The charm of the almond blossoms in Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo
From the end of February, the infinite landscapes of Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo are painted in shades of white and pink, like a watercolour taken from a fairy tale. These are the almond trees which, with their grace, announce the arrival of spring, in an explosion of magic and colour. And they make this municipality even more beautiful, as could only occur with something as simple as a flower.
A living picture, the splendour of which is proof of the incredible miracle that is nature. This is what the almond trees in bloom remind us when we arrive in Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo from the end of February: that there is nothing simpler and more beautiful than life, like the blossoming of flowers in shades of white and pink. As if by magic, everything disappears and only the serenity of a landscape remains, which conquers us in a glance and ties us to that new place.
But how did the almond tree, a native of the Middle East, appear in our country?
Legend has it that many years ago, when the Moors reigned over almost the entire Iberian Peninsula, a powerful prince lived in Silves. One day, on a visit to his prisoners, his gaze was attracted by the beauty of a young woman, with very light skin and blonde hair. When he returned to his quarters he sent for the girl. He asked her what her name was. “Gilda,” she answered, to which the prince replied: “I don’t like that name. You don’t mind if I call you “the beautiful princess of the North”? Gilda shrugged her shoulders and replied that she was a prisoner and a slave, so the prince could treat her any way he wanted. Moved by the young woman’s sadness, which further enhanced her beauty, the prince ordered her to be freed.
However, the prince, whose joy and confidence was usually contagious, became sad and withdrawn. He missed Gilda. He then decided to look for her. He found that she was preparing to return to her land. Fearing that he might lose her forever, he confessed his love for her and asked her to marry him. Soon they were married, which was followed by several days of dancing and banquets.
But on the last day of the celebrations, Gilda disappeared. The prince found her lying in bed, almost dead. The doctors came, but none could find the cause of her illness. Until Gilda’s father appeared and explained that his daughter was suffering from nostalgia: “she misses the snow of her homeland, which at this time of year covers the fields and houses like a blanket.” The prince was desperate because it never snowed in the region. So he sought the advice of an elder, who advised him: “Lord, have many almond trees planted around the palace. When they blossom, the beautiful little white flowers will give the illusion of snow, and your wife will heal”.
So it was, and when spring came the almond trees blossomed, covering the immense space around the palace in a cloak of white. The princess got better and, from then on, the almond trees grace the countryside of certain regions of our country with their blossom when winter is over.
Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo is one of the places where the spectacle of the almond trees in flower is the most impressive, combined with the natural beauty of the municipality. For this reason, there are countless excursions to the Figueira region at this time.
The Travel Corner also cannot resist the fascination of the almond blossoms in Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo, and has prepared a very special tour for the occasion, on 7 and 8 March 2020. Find out more at this link and set off on a trip to see one of the most beautiful spectacles in our country.
Photo credits to: Município de Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo
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