Mythomania in Open Air Museums is a Erasmus+ strategic partnership for schools (agreement number 2020-1-ES01-KA229-082688 ). It’s planned for 24 months between 2020 and 2022 school years but we will extend the project for 12 additional months.
Our project focuses pupils in the age range of 13-15 years old to raise awareness towards natural environment and cultural heritage, both material and immaterial, by the myths and legends that explain its origin relating to natural environments, preferably of high cultural heritage value. Methodology to be used is experiential outdoor learning supported by mobile digital technology.
We aim to foster the awareness of common cultural heritage, both material and immaterial, especially heritage listed on UNESCO rankings, and the sense of belonging to a shared culture and citizenship based in common european roots by a digital game supporting questions related to the places visited. This will raise awareness
about traditions, culture and links between the natural environment and history.
We are on hiatus finishing our project Augmented Age of Inventions and Discoveries that needed a 12 month extension. Some online preparatory activities have been posible.
The Legend of the Haunted Spirit in Vinica
In the 16. century, a young count Friderik Herbestein from the castle Hrastovec fell in love with a young beautiful girl Agata from Štralek. Friderik’s mother didn’t like the fact that the two were dating. Although Agata was from a noble family, they were quite poor and her family wasn’t as noble as Friderik’s. They got married secretly, but unfortunately count Friderik had to go to war. His mother found out about Agata and Friderik and she decided to revenge. She captured Agata and closed her in the castle. She tortured Agata although she was pregnant with Friderik’s child. When Agata gave birth to a dead child, Friderik’s mother accused her of being a witch. Friderik’s mother wanted Agata to be burnt as a witch and at the end Agata was beheaded. At the place where she died, Friderik built a black cross of black marble after he returned from the war. Friderik never married again.The black cross still stands near Lenart and it reminds us of eternal love between Friderik and Agata.
The Cat’s Well in Tallinn
Before you complain about the chalky taste of Tallinn’s tap water, you might want to stop to consider what the town’s Medieval residents had to put up with. This wheel well on the corner of Rataskaevu and Dunkri in the Old Town was once one of the main sources of water for the Tallinn. According to legend, some of the locals got it into their heads that an evil water spirit lived in the well and threatened to make all the town’s wells run dry if it wasn’t given regular animal sacrifices. To keep the spirit happy, some cattle and sheep carcasses were thrown down the well, but the main victims were stray cats, who were rounded up and tossed, sometimes live, down the shaft. This practice was so common that the locals started calling this watering hole ‘Cat’s Well.’ In a sense, the sacrifices worked – the town’s wells never ran dry. But the practice of throwing animals down the well didn’t do much for the water quality, and the Cat’s Well had fallen into disuse by the mid 19th century. Rest assured that nowadays Tallinn’s water is much safer to drink, and the cats of Old Town no longer live in fear.
The Queen of Snakes (Shahmaran) in Tarsus, Turkey
Women manage the sixteen shops in the Kırkkaşıklar Bedesten (indoor bazaar) that is located right next to the Ulu Mosque. Each of the shop owners tells you the legend of Shahmaran before entering into a deep conversation. The legends told are all different from each other and they are all gripping.
Shahmaran means ‘the Shah of the Snakes’ in Farsi. Thousands of years ago, there used to live the queen of the snakes named ‘Maran’ under the ground in Tarsus. According to the legend, Shahmaran had a body as white as milk. One day, a young man named Cemshab, who is the first human to see her, gains the trust of Shahmaran and begins to live with her in a heavenly garden under the ground. Years pass by and Cemshab begs Shahmaran to get her permission to return to his family because of his longing for them. Shahmaran allows him to go but under one condition that he has to promise not to tell anyone about her. Cemshab reunites with his family and keeps his promise to Shahmaran for long years, but one day the Sultan’s daughter becomes ill. The vizier, who wants to marry her, spreads the word that she needs to eat Shahmaran’s meat to heal. The vizier, who knows that half of the body of the human who sees Shahmaran would become covered by snake scales, orders everyone to bathe in a public hammam. So, Cemshab’s secret comes out and he is forced to tell him where Shahmaran is. Before Shahmaran comes out of underground, she convinces the snakes not to come after her and infest the city by telling them that the Sultan wants to invite her to his palace and she is going to be welcomed accompanied by the drums’ merry beats. She says to Cemshab, “Boil my tail and have the vizier to drink it so he shall die, boil my body, and have the Sultan’s daughter to drink it so she shall heal, and decapitate my head, boil it and drink it so you shall become Lokman Hekim.” Thus, the vizier dies, the Sultan’s daughter heals, and Cemshab becomes Lokman Hekim. According to the legend, today the snakes still don’t know that Shahmaran is dead. It has been believed that Tarsus is going to be infested by the snakes when they learn that she is dead. The drums are played merrily at the Drummer Bazaar every day, so the snakes would keep thinking that Shahmaran is still alive.
The Falconera Mermaid and the Dragon in Sant Andreu de la Barca, Spain
The fishermen of Vilanova and Sitges know well enough that the Falconera is an underground river of the Garraf that flows near the hamlet of the same name, forms a chasm of more than twenty meters deep and runs to a cave of sixty meters wide, by the sea.
The seafarers say that, throughout the year, the water is due to the fact that inside the cave there is a great treasure, guarded by a charming mermaid and a fierce dragon.
Many, many years ago, a fisherman from Vilanova was dazzled by the beautiful mermaid. She reciprocated and the dragon, jealous, gave the fisherman a poisonous beruatge.
This one, sniffing the mischief, threw the drink into the sea, and since then, the waters have been bubbling every day of the year, except on the night of St. John, in remembrance of the love of the mermaid and the fisherman.
- The Legend of the Haunted Spirit in Vinica, Croatia (video)
- The Legend of the Haunted Spirit in Vinica, Croatia (pictures)
- The Mermaid Falconera and the Dragon, Sant Andreu de la Barca, Barcelona
- The Queen of Snakes (Shahmaran) in Tarsus, Turkey
- The Cat’s Well in Tallinn, Estonia (videos)
Institut el Palau (Sant Andreu de la Barca-Barcelona, Spain) -video introduction
Szkola Podstawowa nr 5 im.Polskiej Macierzy Szkolnej w
Czeladzi (Poland) -video introduction
Tallinna Mahtra Põhikool (Tallinn, Estonia)