Monforte del Cid: Legend of the medieval knight El Cid

Monforte del Cid: Legend of the medieval knight El Cid.

Monforte del Cid: Legend of the medieval knight El Cid. Image: Sierra del Cid / Facebook.

Monforte del Cid owes its “surname” to the nearby Sierra del Cid, which is linked to a legend involving the medieval knight El Cid.

In the 13th century, the town was originally named Nompot. This name possibly originated because the town was situated at the foot of a mountain topped with a fortress.

Over time, the name evolved to Monfort, which was eventually adopted in its Spanish form as Monforte.

Del Cid Suffix

To distinguish it from other towns with the same name, it was given the suffix “del Cid” in the early 20th century.

This was in reference to the Sierra del Cid nearby, which commemorates the exploits of Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar in the province of Alicante.

Legend has it that El Cid while travelling through the province of Alicante, paused to rest at the summit of the Sierra del Cid.

Group Ambush

During this brief respite, he was ambushed by a group of Moors.

Cornered near a precipice and at a clear disadvantage, El Cid saw no chance of winning the battle.

In a desperate move, he charged at his attackers, shouting “James the Apostle, help me!”

The echo of his call reverberated through the mountains.

La Patà del Cavall

Suddenly, a white horse ridden by Santiago appeared, taking the reins of Babieca, El Cid’s horse.

With extraordinary strength, Babieca leapt to the top of the Sierra del Caballo.

As he landed, his horseshoes left imprints on a rock, which are still known today as “La Patà del Cavall.”

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Written by

Anna Ellis

Originally from Derbyshire, UK, Anna has lived in the middle of nowhere on the Costa Blanca for 20 years.