the face of the moor
Legend has it that in times when the lands of Alicante were under Muslim rule, an Arab caliph governed the city. He had a daughter called Cántara, of great beauty who, as soon as she came of age, had to be married.
There was no shortage of suitors who came to court the princess, but two stood out among the rest: Almanzor, a general from Cordoba, and Ali, a handsome and kind-hearted young man. Not knowing who to choose between the two, Cántara's father decided to challenge them to try to impress the princess.
Almanzor quickly set off for India to get the best silks and spices from there. Ali, on the other hand, set out to open a canal that would bring water from Tibi and thus remain in the vicinity of Cántara. This is how Ali won the love of the young woman.
However, when Almanzor returned with riches and delicacies, the caliph, true to his word, had to grant him his daughter's hand despite the love that had arisen between her and Ali. In heart-rending grief, Ali plunged into the void from a precipice where the earth opened up and water miraculously began to flow. This place is today known as the Tibi Reservoir.
Overwhelmed by sadness and desolation, Cántara followed the same fate by throwing herself from the San Julián mountain range. Consequently, despairing of the great tragedy, the caliph died of grief.
It is said that at that moment the profile of the caliph's face was marked forever on the slope of Mount Benacantil, an emblem that is known today as the face of the Moor. For this reason, the citizens, moved by the romance, decided to join the names of Alí and Cántara to name their town, Alicante.