Poyo de Roldán

on a hill just a few kilometers outside of Nájera is the Poyo de Roldán, an odd beehive-shaped structure that put me in mind of the Gallarus Oratory … but smaller. reputedly, it is the site where Roland slew the giant Ferragut, not with a dagger as often related, but with a giant rock — the poyo.

the emir of Babylonia sent Ferragut and a slew of Turks to Spain to battle Charlemagne. the two sides encountered one another just outside Nájera and Ferragut challenged the French to put up their best men in single combat against him. after the unceremonious destruction of nearly two dozen of Charlemagne’s best men, Roland took his turn. he battled Ferragut for three days, stopping occasionally for conversation and discussion about one another’s religions; in these conversations Ferragut revealed his only weakness — his navel. Roland used this fact to his advantage and, when Ferragut fell atop Roland in an attempt to smother him, Roland jabbed a dagger (or threw a rock) at Ferragut’s navel and defeated him.

Author: Erica

born in the midwest with wandering feet.

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