Legends are closely related to the cultural or natural heritage that surrounds us in Europe’s towns and cities or natural or archaeological sites. The word itself, “heritage”, means “that which is inherited”. Heritage can be tangible or intangible, natural or cultural, movable or immovable. We inherit places, monuments or traditions from our ancestors and we transmit them to the future generations because they have irreplaceable value. A community or a country is strong when they engage in cherishing, sharing or continuing the stories that are interwoven with the tangible or intangible heritage they highlight. Therefore, these strong communities will do whatever it takes to preserve it.
Beautiful natural landscapes, wonders of archaeology, monuments and historical places are tied to a legend, a story or a myth which are even more famous than their real origins. The creation of beautiful mountains or rocks, the strange appearance of unusual stones, monuments that are the landscapes of a country, all of them have their legends. They offer tourists that memorable element that will make them visit the sites.
The most important type of natural tangible heritage that appear in legends consists of natural features, geological formations or sites of value from the point of view of their natural beauty, almost all of them being protected areas and natural reserves. Mountains and their formation occupy a central role in many cultures and are subjects of many legends. Although the stories revolve around the mountain on the whole, their peaks have a more important role since they are closer to heaven or gods. People do not worship the land or the rocks but their relationship with the gods or the spirits. Caves were considered sacred or magic places, shelters for mythological creatures, portals to the underground world and therefore the legends must imagine a way in which these gates, which are related to evil spirits, are forever closed. Beautiful lakes or rivers are also connected with legends, either because they were the scene of a tragedy or because they were created in an unusual way.
Cultural tangible heritage, consisting of monuments, buildings or sites with historic or artistic value are mostly related to important rulers or master builders, whose personalities were extremely influential or vital in their building or foundation.
Cultural intangible heritage is not very representative in the legends which are part of this project. It is related mainly to cultural or natural spaces associated with mythical creatures or spirituality.