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The Tower of the Maidens

At the end of the 15th century, during the reign of the Catholic Monarchs, Doña Beatriz, daughter of Don Tello de Guzmán, spent summer in the Castle of Villaviciosa, a village that is approximately 20 km from Ávila. She was 17 years old and her beauty impressed everyone.

However, one day a messenger arrived at the castle with the sad news of the death of Don Tello during the campaign against the Moors. Her peaceful existence changed radically: she had not only lost her beloved father, but she had also fallen in love with the young man who had brought her the news. Despite the fact that she insisted, using hundreds of excuses and pretexts, on the messenger resting in the castle so that she could be with him, he was a loyal soldier and set off immediately to return to the battlefront.

The inhabitants of the castle heard the young girl's laments for days. They all took it as the great sadness of a daughter for the loss of her father, but her sorrow also included the anguish of a girl in love who did not know whether she would see her beloved it again.

Bound by sorrowful passion, a feeling that was unfamiliar to her, Doña Beatriz walked round like a lost soul, wandering around the castle and spending hours in the cold and heat of the battlements. From there, she gazed towards the horizon, waiting for the silhouette of the unknown young man to appear in the distance.

Finally, one morning, against a grey, leaden sky, she saw a horse-rider galloping towards the castle. She had never run down from the tower to the bailey so quickly. There, she waited impatiently for the messenger to get down from his horse and hand her a parchment, which she opened anxiously.

And yes, it was a letter from her beloved. Furthermore, it was a confession of his love for her. However, after her initial happiness, she realised that the letter had been written in his blood. He had fought in battle brilliantly and bravely to win sufficient merit to become a knight. However, his bravery brought tragedy and he was fatally wounded. Before dying, he wrote the following:

'When I saw you, Doña Beatriz, I felt love's calling and wanted to stand before my Lady of Villaviciosa as a knight, with merit enough to ask for your hand in marriage. I die, not from my wounds, but from the pain of not being able to see you'.

And they say that, after reading his message, Doña Beatriz's breast opened like a blood-red flaming volcano and she dropped dead immediately.

La Torre de las Damas