Calle de los Mancebos – The dead of a King and two executions
Returning to medieval Madrid, this story focuses on the north of the country, more specifically, in the city of Palencia. However, we must first go to the well-known district of Madrid called “La Latina”, to find Calle de los Mancebos.
San Andrés Church is the heart of this quarter, where two notable streets are born. One is a curved and twisted street called “Calle de los Mancebos” and, a few meters ahead is the narrow street called “Calle Angosta de losMancebos”. Once you get there, look at their street signs. What do you find? Well, we can see in one of them two young fellas throwing roof tiles from the top and, in another, two young guys arrested. But … Why is this story remarkable? Where does Palencia fit into all this?
To move forward in this story, we need to understand what “Mancebo” means. The Spanish dictionary gives two meanings to this word: a young man or a servant. We will stay with the second definition: “Mancebo means servant”.
The legend says that two young people were in charge of the care and entertainment of the young Castilian king Enrique I, who was 13 at the time and had been crowned king with 11. The three played in the courtyard of the episcopal palace located in the city of Palencia when the servants decided to climb to the top of the palace tower and since then a very different game began. They played by throwing tiles on the floor of the palace while the king was there, and finally one of these tiles hit the head of King Enrique I, causing death on the spot.
The street signs clearly reflect the facts of this story and answer the question of why the city of Palencia is included in all this and who these young people were. But another question arises: what do these curious facts have to do with Madrid? Well, the incredible city of Madrid has many interesting stories unknown to many people, and this is one of them.
Continuing with our legend and, unfortunately for the lads, they unconsciously killed the King of Castile Enrique I. As you can imagine, they were sentenced to death because they were the ones who threw the fateful tile. After the accusation and the verdict, they were arrested and transferred to Madrid, where the execution took place. Once in the Villa, they were locked in the tower of La Casa de Los Lasso de Castilla (located 100 meters from the church of San Andrés and 200 meters from Calle de Los Mancebos) and finally killed in Calle de Los Mancebos, giving their names to these streets of the medieval quarter of La Latina. These two poor mates were buried in the church of San Andrés, which is indeed the heart of the charming neighbourhood.
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