In Xolair, in the sierra we now know as “Sierra Nevada”, there is a peak towering over all the other mountains. This peak is called “Mulhacén” and it’s the highest mountain in the Iberian Peninsula. But the highest is not always the most famous. That’s the case for the peak Mulhacén, who is outshone by its 100 meter smaller neighbor, the peak “Veleta”, usually the image of Sierra Nevada and figuring for example on the water bottles of the brand “Lanjarón”.
Even so, we know very well King Boabdil, last King of Granada, and we tend to forget that there was also another king…
The King of Granada
The peak “Mulhacén” is named after a great person of the antique Moorish Kingdom of Granada, the Nasrid Reign. This great man was Muley Hacén (the Spanish version of the Arabic name Mulay Hasan), who was no one less than the King of Granada.
Muley Hacén was married to Queen Aixa, with whom he had a son, who by the Christians was called Boabdil. The King fell in love with one of the Christian slave girls who worked in the Alhambra. She is known under the Arabic name “Zoraya” that was given to her. Jealous of their love, Queen Aixa incited her son to join his father’s worst enemies and to take his throne. This lead to a fight over the throne of the Alhambra which lasted until the day the Christian Kings reconquered the kingdom.
The King of the silence
According to the legend, Muley Hacén retired to live in a hidden Alcazaba in Xolair, todays Sierra Nevada. There he lived his last years in the Alcazaba of Mondújar, a village located in the beautiful Valley of Lecrín.
There the man who once was the King of one of the modern wonders of the world spent his days together with the beautiful Zoraya and their children. It is told that he was always sad, spending his days locked up in the highest tower of the Alcazaba, staring at the sky and the only thing that could calm his mind and ease his pain were the stories that Zoraya told him about this place.
When his end was near, he asked Zoraya to bury him where no one would ever find him. She did as he wished and buried Muley Hacén in the snow of the highest mountain. And since then the peak is called after the great Moorish King.