null Mitos y leyendas - Adro Vello

Myths and legends of Adro Vello (O Grove)

Who killed Meco?

Legend has it that in the town of O Grove, in the 15th or 16th century, lived a priest called Juan de la Meca, known to all as “Meco”. A libertine and a despot, the priest abused the privilege of droit de seigneur. This right allowed feudal lords to have sexual relations with subordinate women on their wedding nights.

There are two different versions of this legend. One has it that the priest, after losing a card game to a well-thought-of young man in the village, and feeling humiliated, said to him “Be glad today, because I’ll be glad tomorrow when I’ve lain with your betrothed.” On hearing these words, the young man, in a fit of rage and madness, killed the priest.

In other versions, the young man was aided by his neighbours and in the one attributed to Padre Sarmiento (Viaje a Galicia, 1745), it was a group of women who decided to take justice into their own hands. 

In any event, whatever the version, Meco ended up hanging from a fig tree at the highest point of the borough, mount Siradella.  

The place in question was not chosen by chance. At the entrance to O Grove, the “Figueira do Meco” (Meco’s fig tree) served as a warning to future visitors, feudal lords or outsiders, that might try to follow in the footsteps of the priest and exploit the local residents. 

Soon after, the magistrate came looking for the culprit. When he asked, ‘Who killed Meco?’, the reply came in unison, ‘We all did!’ Thus, with no proof or guilty parties, the crime was never solved. Whether it be myth or fact, the local people of O Grove adopted the nickname “los mecos” for themselves, in honour of the deed that set them free.  

Today, in the very same place as those events, we find Siradella vantage point, where the “Figueira do Meco” still stands, growing from a crack in the mountainside. The popular legend claims that the fruit of this emblematic tree will always be red, as it “bears the blood of Meco”.