Daroca, medieval city
As you are approaching the historical town of Daroca, you can appreciate its hills, some of them green with pines, almond trees, vineyards... and other red due to clay. In the background, the Jiloca River lined with fruit trees, black poplars, willows...
Atop, the Morish castle, watching over the valley and the towers, and at the bottom... the city embraced by its walls with its monumental gates.
Once passing through its gates, the Calle Mayor welcomes us. The sound of the cobblestones receives us, evoking echoes of its medieval history and culture.
We will find its churches of stone and brick scattered around the town.
A city to discover... Would you like to come along with us?
The enchanted morica
The year was 1118 when our great Aragonese King Alfonso I the Battler had reconquered from the Arabs Tarazona, Zaragoza and Calatayud and was already going to retake the very important Darüqa.
Aben Gama, the Moorish King of Darüqa in his major castle was very nervous, very short-tempered, and fearful by the advance of the Christians...
In order to ginger him up, his friend Zuleika, the merchant, great potentate, brought from Arabia (probably of the current North Yemen) the most beautiful of the Arabic women, called Melihah (pronounced Melijá). Melihah in Arabic means "Beautiful Rose".
They all took a fancy to her beauty, included his more important servant called Omed who secretly falls in love with her.
Aben Gama pampers Melihah with gifts, but she never falls in love with him and suffers in her golden confinement.
Alfonso I sent a group of men of his army under the commando of Captain Jaime Díez de Aux by the valley of the Jiloca. In his tracking, he is captured by the army of the Moorish king Aben Gama. By enclosing Jaime in the dungeons (the current well of the enchanted Morica) he runs into Melihah. Both fell in love at first sight and Melihah goes down in the night time to visit him.
When she finds out that the gentleman would be hung of a battlement of the castle the following day, she opens the doorway of the secret alley and Jaime escapes, both promising to get marry.
The perspicacious Omed, jealous, finds out and runs to tell Aben Gama what happened. Aben Gama pierced with a sword Melihah’s heart and she dies. The Christian troops, led by Jaime Díez de Aux, enter the Major castle by a secret passage and reduce the Moorish army, making prisoner Aben Gama. When Jaime learned Melihah’s tragic end sadness overtook his spirit. It’s a tradition that every night of full moon, Melihah comes out with a torch by the walls of Daroca looking for her lover.