Legend of the Lovers of Teruel

At the beginning of the 13th century, Isabela de Segura and Juan Diego de Marcilla lived in the town of Teruel, and this young pair loved each other. Juan Diego was poor and Isabela’s father was rich and would not allow them to marry. So Juan Diego went off to war to make his fortune. Isabel promised to wait for him for 5 years. The same day that the time limit was up, Isabela’s father forced her to marry another man who came from Albarracin. On that same day Juan Diego arrived and heard the news. He went to Isabela’s house and asked her for a kiss, which she denied him, since she was already married. He died immediately of a broken heart. The next day the funeral of Juan Diego took place and a woman in black arrived and went to the Church of San Pedro to the casket to kiss the dead man on his lips. She then fell dead after the kiss. The people of the town decided to bury the couple together after seeing this demonstration of love.

The surprise is that the legend was true. In 1955 they found the bodies of the couple in the church of San Pedro. In 1619 Don Juan Yague de Salas, the secretary of the town council, found a document titled “History of the Lovers of Teruel”.  This document confirmed the identities of the couple. An organization called the Foundation of the Lovers of Teruel was formed in 1998 to remember this love story and it is sited at the Church of San Pedro. Every year on Valentine’s Day, there is a reenactment of the story of the Lovers of Teruel in the town, with people in period costumes from the Middle Ages