Travel

5 LEGENDS IN POPAYAN

Every city has its own, can a white city with a heavy past not have some?

The clock
In the main square there’s a white tower with a peculiar clock. The number 4, expressed in Latin, isn’t iv as it should be but iiii. The legend says that a French artisan built it for the French king, who was known to be ignorant about Latin. The king got it so badly that he murdered the artisan and send the clock far far away.

The Cross part I
The city is highly sismic. One of the worst earthquakes, on the Holy Thursday of 1983, killed many who had found refuge under the cathedral’s cupola, mistakenly thinking it would be safe. The Pope John Paul II, passing by few days later, shocked by the tragedy, allegedly gifted the city with a piece of the holy cross, which is supposedly kept under the altar.


The crown
Inside the cathedral there’s a special virgin, the apocalypse virgin. It was taken here from Quito and delivered to a fraternity, in charge of taking care of the statue and its accessories. Among them, an amazing crown of high value. It was filled with diamonds, one of them the famous Atahualpa diamond. At the beginning of the 90’s the fraternity decided to sell it, to cover the charity activities but it was. Stolen before. It reappeared years later in the USA, where a merchant designed many legends around the crown to increase its value. For instance he said thanks to that crown the city of Popayan escaped the vaiolo plague, or that it had passes in the hands of Simon Bolivar and stolen by pirates. He showed it at Macy’s and used it during his parties. It was bought by European billionaire and then brought back to the US when acquired by the MET for 2,5 million dollars.

The hidden character
It’s not surprising that Popayan had so much wealth, being one of the main cities of the colony, ruling on many Colombian provinces, from the Pacific to the Amazon. In fact, Miguel de Cervantes tried hard to become its governor but was stopped by being imprisoned in Spain. That’s the reason why a hidden and dark Don Quijote has been put on Aphoteosis of Popayan, a large painting representing the history of the town.

The Cross part II
The city is constant under the risk of being. Destroyed, not only by earthquakes. When the jesuits were condemned by the church and sent away from America, the pay launched a spell on the city. Popayan would fall when the cross of Belem church would be destroyed. We have never seen a more fortified cross!

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