The Secret of Benidorm Island, Spain


The key feature of Puig Campana is a small gash, located just next to the peak of the mountain. Interestingly, a rock of a similar shape could be seen, from the beaches of Benidorm, in the Mediterranean Sea.

This coincidence has stimulated the imagination of local people for ages. Perhaps, for as long since the death of the protagonist in these stories – Roland, the Foremost of Charlemagne’s Paladins. Later on, many legends have been told regarding the origins of the gap in Puig Campana. The most popular one is the romantic one…

Roland’s Cut in Puig Campana. Photo by Alis Monte [CC BY-SA 4.0], via

The Romantic Version

During those days, Frankish warriors were common visitors in these lands. The fierce battle between Moors and Franks went back and forth without any decisive victory. During one of those raids, a prodigy Frankish Commander Roland fell in love with a local maiden. Their love didn’t last long because one day Roland learned that the girl is cursed, and she would die when the last ray of sun will touch her skin. A desperate Roland climbed Puig Campana to cut out a piece out of it to prolong the life of her love. When the Sun set behind the Puig Campana, the girl died. Mad with grief, Roland grabbed the piece of the mountain and threw it to the Mediterranean Sea, creating the Island of Benidorm.

Ad Meskens [CC BY-SA 3.0 (]

The Other Version

…Skipping all the boring parts… and the battle has finally reached its grande finale. The fierce fighting took to the top Puig Campana. People from afar could hear the swinging swords of two nearly evenly matched warriors. Roland was about to get the upper hand against the Moorish leader, he lifted his sword, Durendal, to finish his enemy but the opponent proved to be a worthy one and evaded the final blow. Roland hit the ground instead and cut a piece out of the mountain which fell into the sea…

It is not like we need proof to deny this but the origins of Benidorm’s island differ from Puig Campana by somewhere within 64 million years.

garrulus at [CC BY 2.0 (]

Roland’s Breach (La Brèche de Roland)

Roland’s Cut is not the only feature of the kind in Spain left by the Frankish Commander. Roland must have been a truly talented mountain slasher because he cut Pyrenees as well. This formation is better known as Roland’s Breach, and the story behind it is no less tragic than the one before.

The legend tells that Moors were fiercely chasing Roland to the edge of their territory. Unfortunately, his horse has died when he attempted to escape his pursuers by jumping over a chasm. Roland didn’t give up and continued on foot. Just before his last moment, Roland smote the Pyrenees with his sword to make a breach so he could see his beloved Francia for one last time.

Falk2 [CC BY-SA 4.0 (]

History behind the Legends

Like in many legends, some parts of them are true. Roland was an actual Commander who died in the area during the Battle of Roncevaux Pass against Basques. That doesn’t mean that he could cut the mountains, but after his death Roland was turned into something as the role-model of all knights. This probably explains why so many legends surround his name ergo making him a legend on its own right.

All of these battles, wrapped with legends, ended up in 795 when Frankish Empire established a military buffer zone – Marca Hispanica. Roughly, the territory included Aragon, Catalonia, and Basque Country. You can read more about Marca Hispanica and following events here.

by Alis Monte

Originally published at on November 13, 2019.

Newsletter Subscription

As some of you might have noticed, I don't post very often and my blog might be a bit hard to follow. Fort this reason, I created a subscription lst for anyone who is willing to get a notice once I publish a new blog post. You can subscribe to it by clicking here

Want more of this?

Any given post entry of any given place takes me around 20h to complete. This includes writing, researching, photo editing, creation of graphics and actual post. Nobody pays me to do it, therefore I must do it on my free time. I have many interesting ideas of how to put an interesting information into an easy way to digest it, like maps, infographics and other cool stuff, but what I lack is time. If you appreciate my work and happened to be in a position where it wouldn't hurt you, it would mean a world to me if you could gift me an extra hour on Patreon.

Become a Patron!

Steemie currently dosen't allow you to make comments. If you want to write something, write it using another frontend (like Steemit)
Click there to view this post on
  • @nnnarvaez

    Is that the same Roland as Roland de Roncevalles? (I just read the whole post and indeed is! )

    My wife heavily opposed to name our first born Roland as apparently it is has been in France, but it was my first choice in his honor and the Cowboy Roland from the dark tower.

  • @travelfeed

    Congratulations! Your high-quality travel content was selected by @travelfeed curator @smeralda and earned you a partial upvote. We love your hard work and hope to encourage you to continue to publish strong travel-related content.
    Thank you for being part of the TravelFeed community!

    Thanks for posting through! You have received a larger upvote from us. We hope to see you soon on! Posting through also makes your post eligible to participate in the travel writing contest by @invisusmundi where you can earn up to 100 STEEM! Read the contest announcement for more information on how to participate.

    We are continuously working on improving TravelFeed, recently we presented at SteemFest⁴, published our Android app and launched our Steem witness.

    Please consider voting for us as a witness. If you're not sure how to do that, it's easy: Head over to our Support Us page and hit the witness voting button to vote with Steem Keychain, or Steemconnect if you are not a Keychain user. Alternatively, use this Steemconnect link or head over to the Steemit Wallet and enter travelfeed in the box.

    Learn more about TravelFeed by clicking on the banner above and join our community on Discord.