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Or the legend of the formation of the Pyrenees

Hercules lost his beloved and in his despair he created the Pyrenees

Daughter of the King of the Bekrydes, Pyrene was a pretty blonde girl

Daughter of the King of the Bekrydes, Pyrene was a pretty blonde girl. She dreamed that one day a young man with gentle features would seduce her. Courted by many lords, none found favor in her eyes until one summer Hercules, son of Zeus, arrived in her land.

Known for the feats he had accomplished in his twelve labors, he returned from the farthest reaches of the known world and went home. Welcomed as a hero, he was invited to a sumptuous feast during which he told of his adventures. Pyrene was immediately seduced by this exceptional man. At nightfall, they isolated themselves from the rest of the guests and Pyrene asked him to stay with her.



“You could become a shepherd and we would have the most beautiful flock in the Land” she told him. Hercules, falling under the spell of this beautiful young girl, agreed. They decided to keep their love a secret and spent the summer enjoying their long and tender encounters in the forest.

One evening when the first storms heralded autumn, Hercules was waiting for Pyrene on a rock. About to ask her father for her hand in marriage, a flight of wild geese heading for his country suddenly caught his attention. “It is an omen, I must leave” he said to himself. When Pyrene arrived at the place of their rendezvous, she called out to him … until she realized that Hercules had left.

She then began to run eastward, convinced that he had returned to his country. She climbed hillsides, crossed swamps and stopped only to drink and cry. Realizing that she would never catch up with him, she ended up lying on the grass. Exhausted by cold and hunger, she finally dropped the stick that kept the wolves at bay and let out a final cry of sadness.

And the Pyrenees became the tomb of Pyrene


Hearing her cry, Hercules suddenly became aware that Pyrene was in danger. He turned back and, after searching every nook and cranny of the forest, finally discovered the lifeless body of his beloved.

Crazed with rage and grief, he laid the body of the one he loved on a bed of flowers and leaves and decided to build her a tomb worthy of their love. He piled up blocks of stone as long as his sadness lasted until he created mountains. Before returning to his country, Hercules spoke these few words of farewell: “So that your name, my dear Pyrene, may be preserved forever by the men who will populate this land, these mountains in which you sleep for eternity will be called The Pyrenees.”