Comenius 2008-2010 Multilateral Project

This site is an outcome of the Comenius 2008-2010 multilateral project "European Journey Through Legends".


"Becoming more European does not mean forgetting our national cultural heritage, but sharing it with other European nation".

The Water Ladies

Fairies known as “water ladies” or “goges” are mythical beautiful female entities, considered good entities. They are haunted the countryside, are invisible in the daylight and they are in custody of sweet waters. The water ladies favourise fertility and birth, give life and regenerate nature. Their origin is, according Greco Latin mythology, in Olimp. The water ladies are nymphs, they are Zeus’s daughters. Thise nymphs have different names according to where they dwelt:
  • Dryads (forests)
  • Naiads (springs and rivers)
  • Nereid (the Mediterranean)
  • Oceanids (the sea)
  • Oreads (mountains)
  • Limoniads (meadows)
  • Limniads (lakes, marshes and swamps)
  • Napaea (valleys)


Dryads
Naiads


Nereid
Oceanids

Oreads
Limoniads
Napaea
 
Water is an essential element in nature, essential for any type of life. Water is considered as a purification and regeneration of body and spirit element. Most images of virgins are associated with miraculous fountains.  Christianity associated water nymphs either with virgins or with witches Water immersion or aspersion is associated to religious rites. The habitat of water ladies is in the area of ponds, rivers, wells, underground caves, next to a water source, submerged crystal palaces.




The Estunes Water Ladies at Banyoles Lake



Banyoles is a beautiful lake located an hour inland from the Costa Brava. It was declared a Picturesque Scenery in 1949.At the foot of the impressive mountains of the Pyrenees Gentle foothills rise up from the lake basin. The mild climate and the serene waters make this a peaceful and fascinating site.

The Estunes is a type of rock found in the area of Banyoles lake. It gives origin to a landscape of a mysterious magnetism, where calcareous rocks and the surrounding woods combine in a singular way.

The rocks are cracked and, looking through the wide gaps, it is possible to see some caves known as Tunes of Estunes. The roots of the trees (oaks and holm oaks) twist in strange shapes and go deep into the gaps. The Estunes have always inspired writers and have been the origin of numerous legends of water ladies.


The legends say that in the depths of the caves there were luxurious palaces inhabited by water ladies known as Goges.The Goges seduce with their singing and capture those men who dare to be near the lake shore and drag them to their underground palaces. Only once a year, during Saint John’s Eve, at the summer solstice, the Goges can be seen by human beings without taking the risk of being bewitched by them.



The Baladrau Water Lady

A beautiful lady is the guardian of an apple tree with gold flowers and fruits She offers these fruits to young people passing by. The fruits award them immortality .

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