Rus Articles Journal

You heard about a dragon Tarask and Saint Marta? Legends of Provence

We drove up to Tarascon... It is rumored that here, somewhere crocodiles are even found in thickets of a bamboo which grows at places along the road. However, I think, all this only rumors.

Tarascon - small, but very ancient town in the south of France, in Provence. It is based in the 48th year of our era and belonged to the Roman Empire, however, as well as all Provence. When you mention this city in conversation, the widely-read interlocutor remembers usually Tartaren, the hero from novels of Alphonse Daudet who there, according to the author, once lived. French in general, and provansalets in particular, too respect this literary hero, and in Tarascon there is even a museum devoted to Tartaren who you can visit. In the same building there is a small art gallery.

Tartaren, of course, the hero known, however to me is more native Saint Marta who lived in Tarascon, here tamed evil Tarask and here spent the rest of the wordly life. By the way, the city of Tarascon then was called Nerluk. Evil Tarask is one of dragons who as speak, in abundance inhabited the South of France in former times. Almost in each settlement there was the dragon. For example, in the next Bokere - the town, which from Tarascon only through the river, the dragon - Fights. That was the doctrine - he could conjure.

However we will return to Tarasku and Saint Marta. Tarask was a terrible and strange dragon. He lived in the neighborhood of the city not always, and came from neighboring countries - Portugal and Spain where too did a lot of noise. He stole generally cattle and ate it, well and people, of course, did not disdain, in particular, as well as many dragons, preferred virgins. Local farmers who here still trade in cattle breeding suffered a big loss. They were revolted, but none of them decided to battle against Tarask. This fright had an unusual look too. Tarask had on a back an armor, as at a turtle, but unlike turtle - with big thorns. It had a lion`s mane and a human face. So it could frighten easily only one look.

Marta, Maria and Lazar`s sister, differed in mild temper and kind heart. She understood that she Tarask - a monster terrible, but decided to relieve of it the city, without having done the harm to the dragon. Having heard from inhabitants that the monster approaches the city again, she left to it towards, having slapped together a cross from branches and holding it before itself. The terrible animal at first was stupefied with Marta`s courage and admitted it closer, and after that on him the Sacred Cross worked. The dragon became silent and obeyed to the fearless girl. Saint Marta returned to Tarascon, and behind her the awful dragon Tarask peacefully was afraid.

Inhabitants were not same peaceful as Marta. They madly were afraid of a dragon, and the fear enclosed stones in their hands. Marta tried to persuade people not to do the harm to a dragon, however it was simpler to pacify Tarask, than to pacify crowd. They threw stones a monster, and the dragon died.

Saint Marta lived in Tarascon to extreme old age and there was an upokoyena in local church which bears her name now. In memory of these events of times a year on streets of Tarascon take an effigy of Tarask which in usual days is stored behind glass in one of houses, near the city hall. There you can also see it. One more Tarask waits for visitors from - for Rhone travelers near the lock which also is in Tarascon.

In Tarascon there is a lot more interesting - for example, the museum of textiles. In its exposition it is told about fabrics with printing drawing of which Provence so is proud, and they, fabrics, are demonstrated. In this town lovely to my heart there are small private hotels and at them - nice small restaurants at which will be always glad to you. Pink wine and cheese with French baguette - my favourite delicacy.

To Tarascon it is possible to get by the car, by an electric train and by bus. The nearest airport to which planes from Moscow fly is in Nice. However, having reached such known places as Arles, Avignon or to Them, you can sit down on an electric train or on one of convenient buses on which schedule can be learned in travel agency and to reach the nice city of Tarascon.

And I there still by all means will return because I do not know any more that for me is more native - our birches or the French plane trees preserving travelers against a heat.