Legend of the Burnt Woman’s street in Mexico City
Urban legends are a fascinating aspect of folklore that has been passed down through generations. These modern-day myths often involve eerie or supernatural elements and are typically set in contemporary urban settings.
Mexico City, with its rich history, has legends that give the city’s folklore a unique flavor. Urban legends and myths continue to be shared and discussed, adding an extra layer of mystery and intrigue to this bustling metropolis.
The urban legends of Mexico City
Mexico City’s urban legends go back centuries. During the colonial era, new narratives began to emerge in Mexico. Many were created from a mixture of pre-Columbian indigenous mythology and Christian Catholic myths.
This fusion gave birth to plenty of narratives that still intrigue and fascinate audiences. The legend about the burnt woman is one such urban legend that captivates the imagination of both locals and visitors to Mexico City.
This legend, like many others in Mexico City, weaves a tale that blurs the lines between the mystical and the everyday, reflecting the complex history and rich cultural influences that shape the folklore of this metropolis.
La Calle de la Quemada (The Burnt Woman’s Street)
This story happened a long time ago, when Don Luis de Velasco I succeeded the Viceroy Don Antonio de Mendoza, Don Gonzalo Espinosa de Guevara and his beautiful daughter Beatriz lived in a large mansion in Mexico City.
Beatrice had a beautiful face, lovely eyes, and skin as white as lilies. Her shiny, silky hair fell from her shoulders and flowed like a waterfall down her back. She cared for the sick and wounded, and always helped poor people.
With such a noble, generous soul, beauty, and great fortune, it was easy to understand why many young people fell in love with her. Gentlemen and nobles fought in front of her mansion, but she did not accept anyone.
However, there was one man who became obsessed with her.
This man’s name was Martin de Scopoli, the Italian Marquis of Piamonte and Franteschelo. His love for Beatrice was such that, to prevent other men from approaching her, he attacked any other suitor of the young woman.
Martin was a man with jealousy that led him to attack other men. Beatrice was very saddened by the fact that many men had suffered because of her. One night, she prayed to Saint Lucia and made a terrible decision
For the young woman, the solution to Martin’s violent jealousy was to lock herself in her bedroom and burn her face with hot coals. She hoped that thanks to this the marquis would stop loving her and attacking others.
The next day, she confirmed that her father had gone and brought a brazier to her room, in which she put charcoal and lit a fire. Flames engulfed the room. She knelt down and placed her beautiful face on the brazier.
The smell of burnt flesh spread throughout the room, drowning out the fresh smell of jasmine and almonds. A few minutes later, Beatrice screamed and passed out next to the brazier.
Father Marcos, Beatriz’s confidant, heard Beatriz’s scream and ran into the house and found Beatrice on the floor. He carefully picked her up, and tried to apply herbs and vinegar to her burned face, asking why she did it.
The Italian gentleman hurried to where his beloved was.
Marquis found her sitting in a chair with a black veil covering her face. The veil was stained with blood and burnt flesh. Very carefully, he removed the veil from his beloved’s face but did not jump back in horror when he saw her.
He was worried, looking at her face, burned by a cruel flame. Under the firmly arched eyebrows, two holes from burnt eyelids were visible. Her cheeks were like craters dripping with blood, and her lips were forming a hideous grin.
Seeing this, the marquis knelt and said with tenderness: “Beatrice, I love you not for your beauty, but for your kindness. You are noble and generous, and your soul is pure”. At these words, tears flowed, and both cried with love and tenderness.
The marquis continued: “When your father returns, I will ask for your hand in marriage”.
The wedding of Beatrice and the Marquis of Piamonte took place in the Profesa Temple.
It was the most sensational event of that time. Don Gonzalo Guevara Espinosa spent his fortune on the celebrations, and the Marquis of Piamonte presented the bride with dresses, jewelry and furniture brought from Italy.
Beatrice came to the altar with a white veil over her face to avoid the curious eyes.
She used to go outside only to the nearest church, accompanied by her husband.
From this day on, the street in Mexico City where Beatriz’s house was once located is now called the Street of the Burnt Woman.
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