; Horrendous and deep voice;Huge legs and arms


ADAMASTORwas imortalized by the Portuguese epic poet Lus de Cames, in Os Lusadas, as the giant who caused terrible shipwrecks.

Adamastor was the name given to one of the giants sons of Gaia, who rebelled against Zeus.Defeated by him, they got reduced to headlands and islands.

Based on the greco-roman mithology Adamastor represents the forces of Nature that the Portuguese ships faced in the passage from the Atlantic to the Indian Ocean.

The Legend of EspinhoIn very ancient times, a small boat sailing along the coast was caught in the bad, stormy, furious sea and sank. Two men from Galicia (Spain), survived the tragedy. The legend tells they promised to build a chapel if God would save them from death.

When they found a wooden plank on which God had put them safe, one of the men said it was oak and the other said: No! Es Pio!. It is one of the explanations for our citys name and there was in fact the Galicians Chapel which was destroyed by the sea.

Between myth and legend, our people overcame fears and superstition. And we had the sea as an ally, even in the darkest storm."We have given worlds to the World..."

* Beatriz *Leonor *Maria *Murat