Lloret: Land of bay laurel tree

We love to discover the stories and legends that surrounds Catalunya and the origins of many towns. Mythology, witches, demons, … have become part of the history of many towns thanks to the collective imagination and its consolidation in tales and fables. Although we have spend the whole week talking about trains, routes, the railway museum,... View Article


We love to discover the stories and legends that surrounds Catalunya and the origins of many towns. Mythology, witches, demons, … have become part of the history of many towns thanks to the collective imagination and its consolidation in tales and fables.

Although we have spend the whole week talking about trains, routes, the railway museum, … this article will let us know the history and the legend of a town that, despite being one of the most touristic places of the Costa Brava, cannot be reached by train. We are talking of Lloret.

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Several archaeological excavations have proved that the first inhabitants of Lloret lived during the palaeolithic, the first time Lloret appears on an official document was in the year 966, when the Valley of Tossa was given to the monastery of Ripoll. The document explains the old Valley of Tossa, delimited with the town of “Loredo”. Several excavations realized in the area have allowed to discover archaeological remains of iberian settlements (from the fourth to the second century bC) and Romans (first century bC to first century aC) as well as an Early Christian basilica and a necropolis (fourth century aC). The original name of Lloret comes from the Latin word Lauretum: a place with bay laurel trees.

But it is the legend, which explains a more romantic version of the origin of this town. The legend, which goes back to the Greek mythology, explains that Apolo wanted to compete with Eros in the art of the arrow. Feeling offended, Eros decided to punish Apolo shooting him an arrow to incite love and another arrow to Dafne to detest love.

And this is how Apolo started to unsuccessfully chase Dafne until she, tired of running away from him asked for help to her father, the river Peneo, who decided to turn her into a bay laurel tree. While she was slowly transforming, Apolo arrived and embraces inconsolable the tree. Apolo said that from then on, the bay laurel tree will be his favourite tree and that its leaves will crown the heads of leaders as crowns.

This is how Ovid explains the origin of the laurel wreath that were awarded to victors. But, having in mind that Lloret was, according to the toponymy, a land of bay laurel trees, who can say we won’t find here Apolo embraced to Dafne’s body?

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