historical love stories

It’s February and love is in the air! Love is one of the most magnificent and revolutionary emotions we can experience in our lives. Throughout history, there have been several historical love stories that show us no matter the form or the obstacles, love always finds ways to adapt and grow. These memorable couples have changed history and shaped civilizations for centuries. 

Here are a few historical love stories that will remind you why you fell in love in the first place! Sit tight and enjoy the warmth each of these couples will bring to your heart. 

Popocatépetl and Iztaccíhuatl (Popo and Itza)

Our first couple takes us all the way back to pre-colonial Mexico, when the Aztecs were still one of the most powerful and advanced civilizations in the Americas. 

Even though this legend has many variations, the most popular one is that Itza was a princess and Popo a warrior. Her father, the ruler of the land, asked Popo to go to war and come back victorious if he wanted to marry his daughter. Popo accepted, and Itza patiently waited for him while others tried to win her heart. One day, in an attempt to mislead her, one of her other suitors told her that Popo had died and Itza, suffocated by the pain, died of a broken heart. When Popo came back and heard the tragic news, he decided to take Itza to the top of a mountain to build a majestic tomb for her. Consumed sadness, Popo sat next to his beloved and froze to death. There, as the young couple were being covered by snow, the gods turned them into volcanoes. 

According to Ancient Origins, Itza’s name “means ‘The White Woman’” while Popo’s “means ‘The Smoking Mountain’.” The volcanoes can be found in the states of Puebla and Mexico, where, if standing from the East or West, one can see the shape of a woman. 

The Tlahuac lake with the Iztaccíhuatl and Popocatépetl Volcano

The Lovers of Teruel 

In Spain, a few years before the colonization of Mexico, a great love story was taking place in the city of Teruel. Often referred to as the “real life Romeo and Juliet”, Diego and Isabel were lovers from different social classes. Isabel, a Segura, was the daughter of the richest man of the land. Diego, a Marcilla, came from a family that had lost most of their money. 

In order to marry Isabel, Diego promised her father that he would leave for five years and come back with riches. During that time, Isabel’s father brought her many suitors because he did not want her to marry Diego. Isabel did not hear anything from Diego in those years and, on the fifth anniversary of his departure, she married Don Pedro de Agraza. When Diego came back, he asked Isabel for just one last kiss. Isabel, acting as a faithful wife, declined his petition, and he died of pain. 

Isabel showed up to his funeral wearing her wedding dress and placed a kiss on her beloved’s lips, dying instantly after. This happened in 1217; however, it is possible to visit the tomb of the lovers, which is located at their mausoleum en La Iglesia de San Pedro in Teruel, Spain. 

Medieval town of Albarracín, Teruel. Spain.

Ines and Peter of Portugal 

Several years later, in the far away city of Coimbra, Portugal, another couple immortalized their tragic story. Peter of Portugal, the son of King Alfonso IV, was deeply in love with his wife’s lady-in-waiting, Inês de Castro. Peter and Ines would constantly have secret meetings in a place called Quinta Das Lagrimas, which today is a luxurious hotel in Portugal. When Peter’s wife died, he and Inês got married and started their new lives without any kind of secrecy. King Alfonso IV and his court strongly opposed to the union, so, nine years later, he ordered the murder of Inês. The tragic event changed Peter forever and, after several attempts to avenge his beloved, he finally took the throne and killed those who were involved in her murder. Some stories say that Peter, also known as Peter The Cruel, exhumed Inês’ body and made his court swear allegiance to their queen. Nevertheless, their story is a reminder of the sacrifices people are willing to take in the name of love.

Quinta das Lagrimas in Coimbra, Portugal

Simon Bolivar and Manuelita Saenz 

Bolivar and Manuelita are perhaps the most notorious lovers of the Latin American Revolution. Back in the 1800s, when Latin America was trying to win independence from Spain, Bolivar and Manuelita contributed greatly to the cause. Manuelita, who was the illegitimate child of a powerful Spaniard, decided to join the rebels after being mistreated by her family her whole life. Bolivar, also known as the “liberator” of South America, was the leader of the revolution. Manuelita met him when he was celebrating the independence of Ecuador and they immediately started their revolutionary love story. 

Even though Manuelita was already married and Bolivar was 23 years her senior, she decided to follow her heart and traveled with him to other countries to contribute with the independence movement. She worked for him as a spy, protected his personal belongings and saved his life on several occasions. When Bolivar died in 1830 after being exiled to Colombia, Manuelita found herself in disgrace from his enemies and was exiled to Jamaica. She died 30 years later, alone and excruciatingly sick, and was buried in a mass grave with no one to remember her. She dedicated most of her younger years to Bolivar and his cause, and continued to do so after his death. 

Hopefully you learned something from these historical love stories, and at the very least enjoyed the ride!

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