Ahwar of Southern Iraq: The Gilgamesh Epic originated from Uruk likely as a "reflection of the city's power and influence" (nom file)
Ancient Nara: Tame deer roam through the town, according to the legend, a mythological god Takemikazuchi arrived in Nara on a white deer to guard the newly built capital of Heijō-kyō. Since then the deer were regarded as heavenly animal to protect the city.
Avignon: The Legend of Saint Benezet
Baekje Historic Areas: Nakhwaam Rock, The Cliff of Falling Flowers “Nakhwaam Cliff and spring sites in Busosanseong Fortress form the background to many legends related to the royal family of Baekje.” - Nomination File
Bahla Fort: Legend has it that the wall surrounding the palm groves of Bahla was built in one night, and is said to have been built by women.
Benedictine Convent of St. John: Charlemagne is said to have founded the monastery because he survived a snow storm here
Budapest: Gellert Hill - St. Gerard (Gellert) was killed by the pagans during the great pagan rebellion in 1046. He was put in a barrel and rolled down into the deep from the top of the hill.
Burgos Cathedral: The legend of El Cid
Chief Roi Mata's Domain: Legends around death of Roy Mata
Costiera Amalfitana: A boat transporting an icon of the Ascention of the Lady heard a mysterious voice 'posa, posa' ('put,put'), so they stopped their ship at Positano's shore and left the icon at its central church. This is the origin of Positano's name
Cracow: Wawel Dragon
Curonian Spit: Neringa and the creation of the Spit: "According to Baltic mythology, the Curonian Spit was formed by a strong girl, Neringa, who was playing on the seashore."
Djenné: The story of the sacrifice of atonement of a young girl, Tepama, who was walled up alive in order to ensure the town's prosperity, must be placed in the religious context of a time when animistic beliefs and fetishism had not yet given way to Islam. (AB ev)
Dolomites: King Laurin and his Rose Garden
Fertö/Neusiedlersee: The Turk of Purbach
Florence: Visitors to Il Porcellino put a coin into the boar's gaping jaws, with the intent to let it fall through the underlying grating for good luck, and they rub the boar's snout to ensure a return to Florence (wiki)
Fortified City of Carcassonne: Dame Carcas
Fujisan: Aokigahara Forest of Demon
Garajonay: The mountain is named after the legend of Gara and Jonay. For the story:
Ghadames: Daily raids brought the riders to travel the desert hundreds of miles. One day a thirsty horse refused to move and began to hit the ground until the water burst forth under his hooves. It was called " Source of the mare ." A dispute broke out among the riders and those who parted the group returned to the miraculous spring to erect the city. Every year in November, three days , a festival featuring performances and dances revive the Ksar. (Wiki) The alternative theory for the name, as espoused by the local populace (i.e. a popular etymology), is that the oasis of Ghadames derives from the Arabic words for lunch ("Ghada") and yesterday ("ams"). The words are contracted to form an approximation of "lunch yesterday." By lore, a group that had camped near the oasis left materials from the previous day's campfire cookout. When the steward tasked to retrieve the materials returned to the site, the hoof of his horse broke through to the water of the oasis that now lies at the center of the town. Whether or not this legend is true, the oasis was the reason the town appeared and has remained in this most remote region of the desert. (Wiki)
Giant's Causeway: Legend of the Irish giant Fionn Mac Cumhaill
Gochang, Hwasun, and Ganghwa Dolmen: "In Hwasun-gun, South Jeolla Province, there is a dolmen known as "Pingmae Rock," which is related to a legend about the Fairy Grandmother. It is said that when the Fairy Grandmother heard that 1,000 images of the Buddha and 1,000 pagodas were being built at the nearby Unjusa Temple, she picked up a huge stone and headed toward the temple. But along the way, she was told that all the images and pagodas had already been completed, so she laid the stone down there and departed." - www.koreaembassyusa.org
Great Smoky Mountains: The Cherokee considered the waters of the Oconaluftee sacred. Dora Woodruff Cope, who lived in the Oconaluftee valley near Smokemont around 1900, recalled a legend her Cherokee neighbors told her: ...part of the river was called Ya'nu-u'nata wasti'yi, "Where the bears wash." It was a deeper part of the river, where all the animals came to wash and heal their wounds when they had been hurt by hunters. No white person had ever seen this place because evil had blinded us to its existence. The animals knew how to find it, and diving into it meant instant healing. (wiki)
Gyeongju: The legend of Silla's founding. "According to the Samguk Sagi, a 12th-century Korean history, Sirim was the site where the child Kim Alji, founder of the Gyeongju Kim clan, was discovered. Found in a golden box accompanied by a rooster, he was adopted by the royal family. His descendants became the later kings of Silla and the forest where he was found was renamed Gyerim, "rooster forest." - wiki
Ha Long Bay: Cat Ba Island means "Women's Island" (Cat meaning sandy and Ba meaning women). Legend has it that many centuries ago, three women of the Tran Dynasty were killed and their bodies floated all the way to Cat Ba Island. Each body washed up on a different beach and all three were found by local fishermen. The residents of Cat Ba built a temple for each woman, and the Island soon became known as Cat Ba
Haeinsa Temple: Foundation myth of Haeinsa temple in 802 by two enlightened monks. (see link for the story, click on "Unesco World Heritages" and then Haeinsa Temple. Scroll down to section "Temple of Reflections on a Calm Sea")
Hahoe and Yangdong: Held as a divine tree in the center of the village. The spirit shrine is called Samsindang. Residents of the town believe the 600-year-old zelkova tree aids fertility and good luck
Hal Saflieni Hypogeum: Dissappearing school parties and a hidden cave featuring Humanoid beings
Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump: About a young Blackfoot found with his skull crushed by the weight of the buffalo.
Himeji-jo: In feudal Japanese folklore, the ghost story of The Dish Mansion at Banch? centered around Okiku's Well, one of the wells at Himeji Castle that remains to this day. According to the legend, Okiku was falsely accused of losing dishes that were valuable family treasures, and then killed and thrown into the well. Her ghost remained to haunt the well at night, counting dishes in a despondent tone. (wiki)
Hollókö: Called the Raven Mountain due to the legend telling ravens destroyed the constructions of the village during its erection every night
Island of Patmos: Mythology tells of how Patmos existed as an island at the bottom of the sea and how the island emerged from the water by intervention of Zeus.
Jeju: There is a crater lake on Hallasan called Baengnokdam, literally "white deer lake." There is a legend attributing the name of the lake to otherworldly men who descend from heaven to play with white deer." - wiki
Karlskrona: Putting a five crown coin from the year of your birth on it into the hat of a statue called 'Rosenbom' just before you graduate for future good luck
Kazan Kremlin: "As the legend goes, the Kazan queen Söyembikä threw herself down from the highest tier [of Söyembikä tower], hence the name." Wiki
Kronborg Castle: Legendary home of Hamlet
Lake Baikal: Natives believe that Burkhan, a modern religious cult figure of the Altai peoples, lives in the cave in the Shaman Rock on Olkhon.
Liverpool: The "Liver Bird"
Luang Prabang: Luang Prabang's legend of the city spirit guardians - Pu No and Na No
Mahabalipuram: Legend of Seven Pagodas
Mbanza Kongo: Wiki: a popular legend that began in the 1680s that the king had buried his mother alive because she was not willing to give up an "idol" which she wore around her neck
Mount Emei, including Leshan Giant Buddha: Legend of Puxian miracles and his elephant
Mount Taishan: Legend of Pan Gu
Mount Wutai: Legend of unburnable Tripitaka making Chinese Emperor convert to Buddhism and built Xiantong Temple
Namhansanseong: According to legend, King Onjo appeared to King Injo in a dream during the Manchu Invasion of 1636. The Baekje founder told the Joseon monarch he would be isolated standing alone and urged him to join with subjects who had outstanding reputations. - official website
Nan Madol: Nan Madol has been interpreted as the remains of one of the "lost continents" of Lemuria or Mu, although this is today considered falsified by plate tectonics (wiki)
Ohrid Region: The existence of the ancient town of Lychnidos is linked to the Greek myth of the Phoenician prince Cadmus who, banished from Thebes, in Boetia, fled to the Enchelei and founded the town of Lychnidos on the shores of Lake Ohrid (Wiki).
Paris, Banks of the Seine: Notre Dame de Paris (Gargoyle)
Prague: The Golem of Prague
Provins: Provins recieved its name from the wine belonging to Roman general named Probus (Probi vinum).
Puebla: China Poblana (the Templo de la Compañía, in Puebla, is known as La Tumba de la China Poblana)
Pyrénées - Mont Perdu: Brèche de Roland, an abrupt gap in the crest associated in legend with the defeat of the warrior Roland at Roncevaux in Charlemagne's campaign against the Saracens (UNEP-WCMC)
Querétaro: Chronicles of this event [the battle between the natives and the Spaniards], such as that written by Friar Isidro Félix de Espinoza, state that the natives were at the point of winning when a total eclipse of the sun occurred. This supposedly scared the natives and the Spanish claimed to have seen an image of Saint James (the patron saint of Spain) riding a white horse carrying a rose-colored cross. This event caused the natives to surrender. (Wiki))
Rapa Nui: Rapa Nui mythology
Rome: Romulus & Remus, the Aeneid
Royal Joseon Tombs: "The 22nd king, Jeongjo (r. 1776-1800), during a visit to his father's tomb (Yungneung), found the pine grove around the graveyard withering because of pine-eating caterpillars. In lamentation, the king caught one and bit it to death. Strangely, the caterpillars completely disappeared soon afterward." - nomination file
Ruins of León Viejo: The murder of Bishop Antonio de Valdivieso in 1550 seemed to mark a turning point in its fortunes: it was widely believed to have put a curse on the town, which suffered from both natural and economic disasters in the years that followed. (AB ev)
Santa Ana de los Rios de Cuenca: Cuenca is considered a candidate for the mythical city of gold, El Dorado.
Segovia: The legend that the devil built the aqueduct for exchange of the soul of a girl who has to carry water to the city
Seokguram Grotto and Bulguksa Temple: Legend of a Filial Son (see link for the story, click on "Unesco World Heritages" and then Seokguram Grotto and Bulguksa Temple. Scroll down)
Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries: Legend of Mt. Siguniang, a giant wanted to marry four women, but they ran away and become mountains of four ladies
Siena: According to legend, Siena was founded by Senius, son of Remus, who was in turn the brother of Romulus, after whom Rome was named. Statues and other artwork depicting a she-wolf suckling the young twins Romulus and Remus can be seen all over the city of Siena.
Sighisoara: Legend of Vlad the Impaler
Silk Roads: Burana Tower at Balasagun, "A legend connected with the tower says that a witch warned a local king that his newly-born daughter would die once she reached the age of eighteen. To protect her, he built a tall tower where he sequestered his daughter. No one entered the tower, except the daughter's servant who brought her food. The daughter grew up alone and became a beautiful young lady. One day, however, a poisonous spider was hiding in the food brought by the servant. The spider bit the girl, and she died in the tower, at the age of eighteen."
Sinharaja Forest: Means 'Lion-King' and refers to a legendary lion who lives in the forest
South China Karst: the girl Ashima that turned into a stone
Srebarna Nature Reserve: surrounding its name
Sulaiman-Too: Women who ascend to the shrine on top and crawl though an opening across the holy rock will, according to legend, give birth to healthy children. (Wiki)
Taj Mahal: Black Taj Mahal
Takht-e Soleyman: Folk legend relates that King Solomon used to imprison monsters inside the 100 m deep crater of the nearby Zendan-e Soleyman "Prison of Solomon"
Telc: Within the [castel's] chapel in a white marble sarcophagus lie the remains of Zacharias z Hradec and his wife Katharina Valdstejn. According to legend, the young wife was implicated in her own death. She allowed her portrait to be painted while she was pregnant - despite warnings that this meant she would die within a year of her birth.
Tokaji Wine Region: Fears of Turkish raiders delayed the harvest until the graphes had shrivelled and botrytis infection had seit in creating the noble rot for which the wine is renowned
Tower of London: The Ravens
Town Hall and Roland, Bremen: 'Die Bremer Stadtmusikanten'
Troy: Trojan Horse
Upper Middle Rhine Valley: Lorelei
Virgin Komi Forests: There are numerous legends associated with Man'punpuner, before he was the object of the Mansi cult. (Wiki)
Walled City of Baku: legend of a maiden (said to be the daughter of the Khan of Baku) who threw herself off its top to her death in the waves below (wiki)
Xinjiang Tianshan: In Daoism, Xi Wangmu, the Queen Mother of the West, is believed to guard the peach trees of immortality in the Tian Shan
Do you know of another WHS we could connect to Legends and Folk Myths?
A connection should:
- Not be "self evident"
- Link at least 3 different sites
- Not duplicate or merely subdivide the "Category" assignment already identified on this site.
- Add some knowledge or insight (whether significant or trivial!) about WHS for the users of this site
- Be explained, with reference to a source