The Jump of the Gypsy (Monfragüe)

The Jump of the Gypsy (Monfragüe)

by Aitana Martos, 09/01/2015

A Gipsy bandit, after robbing two merchants in Monfragüe, is pursued by some civil guards. When he arrives to the cliff, he doesn’t want to be chased and jumps over the cliff, with so much strength that he actually gets to reach the other side of the river. In that place of Monfragüe, there are some rock formations and one has the shape of a civil guard, that reminds of that curious incident.

The National Park of Monfragüe in Cáceres, recognised by UNESCO as a Biosphere reserve, is a massive extension of almost 200,000 ha and yet contains only one village- Villareal de San Carlos- with but a couple of dozen inhabitants. The park is north of Trujillo and runs from east to west along the valley of the River Tagus.

The National Park of Monfragüe was an area of transit between Cáceres and Trujillo for traders who often fell victim to bandits and outlaws. Legend tells that one night of late19th century, two merchants who had stopped in Villareal de San Carlos were robbed of their goods and murdered by a gypsy outlaw. The Guardia Civil gave him chase around the enormous park until they seemed to have him cornered on the top of a precipice which had been carved out by the long and steady flow of the River Tagus.

But the gypsy wasn’t going to let himself be trapped so easily; and he jumped, landing safely on the other side of the river. Hence the name of the precipice: El salto del gitano (the jump of the gypsy).


Relation with water: the character jumps over a river. His strength in jumping long distances shows traces of other mythical beings like titans or giants, who were able to jump over rivers or walk quite long distances with few steps.


Monfragüe, Extremadura, Spain.