Aldeias Históricas de Portugal

Villages

King Wamba’s Ash

Idanha-a-Velha

Idanha-a-Velha

On the tapada (enclosed grounds) of the Garden or Chão do Freixo, there is still a leafy ash, said to have belonged to King Wamba, a mythical symbol of the prevalence of divine purposes over the human will. There, according to the legend, the farmer Wamba, future Visigoth king, pierced the ground with a dry ash branch that miraculously flourished at the challenge, demonstrating the sacredness of the monarchy with which he was vested. Wamba (also known as Bamba or Vamba) was king of the Visigoths between 672 and 680. This legend is part of the Indo-European folklore and there are several areas in the Iberian Peninsula that claim this legend as their own. The version that places it in Idanha-a-Velha emerges in Iberian stories dating back to at least the 14th century.