Legends of the Costa da Morte

Legends of the Costa da Morte are all around me as I’m writing to you from Muxía today. On this very rainy Tuesday morning of November, I’m looking foward to exploring with you the heart of Costa da Morte. A couple of weeks ago, I recorded a podcast about discovering the “End of the world”. This podcast was an invitation by my wonderful colleague Ana from Bolboreta Spanish School. If you want to hear more, check it out here (heads up, it’s in Spanish and intended for intermediate/advanced learners)

This conversation was so much fun that I thought it would be the great opportunity for me to share with you some of the tales that shape the cultural landscape of this area in this blog too.

Costa da Morte

The first story that I’d like to delve into is the story behind the name of the region: Costa da Morte (Death Coast). This name has its origin in the turbulent waters and unpredictable weather of the area. They have caused countless shipwrecks throughout history, and  each sunken ship has its own story of tragedy, contributing to the mysterious aura that surrounds the region.  

To the left of Praia do Trece,  on the sandbank known as Punta Boi, three shipwrecks took place at the end of the 19th century that forever marked the history and name of the Costa da Morte: the Iris Hull ( 1883), the Serpent (1890) and the Trinacria (1893).
To the left of Praia do Trece, on the sandbank known as Punta Boi, three shipwrecks took place at the end of the 19th century that forever marked the history and name of the Costa da Morte: the Iris Hull ( 1883), the Serpent (1890) and the Trinacria (1893).

Finisterre

Finisterre, also known as Fisterra in Gallego or Finisterra in Spanish was considered “The End of the World” in antiquity. This place, where the land meets the vast ocean, has been considered mystical and full of spiritual energy. The legend of Finisterre invites us to reflect on the importance of journeys, personal transformation, and the connection between land and sea. For many pilgrims of the Camino de Santiago, reaching Finisterre represents a symbolic completion of their spiritual journey. It adds an extra layer of meaning to their pilgrimage, emphasizing the transformative nature of the experience and the idea of reaching the ultimate destination.

Finisterre's lighthouse
The lighthouse of Finisterre and its marking as the end of the Camino de Santiago.

Buserana

Closer to Muxía, you will find the legend of La Buserana, about which I talked in the podcasts. It tells the story of Florinda, the daughter of a brave knight, who falls in love with Buserán, a troubadour. Disapproving of their romance, the knight expels Buserán and locks Florinda away. The knight’s anger leads to Buserán’s tragic death, thrown into a cave by the sea. Florinda, upon learning of his demise, goes mad and is later seen at the cave, calling for Buserán. Legend has it that their spirits linger, with fishermen claiming to hear Buserán’s sweet songs echoing through the coastal cliffs.

I hope you enjoyed reading about these Legends of the Costa da Morte and if you’re visiting the area you can book a walking tour to discover more of the history behind this wonderful place at the end of the Camino de Santiago.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Requi

    Is it known what teh peninsula was called before the name Costa De Morta?

    1. User Avatar
      SarahBlanquet

      I don’t know, I’ve searched without success. The first time this name was recorded was on January 14, 1904 in the newspaper Noroeste de Galicia. However, since the Middle Ages this area of the territory was already known by sailors as the brave coast, the dangerous coast or the murderous coast. The first time the term appears in English, “Coast of Death”, was in 1908 in a text by the British travel writer Annette Meaking. https://www.elespanol.com/quincemil/articulos/cultura/un-origen-de-leyenda-asi-se-gesto-el-nombre-de-costa-da-morte

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