Legends of Santa Cruz: Death Street.

Previously in our blog, we told you one of the legends of the Holy Cross Neighbourhood, the legend of Calle Vida (Life Street). And, how we promised, this time we bring you another legend of this emblematic neighbourhood of a charming city: Seville.

 

Street of the Death or Susona Street.

First, let's tell the part of the legend, and then the history part. Because, as you could see in the previous post, legends have their part of truth.

 

Well, Susona was a very beautiful Jewish lady, daughter of Diego Ben Susón, wealthy lord. They and their family lived in the Jewish quarter in the 14th century, a time when the Spanish Inquisition did not yet exist, but there was much mistrust towards Jews and Muslims.

At that time, if a young Jewish woman wanted to get higher in social status, she had to find a Christian gentleman who was willing to marry her, after she changed her religion into Christianism. That’s why Susona had found her beloved knight, the one who would marry her and make her reach another social status.

One night, as she was preparing to meet her beloved, she heard how her father and other leaders of the Jewish community conspired to get rid of the most powerful Christian families, to start a rebellion against the yoke they suffered with the curfews and their economic activities being always controlled by the Christians.

Susona, completely stupefied, left the house in secret, in search of her boyfriend, to warn him, since his family was one of those on the list.

The Christian gentleman tells Susona that there is nothing to worry about, that nothing will happen to him and that she should return home without fear.

But if something did happen, before arriving home, Susona observed from a corner of the street and she saw how the Christian knights burst into in the Jewish quarter in the middle of the night and take all those who were in the meeting with the father of Susona. Before the Dawn, all of them would be executed for treason.

 

Susona, scared, decided to flee from the Jewish neighborhood before they found her, since everyone suspected who was the informer. She fled to the cathedral, where she asked to be converted to Christianity and went to meet the lover.

She claimed that, please, take her as a wife, since she cannot continue to stay in the Jewish community. The response of her lover buried her in life:

"Me? Marry you!? You, who have betrayed your family, your community ... Do you think I can trust you? No, leave, you will never be my wife. "

Desolate, the only solution for a young Jewish-convert, was to become a nun, since no man would want to marry her.

 

From here, the legend has several versions: that she was pregnant and hid in her house, that she became a nun, or even that she committed suicide.

But they all end in the same way: Susona dies and leaves her testament behind. In it, she hopes that, once she dies, her head will be separated from her body and placed on the front of her house in the Jewish quarter as a warning. So that no one, never again, could commit the same mistake as hers, who for love, betrayed her family.

The existence of this beautiful girl is not proven; however, it is quite probable that Diego Ben Suson really existed and was one of many of those who were murdered in the Jewish quarter, now Santa Cruz Neighbourhood, back in 1391.

That was the massacre of which we mentioned already in the post of the history and legend of the Calle Vida.

 

Currently, if you access the Agua Street by a beautiful arch that leads to a square with chains or if you walk from Alianza Square to Doña Elvira Square, just the parallel to Calle Vida, you will find an access to Death Street. At the end of it, you arrive at the same place with chains.

There, in one of the houses, you will see the tile with a skull and the name of Susona written below. Not long ago, there was a larger tile that explained a version of Susona's story, a bit different from what we have told you today.

As it is an area frequented by groups and their guides, and each of them give a special touch to the story, we suppose that they decided to remove it and give more mystery to those who passed by and did not know about this beautiful and sad legend.

 

You know, every Thursday of the week, Sevilla4Real brings you a new post with new stories and legends of this city of wonders. We are waiting for you next week.

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