The epics of Roncesvalles and Roland

The village of Roncesvalles is situated towards the northern area of Spain, within the region of the Pyrenees.

This spot is famous by its history and the interesting past events which happened in it and the unique combination of factual and legendary events that often attract visitors from a variety of origins.

The history of Roncesvalles

One of the main historical events which cause this village to be so famous is the Battle of Roncesvalles. The Battle of Roncesvalles took place on this spot towards the year 778 and is the base and origin of an important local legend, the legend of Roland which can be known through the epic tales of La chanson de Roland.

The past of Roncesvalles and the epics related to it turn it into a very mystic and magical destination. It is said that, during rainy or stormy nights, some mountain visitors can hear the sound of a horn as those which used to be heard during the époque of the epic tales.

Roland – a local hero

According to the epics, during the Middle Ages Roland was a local hero who was left in charge of this area by King Charlemagne. While Roland was in charge of the area, a large army of Saracens attacked it, and although this hero and his people fought them, they could hardly defeat them due to the difference in amounts.

Roncesvalles hermitage, spain.
Roncesvalles hermitage

This way, during this battle those who were helping Roland told him to sound a horn that Charlemagne had left him to use in case of extreme danger and in order to ask for help, but Roland didn’t want to use it until he was almost dying. When he sounded his horn, Charlemagne came to help but the battle was lost and Roland was almost dead.

Therefore, the sound of a horn is very symbolic to this area, and it explains the legends and tales told about such sounds during stormy nights. As it can be notices, this spot is very mystical and full of legends which provide it with an extra appealing that, combined with its history and interesting antique constructions, cause it to be a unique destination.

Map of Roncesvalles in Spain